Kia Introduces Its Own FWD 8-speed Automatic Transmission

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Kia Introduces Its Own FWD 8-speed Automatic Transmission

Kia Motors has revealed details of its advanced new eight-speed automatic transmission (8AT), which is engineered especially for use in front-wheel drive vehicles.

According to Kia, the transmission (FWD 8AT) was developed in-house and engineered to offer a high level of mechanical efficiency and smooth gearshifts.

Crucially, the new FWD 8AT occupies the same space as a conventional six-speed automatic transmission, and weighs 3.5 kg less.

To improve the 8AT’s fuel economy, Kia engineers significantly reduced the size of the oil pump (the main source of power loss in an automatic transmission) and simplified the structure of the valve body. Boasting the smallest oil pump of any production transmission in its class, the 8AT is able to use hydraulic oil more efficiently, distributing it evenly throughout the unit at all times.

Kia’s engineers already have experience of developing eight-speed transmissions for rear-wheel drive vehicles, mounting the transmission longitudinally and sending power to the rear axle. However, incorporating the same number of gears into a front-wheel drive car is incredibly challenging, due to packaging constraints and the need to mount the transmission transversely, competing with the engine, suspension and auxiliary components for space under the bonnet.

Incorporating an additional clutch and gear over Kia’s existing 6AT, the ratio between the top gear and the lowest gear in the new transmission has been increased by 34% over the 6AT, resulting in greater fuel economy and improved NVH in higher gears and faster acceleration and climbing performance in low gears.

It is said that the new front-wheel drive 8AT will be making its global debut in the 2017 Kia Cadenza – on sale across selected global markets this year – and will also featured as standard on Cadenza models powered by the 3.3-liter V6 GDI engine.

Kia also announced that new eight-speed automatic transmission will be applied to a number of mid-sized and larger front-wheel drive models, and will serve as a stepping stone to the development of future advanced Kia transmissions.

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