GM launches new nine-speed auto

GM is adding a nine-speed automatic transmission to its lineup.

General Motors has announced that it will introduce a new nine-speed automatic transmission with the rollout of its 2017 Malibu sedan. The new nine-speed gearbox will quickly spread to other models in the GM range.

Known as the Hydra-Matic 9T50, the in-house designed nine-speed will be paired with the Malibu's 2.0L Turbo engine. Chevy says the nine-speed will net a 3 percent fuel economy bump to 33mpg highway compared to the Malibu's previous six-speed transmission.

GM says the new nine-speed offers better gearing across the board, aiding in both acceleration off the line and higher-speed cruising.

"The smaller steps between the gears, compared to the six-speed, enable smooth, almost imperceptible upshifts, for excellent refinement,” said Dan Nicholson, vice president, Global Propulsion Systems. "No matter the engine torque or vehicle speed, the 9T50 is always in the perfect gear.”

GM says the nine-speed unit will also be available in the 2017 Cruze Diesel and 2018 Equinox. By the end of 2017 the nine-speed box will be available an an option in 10 different GM vehicles.

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