– General Motors Corp. has began producing a new generation of six-speed transmissions designed to improve fuel economy, reduce cabin noise, and give a smoother ride, reported the Associated Press. The Hydra-Matic 6L80 debuts in the 2006 Chevrolet Corvette, Cadillac STS-V, and Cadillac XLR-V. It will also be featured in 25 different 2007-model year vehicles, including several of GM’s new full-size SUVs. The transmissions have a modular architecture allowing them to be adapted to a wide range of vehicles. Nearly half the parts on the four primary variants of the transmission are shared, and all of the variants can be built at the same facility. The Hydra-Matic is the first of a new family of six-speed, rear-wheel-drive transmissions, accord-ing to the Associated Press. The transmissions feature two overdrive gears that reduce engine revolutions per minute by 9 percent at 60 miles per hour, which reduces fuel consumption. GM estimates the transmission can help cut the time it takes to get from zero to 60 miles per hour by 7 percent and can enhance fuel economy by 4 percent.