AUBURN HILLS, MI and MUNICH, GERMANY – Audi and BMW will both be seeing an eight-speed auto in the higher end realm of their production line, according The gearboxes will be designed and built by ZF Friedrichshafen out of Germany. The company has a long relationship with both BMW and Audi and will working closely with both manufacturers to tweak the design. No real details or specs have been released as of yet, but it should be very similar to the six-speed automatic used in the Audi R8 or the BMW 7-Series.


Upping the number of forward gears has many benefits. From a performance aspect, the increase will reduce acceleration time and offer a more smooth transition between gears. It will also improve fuel efficiency that will, in turn, reduce greenhouse gases and save drivers money. Tests currently being performed have yielded a fuel economy benefit of three percent for gasoline engines and six percent for diesel engines when compared to the current six-speed.