• 1938 Oldsmobile Convertible Coupe with Automatic Safety Transmission [CREDIT: Hemmings Motor News]

    With only the possible exception of the electric starter, nothing has done more to expand the adoption of personal cars than the automatic transmission, as reflected by one of the first cars so-equipped, being sold this week in Hershey, Pennsylvania. The 1938 Oldsmobile L-38 convertible coupe used the first transmission to select gears automatically, according to classic-car authority Hemmings Motor News.That was a big deal to drivers in the 1930s who struggled daily with balky, heavy, non-synchromesh manual transmissions that required drivers to use the engine to match the speeds of shafts...

  • GM 9-speed automatic transmission
    GM debuts 9-speed automatic, offering 2-percent efficiency improvement

    General Motors will debut a new 9-speed automatic transmission in Chevrolet models.

  • 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor, 2015 Detroit Auto Show
    Ford Patent For 11-Speed Automatic: Transmission Wars Escalate

    Time was that the most gears you could get in an automatic transmission was three or four. Then came five- and six-speed automatics, which are now pretty much the standard (along with increasingly prevalent continuously variable transmissions, or CVTs). But the transmission wars have continued to...

  • 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LTZ
    Chevy Silverado, GMC Sierra Pickups To Get 8-Speed Automatic To Boost MPG

    One of the factors making higher gas mileage possible across pretty much any vehicle on sale these days is multispeed transmissions. At the dawn of this century, four-speed automatics were the standard; now it's six speeds--and eight-speed automatics are coming on strong. Future models of the...

  • 2013 Dodge Dart Limited, road test, Catskill Mountains, NY, April 2013
    2013 Dodge Dart Limited: Gas-Mileage Drive Report

    The 2013 Dodge Dart has gotten off to a slow start in the market, but it's a vitally important car for Chrysler. The first vehicle based on shared underpinnings from its parent Fiat, the Dart has to show Chrysler can build competitive cars--and, even more important, top-quality small cars that...

  • ZF eight-speed automatic
    How To Get Better Mileage In Your Next Gasoline Car: Get More Gears

    If you’re in the market for a new car, but the current offerings of electric, plug-in hybrid and hybrid cars aren’t suitable there’s an often-overlooked way to get better gas mileage - more gears. In recent years we’ve seen six and seven speed automatic gearboxes becoming...

  • 2012 Fiat 500C Cabrio, SoHo district, New York City

    Launching the 2012 Fiat 500 minicar in the U.S. market was a gamble to begin with. But it's one that is paying off in some unexpected ways. Fiat's top North American executive, Laura Soave, told trade journal Ward's Auto that the Cabrio model with the roll-back cloth roof is proving far more popular than the 10 percent of sales that the company projected. Cabrios sold thus far have represented up to 20 percent of all Fiat 500 sales, which totaled 4,944 through June. Based on more dealers coming on line and the launch of a national ad campaign, Ward's projects that Fiat sales this year will...

  • Bosch engine stop-start system designed for automatics
    Bosch Develops Engine Stop-Start System For Automatics

    Autonomous engine stop-start systems, designed to save fuel by turning off a car’s engine when at a standstill, are increasing in popularity, especially in Europe, where fuel prices are often double what they are here. In many cases, the addition of an engine stop-start system can net fuel...

  • 2010 Hyundai Accent
    Cheap and Green: 2009 Hyundai Accent vs 2009 Nissan Versa

    Between car loans, trade-ins, and special promotional incentives, most people rarely write a large check for their new car purchase. But what you can get for $10,000? What's the absolutely simplest, least expensive car on the U.S. market today? Actually, there are two: the 2009 Hyundai Accent and...

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