Allison introduces automatic 9-speed transmission

Allison Transmission's 9-speed automatic transmission will launch in 2020.

Allison Transmission's 9-speed automatic transmission will launch in 2020.

Announcing what it said is the first fully automatic 9-speed transmission for the North American market, Allison Transmission noted that the transmission will help fleets reduce fuel usage and greenhouse gas emissions.

“This 9-speed product launch represents the first in a series of products that represent Allison’s commitment [to helping fleets reduce fuel usage],” Randy Kirk, senior vice president of product engineering and product teams said.

The transmission will be released globally in 2020, he said, but OEMs from North America, Europe and Asia have already expressed interest. Focused on Class 3-7 vehicles, the transmission will be ideal for distribution trucks, rental trucks and school products, Kirk noted.

The 9-speed features a deep first gear ratio and the highly-efficient gear train allows the torque converter to lock up early in first gear, he said. It also includes an engine stop-start system that provides immediate transmission engagement and vehicle hold while the engine is restarted.

“When combined with FuelSense, our software and electronic controls packages, and our other fuel-saving technologies, the nine-speed will set a new benchmark in fuel efficiency and reduced emissions, achieving greenhouse gas emissions model (GEM) benefits,” Kirk said.

The 9-speed leverages some of the technology in the Allison 2000 Series 6-speed transmission. It’s been designed to utilize the same OEM interfaces to provide for ease of integration into vehicles currently released with the Allison 2000 Series.

Kirk said the transmission will provide up to a 7% fuel savings over the base Allison 6-speed and up to a 10% fuel savings over competitive models.