A Ford Mustang with a 10-Speed Automatic Transmission Seems Crazy, but Possible
There was a point in time where only high end exotics have 6-speed transmissions, but like most other cars sold in America, the 2015 Ford Mustang will feature both a manual and automatic transmission with 6 gears. Some competitors in the US like the Chevrolet Corvette, the Dodge Charger and the Dodge Challenger have gone to an 8-speed automatic transmission that helps to improve fuel economy without hurting performance. In fact, the addition of the 8-speed automatic transmission makes the Corvette, Challenger and Charger all quicker than the same models with the same engines and an older 6-speed automatic transmission.
This has led many Ford fans to question what the Motor Company is working on to help the next generation Mustang keep up with the Joneses, and rumors suggest that Ford could skip a 7, 8 or 9 speed transmission – jumping directly to a 10-speed self-shifting gearbox that will likely debut on the Ford F Series pickup.
Why the Mustang Needs a 10-Speed Automatic Transmission
Fuel economy is very clearly the least important aspect for many Ford Mustang buyers, but as automakers are constantly pushed to improve the fuel economy ratings across their entire fleet, good fuel economy from the Mustang is as important to Ford as it is with any other vehicle. Because of that, Ford is constantly working to make the Mustang more fuel efficient without hurting performance. This is exactly why the new 2.3L EcoBoost 4-cylinder engine has been introduced for the 2015 Mustang. This is also why the 2015 Corvette has a 7-speed manual transmission ad 8-speed automatic transmission and why both the Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat and the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat both come with an 8-speed automatic transmission.
2015 Ford Mustang Galleries:
A first look at the 2015 Ford Mustang RTR
Live images from the 2015 Ford Mustang Detroit Debut
A look at the similarities in styling across the 2015 Ford Mustang trimlines
The 2015 Ford Mustang in Triple Yellow
Ford needs to constantly improve the MPGs of the mighty Mustang and one great way to do that without hurting performance is a transmission with more gears. Having more gears allows the engineers to make the numerically lower gears (1st, 2nd, etc) more aggressive for improved acceleration while the numerically higher gears (7th, 8th) are far less aggressive to keep cruising RPMs low – which in turn improves fuel economy.
Ford is Working on a 10-Speed Auto with General Motors
While General Motors and Ford Motor Company are usually viewed as being each other’s arch rivals, the two American companies have teamed up to develop a couple new automatic transmissions. General Motors’ portion of the joint project is to develop a 9-speed transaxle that will be used in a variety of front wheel drive models while Ford has their engineers working on a 10-speed gearbox that will likely debut in the future Ford F150. Through this partnership, we will likely see some Ford vehicles using the GM-developed 9-speed front wheel drive transmission while GM will likely use the Ford-developed 10-speed rear drive (and four wheel drive) transmission for some of those vehicles.
Most importantly, there is a chance that Ford will look to use the new 10-speed automatic transmission in the future Ford Mustang. While there will be skeptics of a 10-speed Mustang, adding this new high tech gearbox will likely afford the future pony car a handful of benefits.
First, the 10-speed automatic transmission will almost surely make the Mustang more fuel friendly than the current models with the 6-speed automatic transmission. Second, a Mustang with the new 10-speed gearbox will almost surely have improved low end acceleration times through the aggressive low gearing and third, the gears will be closer together for quicker shifts under power and smoother shifts during light driving.