Detroit, Michigan – Chevrolet’s first 9-speed automatic transmission makes its debut in the 2017 Malibu and will be available in the 2017 Cruze Diesel and 2018 Equinox. The General Motors-developed Hydra-Matic 9T50 9-speed is paired with the available 2L Turbo engine in the Malibu, contributing to an EPA-estimated 33mpg highway — a 3% increase over the 2016 model with the 6-speed automatic.
“In addition to improved fuel efficiency, the 9T50 offers a strong overall balance of performance and refinement that customers will feel at all driving speeds,” says Dan Nicholson, vice president, Global Propulsion Systems. “By the end of 2017, Chevrolet will offer four models with the new 9-speed.”
The 9-speed has a wider 7.6:1 overall ratio – the difference between the first gear ratio and the top gear ratio – compared to the 6-speed’s 6.0:1 ratio, with a “deep” 4.69 first gear that supports excellent off-the-line acceleration and a “tall” 0.62 top gear for low-rpm highway cruising. That balance optimizes acceleration and fuel economy and reduces engine noise during cruising.
“The smaller steps between the gears, compared to the 6-speed, enable smooth, almost imperceptible upshifts, for excellent refinement,” says Nicholson. “No matter the engine torque or vehicle speed, the 9T50 is always in the perfect gear.”
The new transmission also supports stop/start technology that can help save fuel by allowing the engine to shut down in certain stop-and-go driving conditions.
“Everything about the new 9-speed is designed to maximize benefits for the customer,” says Steve Majoros, director of Chevrolet Marketing. “It helps offer greater fuel efficiency in the city and on the highway, all with the world-class refinement that makes the drive quiet and smooth.”
GM will rapidly deploy the new Hydra-Matic 9-speed automatic transmission as an option on 10 vehicle models by the end of 2017.
Developed for the tight packaging requirements of transverse propulsion systems, the new 9T50 9-speed automatic has an on-axis design, where all the gears are in line with the crankshaft, and GM’s first application of a selectable one-way clutch. Both features help reduce the package size, making it roughly the same size as a 6-speed transmission.
A selectable one-way clutch, which can hold torque or freewheel depending on the desired operating mode, contributes to a smaller overall size by eliminating the need for an additional clutch pack.
“The selectable one-way clutch is one of the biggest enablers of the 9T50’s balance of efficiency and refinement,” says Steve Saia, chief engineer. “It also symbolizes GM’s acumen when it comes to designing advanced, compact multispeed transmissions.”
For precise and smooth shifts, a specific strategy is used in the selection of the gearsets, clutches and torque converter. Five planetary gearsets are used with four stationary clutches and three rotating clutches, saving space compared to freewheeling designs. Gears change from second- to ninth-gear ratios with precise clutch-to-clutch shifting, where the clutch is engaged in one gear at exactly the same time it is released from another.
The first-to-second upshift is a freewheeling shift. The second-gear clutch engages while the first-gear one-way clutch spins freely, contributing to greater refinement at lower vehicle speeds. Additionally, this planetary-type automatic transmission employs new torque converter technology to help it deliver smooth take-off performance and additional refinement. The converter features a hyper-elliptical oval cross-section that reduces the thickness of the torque converter, keeping the overall width of the engine and transmission as narrow as possible for packaging advantages.
The single-plate lock-up clutch uses GM’s electronically controlled capacity clutch (ECCC) technology to dampen engine vibrations and ensure smooth operation.
Shift controls include automatic grade braking that selects a lower gear to help maintain desired vehicle speed when coasting or braking on a downgrade. This takes advantage of engine braking to help prevent unwanted acceleration and can help reduce the need to brake during a descent. The control module receives input that monitors brake pedal usage, vehicle acceleration, throttle position, grade, and whether a trailer is connected to the vehicle.
The 9T50’s hydraulic system is controlled electronically to deliver the pressure and volume required for various operating temperatures for optimal efficiency. The valve body side cover acts as an internal expansion tank, holding the excess oil until it is required and then returning it to the sump when needed.
A unique accumulator within the new 9-speed transmission enables virtually seamless stop/start transitions for greater refinement. The accumulator stores energy for almost imperceptible engine restarts, while GM-designed transmission software calibrated for those restarts further contributes to smooth takeoffs.
Source: General Motors
Detroit, Michigan – Rear Seat Reminder, a feature designed to remind drivers to check the back seat as they exit their vehicles under certain circumstances, will be offered across many Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, and GMC vehicles by the 2018 model year.
The system monitors rear door usage to remind drivers to check their rear seats before walking away from their vehicles.
“GM’s Rear Seat Reminder feature is an initial step to use technology to help remind drivers to check the rear seat before exiting the vehicle under certain conditions,” says Jeff Boyer, vice president of GM Global Vehicle Safety. “We want to help everyone to take one simple, extra step. That’s why Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, and Cadillac will offer the Rear Seat Reminder on a broad range of vehicles, from small cars to full-size SUVs and everything in between.”
Thirty-nine children died from heatstroke this year as result of being left in vehicles or gaining access to an unattended vehicle, a 60% increase over last year’s figure.
Rear Seat Reminder debuted earlier this year on the all-new 2017 GMC Acadia. Models to offer the feature include those listed below as well as some 2018 vehicles models that will be announced at a later date:
The Rear Seat Reminder works by monitoring the vehicle’s rear doors. The feature is intended to activate when either rear door is opened and closed up to 10 minutes before the vehicle is started or while the vehicle is running. Once the system is activated, the vehicle is designed to sound five chimes and display a message in the driver information center that reads “Rear Seat Reminder / Look in Rear Seat” the next time the vehicle is turned off.
“This new technology developed by General Motors will give busy parents and caregivers the important reminder to always check the back seat,” says Kate Carr, president and CEO of Safe Kids Worldwide. “The safest way to protect a child from heatstroke is to never leave a child unattended in a vehicle, and features like Rear Seat Reminder, coupled with continued public education, can help combat this preventable tragedy.”
The feature cannot actually detect items in the back seat, so it is always important to check the rear seat prior to exiting the vehicle.
Source: General Motors Co.
Aurora, Ontario, Canada – Magna International Inc. has won multiple new seating programs from the BMW Group which will be supplied from a new, state-of-the-art seat manufacturing facility in Spartanburg County, South Carolina.
The company held a groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday at the site where construction has recently started on the 230,000ft2 facility. The event was attended by Magna and BMW Group leadership, as well as representatives from state and county government.
"This is a new chapter in the ongoing collaboration between Magna and the BMW Group, as it's our first seating business award with this valued global customer," says Mike Bisson, president of Magna Seating. "With this investment and job creation we are extremely pleased to join the growing automotive industry in South Carolina."
Magna's new seating plant is expected to be operational in June 2017 and could employ up to 480 people by 2020. The facility will feature dedicated assembly and sequencing lines to supply seats for various BMW models at the BMW Group's nearby assembly plant.
Magna has three manufacturing locations and employs approximately 1,450 people in South Carolina. The new seating facility will be Magna's fourth location in the state.
Source: Magna International