How many gears does your automatic car need?
Carmakers are always trying to improve their vehicles and enticing buyers with new, innovative features that will increase their driving enjoyment. One of the ways that car manufacturers are trying to improve their offering is through increasing the number of gears in automatic transmissions.
With automatic vehicles commonly having around five speeds, although luxury models have increased the number, it seems excessive that the latest cars are coming out having up to ten gears. So why is there a sudden increase? Should the number of gears come into consideration when purchasing a car?
The benefits of more gears
Having more gears does bring a surprising number of advantages such as;
1. Increased acceleration
You can improve your 0-60 mph statistics and feel the speed as you pull away by having more gears in your automatic transmission. While changing gears means spending time not accelerating, the gear ratios offered with a greater number of gears offers a higher wheel torque which can mean an improved acceleration at certain speeds.
2. Higher speeds
Vehicles which have increased the speeds to double digits are noticing an improved top speed performance. The higher gears are designed for quicker performance thanks to the wheel torque, so with more gears can come increased speeds, and what’s more, it becomes more enjoyable and easier to drive at higher speed too.
3. Fuel efficiency
To use the fuel most economically in your vehicle, you want your car to be doing a steady speed with the lowest number of revolution per minute. With ten-speed transmissions, carmakers are noticing a spin loss and lower top gear ratio, which helps to increase the efficiency and make the car more economical.
One of the main concerns of increasing the number of gears is that it may lead to lower reliability and could suffer more breakdowns. In many tests completed by carmakers, there has been no sign of reduced reliability as the higher number of gears, gives a greater variety of all driving scenarios, which reduces the strain some gear changes may have previously experienced.
5. Off-road capability
With lower gear ratios offered with an increased number of gears, it makes the car more adaptable. This adaptability makes vehicles much better equipped for handling all manner of driving situations such as off-roading. With a low crawl speed, it makes tackling difficult terrain much easier to deal with.
While automatic transmissions are becoming smoother and more enjoyable to drive, for a better performance and increased range of versatility, automatic transmission with a higher number of gears may be the choice for you.