According to a Bloomberg News report, Hyundai Motor Group president Park Seong Hyon said that 10-speed automatic transmissions will become available in the group’s luxury models from 2014.
Only a few years ago, six-speed automatic gearboxes were available only in top-of-the-line cars. Then the gear count started to increase gradually: first at seven, which seemed like a novelty, and quite recently at eight, which most luxury carmakers rushed to adopt.
Even though it seems like overkill, the reason for the increasing gear count is simple: CAFE, or Corporate Average Fuel Economy, regulations are becoming stricter every year. Downsizing engines is one solution to the problem, but it can only go so far, especially in large luxury models.
Therefore, automakers employed another way to achieve low average consumption and CO2 emissions: gearboxes with as many gears as possible, with the top sets having a very long ratio. Porsche has even gone as far as introducing the world’s first seven-speed manual gearbox in the new 911, borrowing many components from the dual-clutch PDK semi-automatic.