Nine-speed transmission for Range Rover Evoque

Land Rover debuts a new nine-speed automatic transmission in the Evoque at the Geneva motor show. Details and driving impressions here

The Range Rover Evoque is to receive a new nine-speed automatic gearbox developed in conjunction with ZF – and we’ve tried an early prototype.

The new gearbox replaces the six-speed auto. Improved fuel economy and reduced CO2 is promised, as is an adaptive shift system that Land Rover claims learns various driving styles.

Subscribe to evo magazine

Subscribe today to our exclusive new offer and SAVE 39% on the shop price, get evo for its original cover price of £3.00 an issue, plus get a FREE gift worth £20!

Unlike the eight-speed ZF automatic gearbox found in the BMW M135i, Jaguar F-type and XF, the new nine-speed gearbox is designed specifically for transverse engine configurations. A clever (and patented) duel dog clutch system replaces a conventional clutch pack, which combined with a new hydraulic pump and some tight packaging of the gear nests results in a 7.5kg weight saving over the six-speed auto. The new gearbox is just 6mm longer than the outgoing version.

While our prototype test drive was limited to a brief spin around Geneva accompanied by a Range Rover employee (no towing or off-roading, sadly), we can report that the system appears smooth, refined and controllable. The gearshifts are virtually imperceptible, and quick too.

Advertisement - Article continues below

The gearbox will in certain conditions skip gears. For instance the ratios will swap from 9th to 5th if required. If you are travelling too fast for a manual downshift, the gearbox will remember the request and shift down when appropriate and/or during kickdown.

We didn’t reach the giddy heights of 9th gear during our test drive, but Land Rover claims the highest ratio delivers lower revs and correspondingly better fuel consumption. The lowest ratio is lower than the previous six-speed auto, promising better towing and off road performance and control.

The last point summarises the new nine-speed automatic from ZF. Its primary purpose is to deliver better efficiency. Will it be enjoyable to use on the road, and will all those ratios prove to be an impediment to driver enjoyment? We’ll reserve judgement until a more thorough test drive.


Most Popular


BMW M5 F90 vs E28 M5, RS6, E500 and Lotus Carlton: supersaloons old vs new

From the first to the very latest, we take a dive into the history of the supersaloon with the 1985 BMW M5 E28 and other classics taking on today's mo…
4 Apr 2020
Honda NSX

Honda NSX review - enough to take on its European rivals?

Honda’s supercar is immensely capable and startlingly fast, but it’s easier to respect than it is to love
6 Apr 2020
Lamborghini Huracan

Lamborghini Huracán Performante gains twin turbochargers

US-based AMS Performance has fitted a pair of snails to the Lamborghini Huracán Performante
6 Apr 2020
Hyundai i30 N hatchback

Hyundai i30 Fastback N versus the Col de Turini

We take the Hyundai i30 Fastback N up the Col de Turini, a 31km stage of the Monte Carlo World Rally Championship
19 Jul 2019