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

Nine-speed transmission for Range Rover Evoque

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 have every issue of evo delivered straight to you. You'll SAVE 39% on the shop price, and get evo for its original cover price for a whole year!

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.

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

Visit/ferrari/203127/ferrari-omologata-revealed-latest-bespoke-commission-a-v12-super-coupe
Ferrari

Ferrari Omologata revealed – latest bespoke commission a V12 super coupe

One-off Ferrari Omologata revealed with bespoke body 789bhp V12 engine
25 Sep 2020
Visit/bmw/m3-saloon/20529/all-new-bmw-m3-competition-revealed-an-icon-reborn
BMW M3 saloon

All-new BMW M3 Competition revealed – an icon reborn

This is the all-new BMW M3 Competition saloon which will join the M4 Competition coupe in BMW M’s new M3/4 family
23 Sep 2020
Visit/peugeot/508/22305/2020-peugeot-508-sport-engineered-unveiled-bmw-3-series-rival-turned-to-355bhp
Peugeot 508

2020 Peugeot 508 Sport Engineered unveiled – BMW 3-series rival turned to 355bhp

Peugeot’s first Sport Engineering model has finally been uncovered, the hot 508 featuring a range-topping hybrid powertrain
24 Sep 2020
Visit/hyundai/202950/updated-hyundai-i30-n-revealed-with-optional-dual-clutch-box
Hyundai i30 N

Updated Hyundai i30 N revealed with optional dual-clutch ‘box

It was the hot hatch that upset the status quo, and now the i30 N is back with more power and tech
24 Sep 2020