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GM's New 10-Speed Auto - Convince me it is good.


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John Goreham
Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com

The expectation is that with every additional new item on any performance vehicle the new part is great. The new Chevy 10-speed automatic transmission may well be, but having had some time in a ZL1 Camaro, the first car it will be used in, I want to know why.


On paper, it sure sounds good. "Faster shifting than a Porsche PDK." That sounds like a good thing for sure. Chevy says, "Testing has shown faster upshift times than the Porsche PDK dual-clutch transmission. In fact, the 1-2 upshift is 36-percent quicker than the PDK, while the 2-3 and 3-4 upshifts are 27-percent and 26-percent quicker, respectively." Hard to argue that a faster shift in a sports car isn't a great thing, particularly on the way up the gears.


Same size as the outgoing eight-speed trans. Another GM quote says, "Creative packaging solutions, which had to accommodate another clutch in comparison to the eight-speed, allow the 10-speed to be the approximate size of Camaro’s other eight-speed transmission." Hey, with a wider gear spread and a better highway gear for more fuel efficiency, why not?


On the other hand...Why do I care about the highway fuel efficiency of my track-ready Camaro ZL1? Sure, I want the faster up-shifts, but couldn't that have been achieved with the same 8-speed? Here's my problem with a 10-speed auto in an ultra-high performance car. I don't want more gears. I cannot understand what to do with 10 gears in a supercharged car with insane torque and 640 hp. I have driven the ZL1 at media track days on multiple occasions. The track is considered long. On that track I never-ever use any gear above 4 in any Chevy performance car, be it a Corvette, Camaro ZL1 or Z28, or CTS-V. So on the track, the added six gears are useless to me.


Around the track are the best mountain roads in the Northeast. They have an incredible speed limit of 55 MPH (show me a higher speed limit on any non-highway road East of the Mississippi). These are not highways, but one lane in each direction rural roads with sharp turns, long sweepers, and awesome elevation changes. On these roads, I love to use the paddle shifters to control the torque and put the car in the gear I want. I don't need more than three gears here, but I might use as many as four. Again, why do I need 10? I asked Chevy by e-mail if there is a lock-out like Lexus uses on its performance vehicles that locks out the trans above a certain gear. The point of that is to negate having to downshift from 10 to 3 if you want to control the shifts using the paddles. "No" was the answer.


Chevy says it will put this rear-drive style trans into more vehicles in two years. That means your truck. Tell me why a truck with 10 gears is better than one with six. Then tell me why a CVT isn't better than 10. I'm a person with an open mind.







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interesting stuff.

I could stay 5 speed forever in a truck..but I am past tense anyway.



The first gear ratio is 4.70:1, up from 4.56 in the previous-generation eight-speed. Second gear is at 2.99:1 (up from 2.97), third at 2.15 (vs 2.08), fourth at 1.80 (vs 1.69), fifth at 1.52 (vs 1.27), sixth at 1.28 (vs 1.0), seventh at 1.00 (vs 0.85), eighth at 0.85 (vs 0.65), ninth at 0.69, and tenth at 0.64. For spin doctors who love to flip their cars out of a reverse burnout, the reverse gear is at a happy 4.87:1.


keeping an rpm band narrow..and supercharged maxxed. Makes sense to me.


eluding the crazy fluid fails to more gears may be a bonus too.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Chevy says it will put this rear-drive style trans into more vehicles in two years. That means your truck. Tell me why a truck with 10 gears is better than one with six. Then tell me why a CVT isn't better than 10. I'm a person with an open mind.


The six speed in my truck is absolutely horrible. They would have to actively try to make it worse.

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Gm's strongest transmission was their 4 speeds they seem to be getting weaker the more gears they add.


Only time will tell though...

You got that right! Dang they were invincible bro! I have just been dicked around ever since....................

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