We have heard some rumblings from sources over the past few months about the 2020 Ram HD getting an 8 speed automatic transmission from an unknown supplier and even mentioned it in our everything we know about the 2020 Ram HD article. We have since heard the 2 contenders were ZF and Aisin. ZF currently supplies 8 speed automatic transmissions used in many FCA products while Aisin supplies the 6 speed automatic in the current Ram 3500 with the HO Cummins diesel. In fact in this article published back in April of the first fully camoed Ram HD seen testing we said: “The biggest news is powertrains. Our inside sources say that Ram has been working hard both ZF and Aisin to develop new transmissions for the truck. It looks like Ram is trying to develop a new 8-Speed Automatic transmission for the 5th generation Ram HD models to help improve towing and fuel economy.” Our spy photographer also said that the truck sounded like it had more than 6 speeds due to the amount of upshifts he heard as it was driving away.
Over the past week a few of our sources have sent us links to this article on the new ZF Powerline 8 speed automatic transmission. The transmission is aimed at class 5-8 medium to heavy duty trucks as well as HD pickups. Considering FCA’s working relationship with ZF I would be willing to bet this is the transmission that we will be seeing in the 2020 Ram HD. We are also hearing that the 6 speed Aisin transmission might be sticking around in 3500s set up for max tow duty.
Some benefits of the new ZF Powerline transmission include:
- Lightweight at 330lbs
- Ability to handle up to 1,000ft lbs of torque ( we know that Ram will be close to that with the new Cummins)
- Multi skip shift ability
- Reduced noise and vibration
- Extended service intervals
- Adaptive starting gear based on grade and load
- “Rock control” Which allows you to rock between forward and reverse gears if stuck in snow or mud without risking damage to the transmission
- Up to 10% better fuel economy than a comparable 6 speed auto
Our forum member, ichime also found this video posted on June 18th of the new ZF powerline transmission being tested in a current gen Ram HD.
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