IAB Report - GM confirms new 8-speed automatic transmission for select 2015 MY pickups and SUVs

20/07/2014 - 04:00 | ,  ,   | Shrawan Raja

GM has announced a new automatic transmission with 8 speeds as a standard feature in 2015 Chevrolet Silverado, GMC Sierra and GMC Yukon Denali/Yukon XL Denali. The new Hydra-Matic 8L90 8-speed is to be mated only with the 6.2 L EcoTec3 V-8 engine on these SUVs and pickups.

The 6.2 L EcoTec3 V-8 engine with 420 hp and 624 Nm torque offers a maximum trailer rating of 12,000 pounds (5,443.11 kg) based on SAE J2807 Recommended Practices.

2015 Chevrolet Silverado front three quarters
The new Silverado was showcased at the Los Angeles Auto Show last year with a 6-speed transmission.

In comparison, the best-selling Ford F-150 pickup comes with a 6-speed automatic transmission.

The Hydra-Matic 8L90 8-speed which is already announced for 2015 Corvette Z06 is almost the same size and weight of the existing Hydra-Matic 6L80 6-speed automatic but has a wider overall gear ratio of 7.0. This change provides higher first gear ratio for more confident start off with heavy load or while trailering, says GM. Despite being a single clutch unit, 8L90 promises quicker shifts compared to dual clutch transmissions.

GM becomes the second pickup truck manufacturer in the market next to the RAM 1500 for providing an 8-speed automatic transmission. Soon, Cadillac is also expected to announce a change in the Escalade’s transmission.

Other technical details and fuel economy estimated by EPA will be announced by the end of 2014 closer to the start of production.

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