Automatic transmission builds bridge to electromobility for BMW

April 04, 2019 //By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Automatic transmission builds bridge to electromobility for BMW
ZF has received a major order from BMW for the production of an 8-speed automatic transmission. The value of the order is in the double-digit billion euro range. More important than the sensational sum are the technical details.

In principle, this transmission has been in production since 2009. However, ZF has now introduced an enhanced version. It is technically optimized for the integration of electric drives and can be used very flexibly. So flexible that BMW is prepared to pay an amount in the tens of billions over the multi-year contract period. This is, by the way, the largest single order ZF has ever received.

With this transmission, BMW can smoothly switch to different approaches for hybridizing the driveline according to demand without having to make any changes to the transmission. It also makes it possible to build purely conventional vehicles with combustion engines. "Thanks to the modular design with different starting elements, the new transmission generation can be used in all passenger car applications - in conventional as well as electrified ones," explained Michael Hankel, Member of the Board of Management at ZF responsible for Car Driveline Technology and Electric Mobility. The power spectrum for the electric part of the drive ranges from mild hybrids to plug-in hybrids with 204 hp. Both the electric motor and the associated power electronics can be integrated into the transmission - insiders are talking about a "plug-and-play" transmission for different vehicle classes. The transmission also offers a great deal of potential for the implementation of high-end vehicles in variants without any electric auxiliary drive: it is designed for a maximum engine output of 680 hp and a torque of 1000 Newton metres.

 

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