Kia Motors has introduced its first advanced Front-Wheel-Drive (FWD) 8-speed automatic gearbox (8AT) for its cars. The new advanced FWD 8AT has been developed in-house by the South Korean automaker which offers a high level of mechanical efficiency and smoother gear shifts.
The new 8AT has the same size as the 6-speed AT and weighs 3.5kg less. Engineers of Kia have the experience of developing the 8AT for the rear wheel drive axle. The technology of an 8AT is a challenge since the gearbox has been placed transversely, competing with the suspension, engine and auxiliary components for space under the hood.
Kia has been working on the development of the FWD 8AT from 2012 which led to patenting 143 new technologies. The new automatic gearbox enables greater fuel efficiency, more decisive acceleration at higher speeds than a gearbox with lesser gears and better NVH reduction.
To achieve a better fuel efficiency, Kia Motors' engineers reduced the size of the oil pump significantly and a simplified structure of the valve body. Since the oil pump size was reduced, the FWD 8AT is able to use hydraulic oil efficiently and distributing the oil evenly throughout the unit at all times.
Kia will feature the new FWD 8AT in the 2017 Kia Cadenza, which will go on sale later this year. The FWD 8AT will be a standard fitment on Cadenza models which is powered by the 3.3-litre V6 GDI engine. In the future, Kia will feature the new technology on many of the mid-size and larger FWD models and will be the base for future development of advanced gearbox.
Watch the video of Kia's FWD 8AT.