Demand For 8-Speed Prompts Chrysler To Stop Pre-Orders On 2012 Charger, 300: Report

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The 2012 Dodge Charger and 2012 Chrysler 300 offer fresh takes on familiar names, with more style per dollar than most, particularly in the V-6 models. Unfortunately for those looking to get one in the garage soon, the pre-order books appear to be closed--for now.

Demand for V-6 models equipped with the new 8-speed ZF automatic transmission is so high, Chrysler can't meet the demand, according to Allpar. That means the order books have been closed for a month as the factories catch up.  It's not yet clear if these are dealer, fleet, or individual orders.

The hold-up, presumably, is due to limitations in supply of the ZF gearbox. That gearbox is currently purchased from ZF, but Chrysler has already laid plans to build the unit itself. In fact, Chrysler may have foreseen the demand, having moved late last year to get the Kokomo Transmission Plant up to speed earlier than the previously-planned 2013 start date.

The 8-speed unit itself has already been superseded by ZF itself with a new 9-speed unit, but despite the paltry gear count, the 8-speed incorporates some of the latest technology in automatic transmission design, and is used by luxury marques including Audi and BMW in addition to Chrysler.


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Comments (5)
  1. I hope Chrysler may read from this demand more than pure snob, and that American customers are not only interested in big cars that can go fast from 0-60mph, burn tires or do the wheelies, but that they also welcome that part of performance that relates to reliability and and better gas mileage. The German ZF automatic transmission proved its worth when aboard a Ford GT-40 led the car to victories in various events in the sixties. On the other hand, 8 speed transmission has "better gas mileage" written all over the places...

  2. The new ZF 9-speed does *not* replace the 8-speed. The 9-speed is designed for front wheel drive cars only. Currently, all ZF 8-speeds are fitted to rear wheel drive cars. So unless ZF develop a 9-speed for RWD cars, 8-speed will be the best you can get.

  3. Be aware though Chrysler...this demand happened before with the first generation 300...don't overextend yourself and dig yourself into a hole. Always allow for a demand...

  4. Chrysler is assuming it's traditional position as the engineering pace setter in the industry. People (I'm one) are waiting for the 8 spped option on the Pentastar V-6. Thanks to some Fiat input people are returning to Chrysler products in droves and with good reason.

  5. I want to see the nine speed automatic (for FWD) put in the Chrysler/Dodge minivans. At 4500 pounds these are heavy vehicles that would profit the most from the nine speed. I would guess it would add gas mileage and would get that weight moving easier. It looks to me to be the best place to start with that nine speed automatic.

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