Audi is yet to confirm the news but analysts at research firm CSM Worldwide have told Automotive News Europe that we’re likely to see the eight-speed ‘box in the A8 saloon, Q7 SUV and upcoming A7 four-door coupe from next year onwards.
ZF claims its new design improves fuel consumption by 14% compared with a standard five-speed automatic because of its longer gear ratio. Engineers have also improved the design to include compatibility with stop-start technology, allowing the close-geared system to shut the engine down when a vehicle comes to a stop and fire it back up and drive off at a moment’s notice.
Mercedes-Benz is yet to reveal if it will offer an eight-speed gearbox. The carmaker’s head of passenger car engines and powertrains, Leopold Mikulic, has told reporters Mercedes’ current seven-speed auto could be extended to eight gears but that the impact on fuel efficiency would be "limited."