In its quest for improved fuel economy, Ford has adopted a strategy of replacing its aging transmission designs with more efficient ones. The Blue Oval confirmed today that it would double the number of models equipped with its more fuel-efficient six-speed automatic transmission by the end of next year. By 2012, Ford expects 98% of its North American line-up will have the new gearbox, Reuters reports.
Ford has stated the six-speed auto offer 4 to 6% better fuel economy than the older four- and five-speed automatics. The new gearbox, dubbed 6F35, will debut in the 2009-model Ford Escape and Mercury Mariner (pictured) crossovers and will also appear in several Mazda models.
Beyond the new automatics, Ford will also add its dual-clutch Powershift transmission to a number of North American models with the first cars to be equipped with the fuel-saving gearbox due next year. Powershift has already shown to improve fuel-economy by 10% in the European Focus range and similar savings are expected for American models.