General Motors is hard at work developing eight-speed transmissions for both transverse (front-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive) and longitudinal (rear-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive) applications, which will ensure the brand’s competitiveness with others in terms of both performance and fuel economy.

One of the cars to benefit from eight forward speeds is the 2014 Corvette, which will likely have a choice of six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic transaxles. As Motor Trend reports, however, timing to market could determine which eight-speed automatic the Corvette is launched with.

The longitudinal transmission being developed by GM is still in the development stage, and likely won’t be ready by the time the new Corvette hits the market in 2013. To ensure that the Corvette’s launch isn’t delayed, GM has reportedly struck a short-term supply agreement with Aisin to supply gearboxes for several models.

The range is expected to include the C7 Corvette, as well as Cadillac’s ATS and CTS models. Word is that GM will take delivery of the Aisin transmissions for one year, before switching over to its own range of longitudinal gearboxes.

Aisin, which is partially owned by Toyota, currently has two eight-speed transmissions in its product line, including one meant to stand up to the kind of torque the C7 Corvette (and Cadillac CTS-V) will be capable of dishing out.

As for the GM-developed transverse eight-speed gearbox, look for it to debut in the new Chevrolet Impala, with other applications including the Cadillac XTS and the Buick LaCrosse.