This week, Mercedes-Benz revealed details on a new nine-speed automatic transmission it’s just introduced in its E-Class sedan and wagon overseas. Called the 9G-TRONIC, the new transmission has been developed in-house and is said to boost fuel economy while also improving drivetrain smoothness.

Unfortunately, shoppers in the U.S. may have to wait at least a year for the advanced cog-swapper to be available.

Citing a company insider, Edmunds is reporting that the 9G-TRONIC transmission will make its U.S. debut in the 2015 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class, which doesn't go on sale until the fall of 2014. The insider also said the transmission will launch in one CLS variant before slowly rolling out across the line, replacing the seven-speed unit currently in use.

The good news is that Mercedes-Benz is offering the transmission as standard equipment on the cars it’s already been announced for and the automaker has also confirmed that the transmission will be fitted to most its cars in the coming years. It has been designed for both rear- and all-wheel-drive applications and is capable of handling hybrid and plug-in hybrid systems. 

Numerous other automakers are looking to additional gear ratios to eke out further savings in fuel consumption. Transmission specialist ZF has already announced a nine-speed automatic that will debut in the Range Rover Evoque and will soon be added to some Chrysler products, and Ford and General Motors have announced plans to develop new nine- and ten-speed automatic transmissions together.


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