Originally Posted by Cummins12V98
"I thought you guys would like the extra two gears, especially the very low first gear"
To be honest if I could start in 2nd with my aISIN 4.10 combo I would. I have zero issues with the 6 speed trans as the shift points are spaced well. If they go to a 8 speed I am sure it will help some but I have no desire for more gears.
Now with my 01 RAM Sport 4 speed auto the 3-4 shift sucks!
I agree the number of required gears can be very subjective, and therefore will come down to marketing pressures. When newer Fords have a 10-speed, it may place trucks with 6 speed transmissions at too great of a disadvantage at time of purchase.
Some powertrain engineers have argued that there is too little to be gained by going beyond 8 speeds except for buyer perceptions. Unless towing 30,000 pound trailers, most drivers donít need additional overall gearing range, so it would go to waste. And if you add more gears and just place them closer together, the gaps can become so small that itís often better to skip gears when shifting.
From a fuel economy standpoint, modern engines are not as sensitive to RPM vs Torque selection, so do you gain much by going from 6 to 8 gears, or from 8 to 10? I think decisions of that type will be made based more on improving sales than on actual capabilities or fuel savings. However, marketing will spin it any way they have to.
Electrification of transmissions may also play a strong role in how many gears are optimum. Ford is rolling out a 10-speed hybrid transmission with an integrated motor that can assist the engine a lot. I suppose that with proper calibration it may drive very similar to an electric by making shifts almost unnoticeable.