Top Innovations 2009 BMW 760Li E66 ZF 8HP Transmission
The dual-clutch was the technology that killed the flabby old torque converter auto, right? Not so fast, hoss. Zahnradfabrik Friedrichshafen, or ZF to most of us, had other ideas. The company that was originally formed to produce gear wheels for Zeppelins developed a compact eight-speed transmission with four planetary gearsets, three clutches and two brakes that could shift gears in as little as 200 milliseconds with a beautifully oiled slickness that suddenly made DCTs seem clunky.
- WHEN 2009
- MODEL BMW 760Li E66
- TYPE ZF 8HP Transmission
Compatible with rear- or all-wheel drive layouts with torque outputs from 220Nm to 1044Nm, the ZF 8HP even prompted some manufacturers like Audi and BMW (with RS5 and M5 respectively) to ditch DCT installations and return to automatics. The added length of a torque converter has proven prohibitive in high performance mid-engined applications, but otherwise the ZF 8HP is the transmission that demonstrated that when it comes to shift quality, the auto remains king.