It used to be when one talked about 10-speeds, you were either talking about semi-trucks or bicycles. But these days, any conversation regarding 10-speeds could also refer to the upcoming 2017 Camaro ZL1, which GM says should be the first “volume” production car to offer that many gears in an automatic transmission. More importantly, however, the automaker says that its 10-speed can outshift Porsche’s own dual-clutch transmissions, a major coup if true.
The 10-speed Hydra-Matic transmission will be offered as an option on the 2017 Camaro ZL1, meaning the six-speed manual should be offered alongside it as well. GM goes on to say that this new transmission builds on the legacy of the last generation’s 8-speed Hydra-Matic. The improvement in performance and efficiency are credit to the 10-speed’s wider 7.39 overall gear ratio spread, which GM says enhances off-the-line performance with an aggressive 4.70 first gear ratio.
GM says it spent hundreds of hours pairing the 10-speed’s shift performance with the power band of the ZL1’s supercharged LT4 engine, which has 640 horsepower and 640 lb-ft of torque, just 10 horse and lb-ft shy of the Corvette Z06. When compared to the Porsche PDK dual-clutch transmission, the General is claiming that its 1-2 shifts are up to 36 percent faster, while the 2-3 and 3-4 shifts are 27 percent and 26 percent faster, respectively.
Sure, we’re talking differences that can probably be measured in microseconds, but bragging rights are bragging rights, and you’ve got to give GM it’s due. The 2017 Camaro ZL1 should arrive at dealerships sometime this fall. In the meantime, we look forward to GM dribbling out more juicy details in the coming months.