Examining Ford’s 10-Speed Transmission
As a consistent innovator in the automotive field, it seems like every year there is a new technology or advancement coming from Ford. Given the market’s current premium on fuel economy and performance, as well as a shift toward transmissions with more gears, it only makes sense that Ford would push the envelope, regarding what a transmission could look like. So in 2017, after collaborating with GM, Ford released an F-150 with a 10-speed transmission, and the results were fantastic. Proving the skeptics and naysayers wrong, Ford’s 10-speed transmission is a work of engineering art; read on to find out more about Ford’s 10-speed transmission, and why you should want it in your next truck or Mustang.
First you may be asking, why a 10-speed transmission? People balked at the 6-speed automatic when it first came out, and the idea of 10 gears can seem like a bit of overkill. But then what options are available for improved fuel economy? For many, especially truck drivers, the idea of a CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) is a bit of a turn off. While a CVT with no set gears will get exceptional mileage, the feeling of connectivity to the engine and engine’s power will lack; the 10-speed transmission is the closest thing to a CVT without actually being one, and it will see major improvements in mileage as well as performance.
The 10-speed transmission from Ford is made up of steel and aluminum, making it substantially stronger, lighter, and more compact than its cast-iron predecessors. And despite the fact that there are an additional four gears as compared to a 6-speed transmission, it is only an inch longer. The new transmission is also powered by a new, specially designed lower viscosity transmission fluid called Mercon ULV, that is anticipated to last the entire life of the transmission. For those who are concerned that more moving parts means more potential maintenance, Ford has extensively tested its 10-speed transmission in the most gruelling locales known to man; from -40 weather in Alaska to arid desert climates, Ford has put this new transmission through its paces and then some.
Ford’s 10-speed transmission has highly sophisticated software that is constantly evaluating road conditions to ensure the perfect shift. There is a false idea that there is a learning curve for the driver, or for the transmission to know the driver’s tendencies. Ford’s 10-speed transmission is incredibly easy to drive from the second you get behind the wheel. A solid amount of low-end torque means that your vehicle will get moving quickly, without “hunting” for gears. This is the tendency for shifts to lag slightly as the transmission looks for the correct gear. The software that monitors road conditions will actually skip gears, meaning rather than run through the gears sequentially it will go from 1st, to 3rd, to 5th (although it will generally run through gears 7 through 10 sequentially). There are essentially only two times the gears will run in order, 1 through 10: the first way, is if you drive full throttle, accelerating as fast as possible from a standstill, or if you are running the egg test (for those unaware, this is when you place an egg under the accelerator, and press down without cracking the egg, slowly taking you from 1 to 10).
The 10-speed transmission will have a different effect, depending on what type of vehicle you are driving. For example, the 10-speed that will be on the 2018 Mustang, will allow for better acceleration, driveability, and fuel economy. It will be easier to drive in the city as well; for those that live in the country, or prefer a manual transmission, the 6-speed manual Mustang may still be the first choice. But it is unlikely that a 6-speed manual, even driven by the most skilled of drivers, can compete with the 10-speed automatic transmission. Where the 10-speed really shines though, is in towing. The 10-speed transmission has closer gear ratios, which results in smoother, more controlled towing. Another benefit of the close gear ratios is a very smooth, imperceptible downshifting, especially when driving downhill on a steep grade. The F-150 will also have a Tow/Haul mode, in which gears will be rev-matched for smooth transitions that will improve both the truck’s comfort and fuel efficiency when towing.
As you can see, Ford’s 10-speed transmission has exceptional range and capabilities, and provides numerous benefits. Whether it be more power, smoother operation, or better fuel efficiency, any Ford outfitted with the 10-speed transmission is immediately improved. Come by Team Ford and test drive an F-150 with this exceptional transmission today.