Mercedes-Benz is rolling out their new nine speed gearbox in the Mercedes-Benz E 350 BlueTec. Although debuting in the E 350, Mercedes have confirmed the gearbox’s design is suitable for rear-wheel and all-wheel drives as well as hybrid and plug-in hybrid drive systems and will be used in almost all model series and engines in the coming years. It seems only a matter of time then, that the gearbox will make it’s appearance in the Mercedes-Benz E 300 BlueTec Hybrid.
The 9G-TRONIC’s nine gears makes for an almost electric-car driving style with barely perceptible gear changes at low revs, allowing for a relaxed drive. However, should a little sportiness be desired, gear change shift and reaction times have been shortened from it’s predecessor, tightening up responsiveness of the drive and holding gears longer.
Despite the addition of two more gears over its seven speed predecessor, the 9G-TRONIC is about the same physical size and Mercedes-Benz engineers have actually succeeded in making the new box weigh even less than before.
Together with the extended gear ratio spread, higher speeds can now be driven at lower engine speeds for even greater comfort. In reality this translates into being able to drive at 75mph (120 km/h) in 9th gear with an engine speed of around only 1350 rpm (in the E 350 BlueTec).
With three speed sensors constantly monitoring, it is even possible for the gearbox to skip either up or down a gear when accelerating or decelerating, if needed.
As a result of this new gearbox, the Mercedes-Benz E 350 BlueTec has improved NEDC fuel consumption of 53.3 mpg (5.3 L/100km) and the estate version 51.3mpg ( 5.5 l/100 km), corresponding to CO2 emissions of 138 g/km (Estate: 144 g/km) – all of which is an improvement over it’s predecessor.
We’re looking forward to seeing the result of mating this gearbox to Mercedes’s hybrid system and seeing what improvements it may offer.