Upping the ante in the great automatic-transmission gear-off, the 2014 Land Rover Evoque will offer a new 9-speed autoshifter that's getting its public reveal at the Geneva Auto Show. Developed by renowned transmission specialist ZF with Land Rover as its lead partner, this new ZF 9HP unit was specifically designed for use with transversely-mounted engine applications. Land Rover claims it will be the first automaker to offer a 9-speed automatic in a passenger car and that this new electronically controlled transmission will yield tangible benefits across the entire performance spectrum compared to the current 6-speed. Barely a quarter-inch longer than the unit it replaces, the new 9HF is an impressive 16.5 pounds lighter.

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With its lower 1st gear and taller top cog, the new 9HP transmission boasts a broader ratio spread that will allow the 2014 Evoque to perform with greater confidence during more challenging off-road, towing and steep-gradient conditions while delivering significantly enhanced fuel economy and C02 numbers when operating in cruise mode. The narrower gear splits coupled with a new multi-stage damper system in the torque converter ensure quicker response and more refined shifts, which ZF claims fall "below the threshold of perception." As a final touch, the 9HF's adaptive shift system also incorporates control logic that learns and responds to a driver's unique style, tailoring its operation to enhance the overall user experience.

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No word yet as to how the arrival of this new 9-speed automatic transmission will impact the 2014 Land Rover Evoque's EPA numbers or sticker price.


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