Mercedes will introduce a new nine-speed automatic gearbox in the E-Class, and while it’ll go on sale in Europe in September it won’t be available in the UK until next year.
Called 9G-TRONIC, it replaces the old seven-speed 7G-TRONIC and offers improvements in efficiency and emissions. It arrives first paired with the E350 BlueTEC, where it drops CO2 from 157g/km to 138g/km. It also pushes fuel economy up from 47.1mpg to 53.2mpg.
There are benefits to refinement, too, with Mercedes claiming that when driving at 75mph, the engine is spinning at just 1,350rpm. It’s also lighter than the old seven-speed and takes up the same amount of room but it doesn’t bring any improvements to acceleration.
The new gearbox can handle up to 1,000Nm of torque, which means it’ll be able to be fitted in all of the most powerful Mercedes models. Currently the S65 and CL65 AMG are fitted with a five-speed auto rather than the 7G-TRONIC because it can’t handle their 1,000Nm torque figures.
In the E350 BlueTEC the addition of the nine-speed auto doesn’t add anything to the price of the old seven-speed. We’re expecting a gradual roll out of 9G-TRONIC across the range, with the S-Class Coupe – set to be unveiled in September – to get it from launch.