Chevrolet Malibu to Debut Nine-Speed Automatic in 2017

2016 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid

The folks at GM Inside News have learned the 2017 Chevrolet Malibu will be GM’s first to use a nine-speed automatic transmission jointly developed by GM and Ford.

Initially, at least, the new gearbox’s availability will be limited to the top-trim Premier model — in which it will replace an eight-speed used currently — while lesser trims will carry on with a six-speed auto.

Nine-speed Malibus will also get a taller (lower) final drive ratio relative to the outgoing eight-speed cars (it will drop to 2.89:1 from 3.08), so we expect this car will be a very relaxed highway cruiser.

Truth be told, nine speeds sound like old news now, given GM and Ford recently unveiled a 10-speed the companies co-engineered (used in the Camaro and F-150); Hyundai has been rumoured to have a 10-speed up its sleeve since 2011, but it hasn’t yet been announced for a production model.

Chrysler, Acura and Land Rover have been selling a nine-speed, built by Germany’s ZF, for more than two years.

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Chris Chase

Chris Chase

As a child, Chris spent much of his time playing with toy cars in his parents’ basement; when his mother would tell him to go play outside, he made car sounds while riding his bicycle or dug roads for his toys in the flower garden. Now he gets to indulge his obsession playing with real cars that make their own cool noises, and gets paid for it.