Evoque introduces first nine-speed 'box

Land Rover has announced that it’ll use the Evoque to debut ZF’s new nine-speed transmission, known as the 9HP. It’ll replace the six-speed automatic that was previously available as an option on most Evoque models.

Nine ratios - the more the merrier?
Nine ratios - the more the merrier?
The 9HP will feature a plethora of technological wizardry which, Land Rover says, will improve the automatic version of the Evoque considerably. More gears, it says, mean smaller steps between the ratios, resulting in improved response – ZF claims that the new gearbox’s changes are “below the threshold of perception” – as well as shift quality and refinement. There’s also a higher top gear that reduces fuel consumption as well as noise.

Nevertheless, Land Rover says that the 9HP is “extremely robust”, and as such that it “perfectly complements Land Rover’s rugged all-terrain ability”. As you’d expect, it’s also being touted as offering a “significant improvement in fuel economy and a corresponsding reduction in CO2 emissions.”

All of which sounds just marvellous. But there is of course, just one issue we have with it. And we reckon you’ve probably guessed what it is by now. Nine ratios? Really? Seven seemed quite a few when Mercedes debuted the 7G-Tronic back in 2003; eight seemed a little excessive with ZF’s last effort, as good as it is. Nine... well, it could be a case of 'the more, the merrier', and the proof of the pudding will be in the eating, but we can’t help but wonder where it’ll stop. Will we end up with a 20-speed by 2020?

P.H. O'meter

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