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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Land Rover working on new 8-speed automatic transmission, refinements for fuel economy

Land Rover is set to unveil a newly-revised line of SUVs at the New York Auto Show in a couple of weeks, and we're expecting to see the latest version of Jaguar's excellent 5.0L all-aluminum V8 engine underhood, mated up with a 6-speed automatic transmission from supplier ZF. That powertrain combination should be a thorough improvement over the current 4.4L naturally-aspirated and 4.2L supercharged offerings, and we wouldn't be surprised to see at least a mild improvement in fuel efficiency along with the added power. According to Channel 4 in the UK, Land Rover is hard at work developing a new 8-speed automatic that should boost fuel economy by over 10 percent over the current 6-speed. Unfortunately, stop/start technology is reportedly still a few years away. Other fuel-saving modifications that are likely to make it to production in short order will include improved aerodynamics and low rolling-resistance tires. Land Rover is also expected to show off the latest version of its LRX concept in New York, which will reportedly be "the smallest, lightest, most efficient Range Rover ever." It's interesting that the LRX will be badged as a Range Rover, which is the firm's highest-end line of vehicles, so we'd expect it to be extremely well equipped and full of luxurious touches if it does indeed make it into production. (courtesy AutoGreen)

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