Mercedes has just filed a patent for this new transmission.
Back in "the good old days," nothing could beat the satisfaction of pressing in the clutch pedal, engaging the next gear, then lifting off in a well-timed dance of sheer pleasure. Manual transmissions had their day, but have since been virtually replaced by automated manuals, and then dual-clutch transmissions. Despite the overall success of the dual-clutch, automakers have recently started to move away from them. Audi now offers an automatic in the new S5 and RS5, and BMW may be ditching the DCT in future M cars.
Mercedes has always played on the safe side when it comes to transmissions. Even the more powerful AMG models have used a normal automatic transmission rather than a dual-clutch (with the exception of the A45 and GLA45 models). The most recent automatic from Mercedes is the 9 G-Tronic, which replaces the old 7 G-Tronic. AutoGuide reports that Mercedes is now looking to bridge the gap between these two transmissions with a new eight-speed unit. The company has filed a patent for the "8 G-Tronic" for use on "automobiles and parts thereof." The patent was filed on August 10, and should be processed in the coming months.
It is unclear which models this eight-speed automatic would be used in. An eight-speed unit could be used in sportier applications where nine gears simply aren't necessary. Current AMG models either use the old seven-speed MCT transmission or a nine-speed MCT unit. MCT stands for multi-clutch transmission and it differs from the standard torque converter automatic in the 9 G-Tronic. The MCT uses a clutch pack that's controlled separately and uses a single input shaft. The MCT is currently used in the most sporty Mercedes AMG cars like the new E63, but we wouldn't be surprised if the company started to use this new 8 G-Tronic transmission on lesser models.
BMW and Audi have both decided to put regular automatics in their lower sport models, so we wouldn't be shocked if the new 45 models and possibly the C63 received this new eight-speed automatic. We'll have to wait and see, but it will be interesting to see what Mercedes wants to do with this new transmission.