There is no denying that today's automatic transmissions can shift faster and deliver quicker acceleration than their manual counterparts. So much so that some automakers are starting to exclusively offer only automatics on their high-performance machines.
Chevrolet is the latest brand to give in to the benefits of an automatic gearbox. Remember when the bow-tie brand only offered a six-speed manual for the track-tuned Camaro ZL1 1LE? Well come February, Chevrolet will be offering a ten-speed automatic which they claim is faster than a traditional stick shift.
“This transmission is optimized for speed. With unique Track Mode calibrations and 10 gears, you are always in the perfect gear when rolling on or off the throttle. You may not be a professional race car driver, but now you can shift like one,” said Mark Dickens, Camaro Chief Engineer.
During development, Chevy engineers pushed the limits of the ten-speed automatic at General Motors' Milford Road Course. The result? The Camaro ZL1 1LE with a ten-speed auto was able to lap around the course more than one half second faster than a manual-equipped Camaro ZL1 1LE. This means drivers can take full advantage of the automatic transmissions on longer courses like the Nurburgring.
Besides meeting the requirements for fast gear shifts, the new ten-speed automatic for the ZL1 1LE also comes with unique gear calibrations, electronic limited-slip differential, and a performance-tuned traction management system.
With 650 horsepower along with 881 Nm of torque under the hood, one can bet that the ZL1 1LE with an automatic will dominate the tracks while also offering a more practical alternative to the manual transmission.
“Adding an automatic transmission is another example of the Camaro portfolio delivering what customers want. This ultimate 1LE is another appealing option that is true to its racing heritage,” said Steve Majoros, director of Chevrolet Passenger Car and Crossover Marketing.