Just as it’s introduced in the V-6 Chargers and 300s for 2012, Chrysler’s new ZF-sourced eight-speed automatic transmission is set to spread through Jeep’s Grand Cherokee lineup, according to a report from the Brits at Autocar. The new ZF-sourced eight-speed recently made its debut on 2012 Pentastar V-6-equipped Chrysler 300s and Dodge Chargers.
According to Autocar, the current Mercedes-Benz-sourced five-speed auto will be replaced by the ZF eight-speed auto in both V-6 and V-8 applications. Jeep Europe chief Joe Veltri allegedly confirmed that the new transmission could handle the torque from all engines in the Grand Cherokee’s lineup, including the Euro-only 237-hp 3.0-liter diesel V-6 with 406 lb-ft of torque.
Jeep CEO Mike Manley allegedly also disclosed to Autocar that the new ZF transmission is compatible with a hybrid drivetrain. Manley also confirmed to them that Jeep would bring a Wrangler-based all-electric vehicle to the marketplace by 2012.
This all sounded a bit fishy to us so we contacted high-ranking sources inside Jeep who said they were shocked (no pun intended) that Manley would confirm to Autocar that a Jeep EV would go into production next year. Our sources even went so far as to tell us that there were no plans for an electric Jeep in the foreseeable future.
As for the hybrid Jeep rumor, our source says that Jeep is also looking at fuel efficient technologies, but that a Jeep hybrid isn’t currently in the pipeline.
The only Autocar rumor to hold any salt was on the eight-speed automatic transmission. Our sources at Jeep confirmed that the Grand Cherokee would in fact get the ZF automatic next year. Throughout Chrysler, the eight-speed auto was first introduced on Pentastar V-6 models (as it has on 2012 300s and Chargers), before it will spread to the Hemi V-8s-powered cars.