Automatic Shifting with ZF-PowerLine

NORTHVILLE, Mich. At the Work Truck Show 2009, ZF presents its new automatic transmission for light commercial vehicles up to 33,000 pounds: the ZF-PowerLine 6-speed powershift transmission. ZF-PowerLine is designed for heavy-duty pickup, medium-duty trucks, motorhome, delivery-van and school-bus applications, and it handles torque levels of 700 and 800 lbs-ft. In addition, it is equally suitable for use with diesel and gasoline engines, closing the gap between ZF™s powershift transmissions for passenger cars and medium/heavy commercial vehicles.

For drivers, the new transmission provides more driving comfort and increased fuel economy. As gear changes are performed automatically, drivers can focus on the road a particular advantage for metropolitan delivery drivers.

Compared with similar powershift transmissions for light commercial vehicles, the ZF-PowerLine is considerably more economical. This is achieved by an innovative torque converter that allows for early closing of the converter lock-up clutch, improving fuel economy. Furthermore, ZF has designed the new transmission for long-term reliability with low maintenance in mind.

Vehicle manufacturers benefit from the transmission being easy to install and integrate into the vehicle. It weighs around 300 pounds (dry) and has a length of approximately 25.5 inches. Both the hydraulic control unit and sensors are integrated into the transmission so the complex and often error-prone fitting of wiring and hoses becomes streamlined.

“In many markets such as the United States, powershift transmissions are well-established for light commercial vehicles, explains Dr. Ulrich Diller, member of the ZF Board of Management, Commercial Vehicle and Special Driveline Technology division and manager of the Pickup/Van Driveline Technology strategic business unit. For pickup trucks, school buses and medium duty trucks, the ZF-PowerLine is an attractive and economical driveline solution.

Production is expected to begin in 2010.

ZF is a leading worldwide supplier of driveline and chassis technology, with approximately 64,000 employees at 119 locations in 25 countries and total sales of $16.3 billion in 2008.

ZF operates an extensive manufacturing network in North America, combined with global research and development capabilities, to provide advanced technology to the NAFTA region. The ZF Group North American Operations Headquarters and Technical Center is located in Northville, Mich., USA.

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