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January 2020

The Logic Behind a 10-Speed Transmission

The Logic Behind a 10-Speed Transmission - Gearstar Performance

There are six, seven, and eight speeds transmissions, which may already seem like a lot to meet any car’s enthusiast need for speed and great performance. Which is why many have wondered if a 10-speed transmission isn’t too much or going overboard.

Others have opined that a 10-speed gearbox only complicates things, and is just manufacturers’ goal to satisfy consumers’ need for newer designs. Even if that’s the case, the logic behind a 10-speed transmission makes it a good innovation due to the numerous benefits this transmission offers over others out there.

Therefore, before you conclude and wonder if it’s worth it, we’ll show you what brought about its advent in the first place.


What Is a 10-Speed Transmission?

General Motors and Ford Motor Company made the 10-speed transmission as a result of a collaboration between the duo. The agreement was for each company to design a unique version of the 10-speed transmission and a transverse 9-speed trans-axle, in their own factories.

Therefore, it is safe to say that the 10-speed transmission was designed by Ford, whereas GM designed the 9-speed transmission. The 10-speed transmission was launched in 2018, and there were plans to adopt it in a number of GM and Ford products. It was also designed for rear-wheel-drive-based applications, which is why it is not so common in smaller SUVs.

Rather, the latter has been revamped with a nine-speed transmission to offer great performance. On the other hand, the 10-speed transmission does not translate into a bulky size since it has more gears, hence it can fit into the same space as GM’s six- and eight-speed units.


The Logic Behind a 10-Speed Transmission

So, what is the purpose of a 10-speed transmission? The logic behind a 10-speed transmission can be fully understood by making reference to continuously variable transmissions (CVTs). CVTs, which were and still are a car enthusiast’s least favorite transmission offer something worth noting.

For starters, they are the most efficient type of gearbox due to a number of reasons. CVTs do not have fixed gear ratios, but they change their ratio constantly, in a bid to keep the engine at its ideal operating speed at any point in time.

In line with that, CVTs allow the car to drone at a constant RPM when accelerating, which makes for great efficiency and performance. While these two are what performance or luxury cars need, it would still make no sense installing a CVT in these automobiles.

Rather, car manufacturers chose to give automatics the best of both worlds by adding more gears to their ride. This enhancement offers efficiency and performance to match that offered by CVT.

A real-life scenario is where the Lexus LC 500 reached 29 MPG on a 400-mile highway trip. It is quite remarkable given that this is a car featuring a 471-hp 5.0-liter V8.


What Cars Have a 10-Speed Transmission?

Different models of cars from General Motors feature a 10-speed transmission. Some cars that have a 10-speed transmission include Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 and Ford F-150 Raptor. Others include:

    • Tahoe RST
    • Suburban RST
    • Yukon Denali
    • Cadillac Escalade

What was evident, is the launch of this transmission on high-horsepower engines. An instance is the case of large SUVs that featured a 420-horsepower 6.2-liter V8.


Features of the 10-Speed Transmission

Some features of the 10-speed transmission include:


1. Creative Packaging

As already stated, the 10-speed transmission is not bulky but it has maintained a similar size to the six- and eight-speed transmissions. For this reason, it minimizes changes to vehicle interfaces.


2. GM-developed Controller

This transmission took advantage of an all-new, control system developed by General Motors. The system featured performance calibrations that were optimized specifically for different vehicles.


3. Quicker Shifts

Compared to a dual-clutch transmission, you get quicker shifts with the use of a 10-speed transmission, which should not come as a surprise. Tests have also shown that this transmission can offer faster upshift times than the Porsche PDK dual-clutch transmission.

If you like numbers, then it’s worth noting that you get a 36-percent quicker 1-2 upshift compared to the PDK. The 2-3 and 3-4 upshifts are 27% and 26% quicker, respectively.


4. Reduced Spin Losses

GM 10 speed transmission features two non-applied clutches, which is the same as the eight-speed transmission. Much more, it uses a new ultra-low viscosity transmission fluid, which helps to reduce friction.

And its internal thermal bypass enables the transmission to warm up faster and as a result, fuel efficiency is enhanced. Also, some transmission issues have been averted since this transmission has lower friction that makes for a greater fuel economy.

It is even better than what was evident in GM’s six- and eight-speed automatics. Therefore, the Ford 10 speed transmission reliability could be said to be better than that of its predecessors.


5. Gear Ratios

The gear ratios of the 10-speed transmission are:

    • First: 4.70
    • Second: 2.99
    • Third: 2.15
    • Fourth: 1.80
    • Fifth: 1.52
    • Sixth: 1.28
    • Seventh: 1.00
    • Eighth: 0.85
    • Ninth: 0.69
    • Tenth: 0.64
    • Reverse: 4.87


6. Design

A closer look at the 10-speed transmission shows that it features four simple gearsets and six clutches instead of the five that is on the 8-speed transmission – the clutches are two brake clutches and four rotating clutches.

One more clutch and forward gears go a long way to improve spin losses to enhance fuel efficiency. Over and above that, the 10-speed features a variable-displacement vane pump.

The role of this pump it to optimize transmission fluid pressure, depending on the speed and load, to enhance efficiency. A unique triple-clutch assembly in the middle of the 10-speed’s architecture is a primary enabler for packaging 10-speed content in the same space as GM’s six- and eight-speed transmissions.


7. Torque Converter

The torque converter of this transmission is 260mm in diameter. It comes with a lock-up clutch and an electronically controlled capacity clutch (ECCC) technology. The ECCC uses a small amount of slip to dampen out engine pulses in a bid to offer smoother running drivetrain, especially during shifting.


The Bottom Line

The logic behind the 10-speed transmission is quite unique, and it created a transmission that offers several benefits over six-speed and eight-speed transmission from General Motors. This new transmission offers great efficiency, and performance, while also optimizing fuel economy. Therefore, if you’re looking for a transmission to upgrade to, you should be looking at one of the latest out there.

Why More Turbo Boost Doesn’t Always Mean More Power

Why More Turbo Boost Doesn't Always Mean More Power - Gearstar Performance Transmissions

Did you know that more turbo boost does not always translate into more power? If you didn’t, we’re going to give you some reasons why that is and what could really impact the horsepower you’re hoping to get.

Car enthusiasts want to upgrade their vehicle to move speedily, however, the popular opinion that a turbocharger can achieve this quest may not hold in certain cases. It does not change the fact that greater turbo boost pressure helps the engine to make more power even though more boost does not always mean more power.

The latter can be tied to the fact that a lot of factors also go into making your ride a speedy one. And that being said, we’ll go ahead and show you when things may change in certain cases.


What Is Turbo Boost?

Turbochargers are air compressors that function the same way as superchargers. These compressors shove more air into the engine than what the piston would’ve been able to ingest on its own, and this air is stacked up in the intake manifold thereby creating pressure.

The pressure is referred to as boost and expressed in pounds per square inch (PSI). A turbocharger may be able to move enough air than the engine can use even at low pressures thereby causing an instant boost that impacts power.

The greater the turbo boost pressure, the greater the engine power. Besides, boosting an engine using a turbocharger does not only help to increase the engine’s horsepower but also its torque.


What Causes a Change in Power?

Imagine if you have two turbocharged cars featuring the same type of engine with the same displacement. These two vehicles are able to achieve a 20 psi of boost, however, one of them provides more power than the other.

This would be quite surprising even though it is entirely possible. But here’s why what’s described above may be the case:

1. The Temperature of Ingoing Air

Based on the scenario described for the vehicles above, they may not provide the same power despite a similar boost in their pressures. A major factor that also contributes to the power output is the temperature of the air entering the engine.

For instance, if one of the cars has a smaller, less efficient turbocharger, it will tend to work harder and spin even faster in a bid to attain the 20 psi of boost. The fact that the turbocharger is spinning fast causes the air to heat up more, and therefore, be less dense.

It can be said that the turbocharger is working against itself since its fast spinning causes the air to heat too much. When the air is less dense, it means that enough oxygen is not entering the engine which could’ve resulted in more fuel being burnt and increased power output. You should also note the following:

a. Compressed Air

Compressing air may also cause the air to heat up. As a result, the oxygen’s density is reduced while the odds of detonation in the cylinder is increased. That being the case, you may not get more horsepower despite the same displacements of both vehicles.

b. Adiabatic Efficiency

Adiabatic efficiency (AE) determines how well a turbocharger compresses air without leading to excessive generation of heat. In this case, the compressor’s AE range is determined by the ratio of pressure it produces to the amount of air it can flow. Also, compressors have a “sweet spot” where they can perform at maximum efficiency.

2. Absence of Intercooler

One may argue that both cars have the same turbocharger which should’ve resulted in the same power output. Nonetheless, another factor that can cause a difference in power output is an intercooler.

If the car lacks an intercooler, it means the turbocharged air is not cooled before it enters the engine. Compared to a vehicle that has this component, the air is hotter and lacks more oxygen. Therefore, a limitation of this nature can also make a difference in the power output.

3. Larger Intake Ports

When it comes to the use of superchargers, more power with less boost can be achieved by using larger intake ports. What this does, is to restrict the airflow which causes more air to enter the cylinders. Accordingly, the restriction to airflow at a high rpm can cause more air to be moved thereby helping the engine to produce more power.

4. Faulty Turbocharger

Turbochargers pressurize air before it enters the engine, which helps to create boost pressure. However, a faulty turbo may cause your engine to slow down and as such, you need to look out for these symptoms to tell if yours need to be checked. Some of these signs include loss of normal boost pressure and power, increased oil consumption, turbo noise, excessive exhaust smoking, etc.


Is Airflow More Important Than Boost?

After going through the reasons outlined above, you’ll agree that it centers more on airflow. Thus, more focus should be given to the airflow and you’ll be able to achieve the power you need. For instance, using high boost pressures only as compensation for poor airflow through the cylinder head may still result in low power output.

On the contrary, your quest for more power will be achieved if the engine is built properly, thereby allowing the boost, good airflow through the cylinder heads, and intake and exhaust manifolds to have a better effect on the power.

It will allow a few pounds less of boost and at the same time, maintain the same horsepower and torque levels. In the end, you get a cooler, more octane-tolerant engine that produces great power.


The Bottom Line

These are some of the reasons why a boost may not result in more power since the entrance of more oxygen into the engine is also a deciding factor. Therefore, if you’re looking to improve your ride’s horsepower with the use of a turbocharger, the efficiency at which air enters the vehicle is important – it can go a long way to make your efforts more rewarding.

On the same note, components like the intercooler can prove useful in this case. With these and many more in place, your desire for more speed can be handled by your ride.


Why Restomods Are Truly the Best of Both Worlds

Restomod Cars Are Truly the Best of Both Worlds - Gearstar

The new trend of restomods is definitely the best of both worlds. Whether you’re a classic or a modern car lover, you can have it all in a single-vehicle. Rock the iconic car look from the 1950s, and count on reliability, performance, and comfort of the latest sports cars. How awesome can that get? If you’re still contemplating if resto-modding is for you, here’s some valuable information that’ll help you decide.

What Is Resto-Modding?

Now if you haven’t gotten a hang of things yet, restomod is a term gotten from “restoration and modification.” It involves restoring and modifying classic cars with modern engines, transmissions, and luxury comforts that can only be found in today’s ride. What this does, is to remove the performance flaws that were evident in the classic car.

However, the catch is that your old muscle car’s exterior still maintains its age long look. This is because its external appearance is either restored to or close to its original look and curb appeal. And if you haven’t guessed already, old pickup trucks can also be resto-modded by upgrading their chassis with long-travel suspension, modern-day drivetrain, and safety measures.

History of Restomods

Back in the 1950s, there were two classes of hobbyists and these were the collectors and hot rodders. Collectors were only out to find classic cars they could show off at events. They were less bothered about low horsepower engines and low-quality brakes that were often present in classic cars.

Hot rodders, on the other hand, were not content with just having an old ride to play with. Their aim was to get better driving experience, and that meant newer engines, improved brakes, headlights, and other features that could give the ride a revamped and modern look.

But years later, a new generation emerged from car hobbyists and this set of car enthusiasts were both interested in retaining the classic car’s look and adopting a modern car’s performance. Cars from the 1950s, 60s, and 70s, began to look interesting since some hotrodders stopped taking off the original design of the vehicle.

They maintained the car’s old look but gave it the latest engine, brake, and steering technology for improved performance, safety, and driving dynamics. Let’s take it one step further to show you what you stand to gain from resto-modding.


Why Restomods Are the Best of Both Worlds

You may be wonder if there’s a need to seek vintage vehicle aesthetic and pair it with modern performance. But here are some reasons why restomods are the best of both worlds:

1. Uncompromising Features

Restomod is ideal if you want a classic car, yet the performance and safety features of today’s ride. You can do so without compromising these modern features, while you satisfy your heart’s desire for a stunning classic car. Therefore, you get to enjoy the advantages of a modern car in an old muscle car.

2. A Promise of a Better Ride

It’s a classic car and it was not built with the same high-end tech that is evident in cars today. Therefore, it does not come as a surprise that classics are prone to leaking oil and even frequent breakdowns.

They are sometimes slow and inefficient when their performance is compared side by side with modern cars. However, this less impressive performance can be turned around by revamping the car’s mechanical components. What we getting at?

Your resto-modded car can have the performance of a modern machine, while still maintaining its charming, old school looks. Moreover, it improves the car’s safety features to today’s standards, thereby making it adhere to the current road laws.

3. Enhances Creativity

Who says you must drive around town with a ride straight from the manufacturer’s factory? There’s no rule, and as such, no limitation to your creativity. That being said, a restomod offers the opportunity to bring your creativity to life.

Hence, if there’s an old ride that catches your eye, it can be remodeled as you best dim fit. If you’re new to the hobby of collecting old cars, restomods make it easy to get creative.

 4. An Alternative to Classic Restoration

Restoration seeks to return the car to its original look as it was from the factory. However, there are cases where the original parts are hard to find. Then comes in restomod as a better alternative since you can make do with old and modern parts. This means that the car’s old design can be flaunted instead of being hidden and forgotten in a garage.

Restomod These Classics

Here’s a list of cars that can be resto-modded and if you’re looking for a classic car whose look you should adopt, this list will help you with it.

1. Ford Mustang

It’s no longer new to see a Ford Mustang from the 1960s flying on roads today since it is one of the most popular cars for resto-modding. Resto-modding a ride of this nature is easy given that they are several replacement and restoration parts lying around in the market. There’s the potential to pair the Mustang with a newer Ford drivetrain that will allow modern upgrades to be made to its internal build.

2. Chevy Camaro

The Chevy Camaro is another popular classic ride that is often resto-modded. A better version of its original self would often feature big wheels, hood scoops, matte paint, etc. all to make it look a bit more modern. And like the Ford Mustang, the Chevy Camaro can be upgraded with V8 Corvette engines and newer drivetrains to enhance its performance on the road.

3. ICON Ford Bronco

Now the ICON Ford Bronco is quite different since it has already been resto-modded by the California-based company ICON4x4. This a company that specializes in modifying classic Jeeps and Land Cruisers with modern engines, matte paint, and so much more.

The ICON Ford Bronco, for instance, is a modified version of the first-generation Ford Bronco. This new variant is quite impressive since it features a Ford Coyote 5.0-liter V8, five-speed manual transmission, ABS brakes, and a fully-adjustable suspension kit. It may have been redesigned extensively, but it still bears the iconic look of a classic SUV from the late 1960s.

The Bottom Line

There are more reasons than one why restomods are the best of both worlds for every car fanatic that wants to relive the past today. Pick a classic car from decades ago, replace its engine, wheels, etc. with that of modern parts, and you’ll well be on your way to having it all.

The best part is, you do not lose out on the benefits of driving a modern car since the only difference would be in the aesthetics. It all boils down to what appeals to you most – Driving the latest modern car that is also plying the road? or being unique by driving an old car that moves like a modern car?

New Vehicle Models Kicking 2020 Into High Gear

New Vehicle Models Kicking 2020 Into High Gear - Gearstar Performance Transmissions

It’s 2020! And if you’re looking for the fastest cars from your favorite manufacturer, we’ve narrowed down to those that are worth the time, attention, and your hard-earned money. These are new and upcoming vehicle models that have been revamped with the latest hardware and software that meet the need for speed.

The designs of these 2020 models are major upgrades from their predecessors, and their road and off-road performance are more than impressive. So, you’ve got the money? Let’s show you a great car that can be yours this year even before the rest of the world starts driving it.


New and Upcoming 2020 Vehicle Models

Here’s a list of our top favorite new and upcoming vehicle models from top manufacturers of cars around the world. They include:


2020 Chevrolet Corvette

The 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray is the eighth-generation of Corvette sports car from the American company, General Motors. As an upcoming convertible, the C8 is a mid-engine setup that only adopts a single part from last generation’s Corvette.

What to expect, is an 8-speed dual-clutch transmission that helps to send the power to the wheel as well as a 6.2-liter V8 engine on all models of the C8. The C8 will also provide improved weight distribution and better handling, and its optional magnetorheological dampers ensure that it keeps riding flat through corners.

Accordingly, you should expect a ride that can handle the speed and load it’ll have to endure. Its maker Chevrolet claims that this is not your everyday car –  but a car you’ll want to drive every day. It has been designed in different colors including Torch red, Artic white, Shadow Gray metal, Blade Silver Metallic, among others. So, how much will the 2020 Corvette cost?

The starting price for the 2020 Corvette has been set around $59,995 for the base model, while the other two trims go for $67,295  and $71,945. The C8 vehicle will go on sale from Spring this year, however, you can pre-order this ride.


2020 Jeep Gladiator

Another new ride you’ll come to appreciate like every other car fanatic is the all-new 2020 Jeep Gladiator, boasting of a blend of SUV and pickup attributes. It was one of the anticipated pickup trucks prior to its release, and it is still creating a wave of excitement even after its launch.

This is a ride that has been specially designed for great off-road experience due to its suspension geometry and all-wheel-drive system. It may be just as exciting as the Jeep Wrangler, given that it can be optioned sparsely with roll-up windows and manual lock doors as well as upgraded with more bells and whistles.

Nonetheless, the Gladiator is even better since it packs in a lot more than usual. This one brings something different to the table by its extra 4000lbs of towing capacity and a five-foot pickup bed. You can take it one step further to upgrade the Gladiator with several off-road benefits including skid plates, locking differential, and different axle ratios.

There’s the option to bring whatever you want along with you thanks to the 7,650-pound towing capacity and 1,700-pound payload of this ride. The start price for the Jeep Gladiator Rubicon is $43,740m while trims like the Sport, Sport S, and Overland go for $33,545, $36,940, $40,590, and $43,740 respectively.


2020 Ford Escape

Ford Motor Company is offering the 2020 Ford Escape, and it is a vehicle to keep a close eye on if you’re out to get some adventure on the road this year. SUVs are quite popular in the US market and if you love vehicles of this nature, then this one might steal your attention.

The 2020 Ford Escape is slightly larger than previous generations of Ford Escape, however, it is lighter than its predecessor. What’s more, the design of the Ford Escape makes it stand out from cars from previous generations, given its redefined interior and exterior looks.

FordPass Connect with 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot, WAZE Technology, among others are features that make this ride an admirable one. It’s worth noting that there are different models of this vehicle and these are S, SE, SE Sport, SEL, and Titanium, while there are seven configurations of the vehicle.

What’s evident on the base model is a turbo-3 and an 8-speed automatic, whereas, there are trims that feature a stronger turbo-4 and all-wheel drive. The 2020 Ford Escape has a start price of $24,885 for the S model, while the SE, SE Sport, SEL, and Titanium models go for $27,095, $28,255, $29,255, and $33,400 respectively.


2020 Land Rover Defender

An enhancement to the Defender lead to a 2020 Land Rover Defender, and the effort put into its design is definitely worth it. The design of this vehicle makes it powerful to handle off-roading, despite its simple yet rugged build.

It will even be featured in No Time To Die, the latest James Bond movie, which makes it even more exciting. On the other hand, this is an upcoming vehicle and it will be available as two diesel engines and two gas engines, which, therefore, gives you a choice between which.

Interestingly, there are expectations for a plug-in hybrid variant that could potentially rely completely on electricity to drive. The Defender has an 11.5-inch ground clearance and a wading depth of 35.4 inches, evidence that this variant has been significantly upgraded.

Much more, it features a 10-inch touchscreen, multiple cameras to make it easy to view the exterior while off-roading. There is also a software with over the air updates via 5G and its start price has been set at $65,100.


2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid

There’s also the 2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid, a new vehicle and a slightly upgraded variant to the CR-V, which has been one of the best-selling vehicles in the United States. The CR-V Hybrid is one of the most anticipated vehicles in 2020, and it has been built with compact crossover proportions and interior refinement.

It features a revamped exterior look and its interior has been designed to impress given features like the wireless phone charger and leather-trimmed seats it comes with. This eco-friendly vehicle parades with outstanding performance and enhanced styling, and if that sounds, good, here’s a vehicle to take very seriously.

What’s more, its new set of wheels (19-inch alloy wheel), paint colors, and standard Honda Sensing driver safety technology are some things that give it an appeal. Supporting its high level of performance is a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine that is paired to two electric motors that can generate 212 horsepower, and an advanced two-motor hybrid powertrain for better fuel mileage.


2020 Hyundai Venue

The 2020 Hyundai Venue is a smaller variant to the Hyundai Kona, which makes it an ideal ride if you’re looking for a portable ride. What’s more, it can be moved into tight car spaces and driven speedily around big cities which are some of the perks of driving a small SUV in the first place.

The vehicle has chiseled angles, fresh style, and its small size does not translate in for fragility. In terms of specifications, this vehicle relies on a 1.6-liter four-cylinder that is paired to a continuously variable transmission.

There’s the potential to improve to a six-speed manual gearbox, and that means you can have even more speed. The base model of this ride comes with several safety features including forward-collision warning and blind-spot monitoring with cross-traffic alert.

In line with that, there’s Apple CarPlay and Android Auto which are all features on all models of these vehicles. There are three venue trims and these are the SE, SEL, and Denim which are offered at a price of $16,750, $18,650, and $21,450 respectively.


2020 Mazda CX-30

The Mazda CX-30 falls between the current CX-3 and CX-5 and has been built to feature the latest technology and safety. Compared to the CX-3, the CX-30 offers:

    • 15.2 cubic feet of cargo space, instead of the 12.4 cubic feet found on the CX-3.
    • 8.8” color touchscreen and Apple CarPlay, as standard which is the case of the CX-5.
    • Is a smaller model than the CX-5.

As part of Mazda’s utility lineup, it will feature three engines at launch and two M hybrid SKY ACTIVE engines and one diesel powertrain, which is a range of choices. There will also be three different trims to choose from and specially tailored to the U.S. market.


The Bottom Line

These are the latest vehicles for 2020 to choose from if you’re all about great speed. Each has been built to handle great on roading or off-roading, as such, you only need to choose a suitable vehicle to match the terrain you’ll use it on.

There’s a convertible, to begin with, a pickup truck, and SUVs, hence, there’s a wide range of options to choose from. The best part is, these vehicles feature the latest technology which makes them a big competitor with their predecessors and vehicles from other manufacturers.