Volkswagen is developing a 10-speed dual-clutch transmission to help reduce fuel consumption in its vehicles, CEO Martin Winterkorn said.
The transmission is one of a number of drivetrain technologies that the automaker is focusing on for the mid- and long term, he said. Others include plug-in hybrids and a high performance diesel engine.
"Among the alternative drive systems plug-in hybrids in particular offer great potential," Winterkorn said at the Vienna Motor Symposium on Friday.
He gave no time frame for the new technologies.
Automakers and suppliers have increased development into multiple-speed transmissions as regulators in the EU and the United States call for greater fuel economy from new vehicles.
Ford Motor and General Motors are collaborating on 9- and 10-speed automatic transmissions for use in rear-wheel-drive and front-wheel-drive applications in cars, SUVs and trucks. The automakers already have a jointly developed 6-speed transmission.
Land Rover will introduce a nine-speed automatic transmission in the Range Rover Evoque later this year. ZF Friedrichshafen developed the transmission for front-drive, transverse applications. As well being good for economy, the transmission has a low first gear to help with towing. "It works well in place of a low-ratio gearbox," Craig Carter, vehicle engineering manager at Land Rover, told Automotive News Europe recently.
The same transmission will also be fitted to the new Jeep Cherokee. Jeep parent Chrysler will build the transmission at its Kokomo, Indiana, factory.
Hyundai Motor is working on a 10-speed transmission for luxury models for Hyundai and Kia with a launch date of 2014.