Why Does Your Car Need 9 Gears? | Inspire
Why Does Your Car Need 9 Gears?
Good to Know
Good to Know

Why Does Your Car Need 9 Gears?

Your Mercedes-Benz's 9G-TRONIC explained.

Did you know that Mercedes-Benz is unique among German premium auto brands because it manufactures its own gearboxes, instead of outsourcing? And today, with 9G-TRONIC lead transmission, most contemporary Mercedes-Benz vehicles boast nine forward speeds, because its engineers have cycled 81 billion simulations to calculate an ideal spread of forward ratios. 

But why exactly does your car need so many gears? It's all about the engineering principle of peak efficiency –  depending on the driving scenario, more gears make a car lighter on fuel or quicker to accelerate.

Remember your first single-speed bicycle as a kid? You spun wildly trying to gain speed on level roads, before being forced to dismount and push when you reached a hill. That's the discrepancy between wheel speed, effort and a single leverage force at source. Once you graduated to geared bikes as a teenager, the spread of ratios countered all gradient frustration. 

More gears are always better. For many, their first Mzansi car is a four-speed hatchback, along with the annoying drivetrain drone at highway speeds that suggests an insufficient spread of ratios. 

However, gears add weight – always the bedevilling of any mechanical system – and more gears require greater lubrication to prevent drag. Tremendous advances in metallurgy and packaging by Mercedes-Benz's R&D engineers in recent years have enabled nine-speed gearboxes that are light without sacrificing longevity, and enormously slick-shifting without being imprecise to the driver's inputs and reality of gradient. 

This translates into a stupendously short first gear for climbing Northcliff's most testing hills, and terrifically tall eighth and ninth gears for minimal fuel consumption on that run down to Ballito for the weekend. Your 9G-TRONIC has it all so well covered, you don't even notice. 

Click here to view the latest Mercedes-Benz range.



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