Audi has been relying on their 6-speed automatic transmission for some time now, and it's no surprise why. Many who have driven a vehicle equipped with their 6-Auto have been impressed with the responsiveness and silky smooth shifts. Now, the engineers at Audi have upped the gear ante by adding in two additional speeds for highway driving.
The development of the 8-Speed Automatic transmission has taken quite some time, due mostly to trying to fit all the components into the gearbox without compromising the strength. Like the 6-Speed before it, the new gearbox will shift smoothly and be able to shifted via paddles on the steering wheel.
Audi 8-Speed Transmission
Audi is estimated that about 70% of their lineup will have the 8-speed as an option for the upcoming production year. The dual-clutch offerings will remain unchanged for 2011, however Audi is expecting to improve the sportier transmission within a few years.
While there is no official word on how the additional two gears will effect acceleration or fuel economy, it's a safe bet that Audi wouldn't introduce something that would be a step backwards. Automotive News Europe