Audi Using Extra Gears to Improve Fuel Economy for the 2011 Model Year
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 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