Design & Technology / Product

Compact 6-speed automatic transmission December 10th, 2010

Hello! Cerato (known as Forte in some markets) has released a hatchback model to complete its full lineup along with the Cerato Sedan and Cerato Koup. In this posting, you’ll find more info about the 6-speed automatic transmission that improves Cerato’s fuel efficiency and acceleration.

The Gamma front-wheel drive 6-speed automatic transmission, to be installed in the 2011 Cerato, is a compact transmission of world class standards developed using Kia Motors’ unique layout.

It employs a wide range of new technologies to significantly enhance performance, fuel economy and environment friendliness over the existing 4- or 5-speed transmissions. It boasts superior qualities that put it at the forefront of the world’s automatic transmission market.

Compared to the 4-speed automatic transmission, the 6-speed produces an 8% improvement in fuel efficiency, 15% faster zero to 100kmh acceleration time (seconds) and 17% quicker 60kmh to 100khm passing time (seconds).

The 6-speed transmission also weighs 5kg less than the existing 5-speed, features 62 fewer parts and is 6mm shorter in length. This results in improved fuel efficiency, performance and lighter weight.

About 300 basic patents have been acquired related to the unique layout featuring three planetary gearsets, two clutches and three brakes. In line with our plans to match performance with our design-led vehicles, Kia plans to develop basic technologies for a rear-wheel drive 8-speed transmission and a front-wheel drive 8-speed transmission to secure greater competitiveness in the automatic transmission market.

Additionally, Kia applied a Transmission Control Unit (TCU) with integrated input, control and output units to maintain optimal fuel consumption and performance levels. The input unit receives information related to input/output revolution, oil temperature, number of engine revolutions and engine torque, while the control unit assesses driving conditions and makes calculations to determine the transmission gear and control the oil pressure/damper clutch.

The solenoid valve operates on signals from the control unit and adjusts the oil pressure to control the transmission. In effect, this means that the 6-speed automatic transmission was developed to respond nimbly and accurately to various vehicle data and the driver’s intention, much like a manual transmission.

Meanwhile, the torque converter which relays the engine’s power to the vehicle is more compact and lightweight while offering higher capacity. The seal-type 2-pinion differential provides 50% improved durability while the hydraulic deviation adjustment valve body enhances the shift feel to deliver a smoother ride.

The lubricant grooves of friction materials of the clutch were optimized to enhance oil flow between clutches while shifting gears, thereby enhancing the shift quality. The stacked planetary gear carrier allows for a shorter length and simplified structure. As for the gear ratio, the first gear ratio is set approximately 11% higher than in previous transmissions for improved hill climbing acceleration while the sixth gear is set 2.5% lower to improve fuel economy, raise the top speed and increase durability.

I hope you all have a chance to discover the joyful experience of our new 6-speed transmission with the Cerato.

  • cee’d

    What about cee’d? Are You planning to put this gearbox into cee’d?

  • Greg

    Did you say 8 speed RWD transmission? Is that for a sports coupe? Please?

  • T. Smith

    hope you install this into the 2012 updated Soul, as the 4-spd is behind the times.

  • Colin @ Kia H.Q.

    @ cee’d

    Thank you for your comment on Kia BUZZ. Only the 6 speed manual transmission has been adopted into cee’d 2011 model year. You will meet the 6 speed auto/manual transmission in the next generation of cee’d.

  • Colin @ Kia H.Q.

    Hello T.Smith

    6 speed auto/manual transmission will be installed in Soul next year.


  • Colin @ Kia H.Q.

    @ Greg,

    At this stage, what we can give you is that we are developing a 8 speed RWD transmission.
    It can be used for a large luxury sedan or a sports coupe as you said. It’s not determined yet.

    Thank you for your comment!

  • Tyler Lipa

    Will we see the 6speed auto/manual in the US Market Soul?

  • Colin @ Kia H.Q.

    @ Tyler Lipa ,

    Yes, you will see the Soul with 6 speed auto/manual transmission. :-)

  • yeoh

    will the 6 speed automatic transmission be in the sedan also? as im from Malaysia, will it be available in malaysia?

  • JG

    The 8 speed RWD transmission is the one that Hyundai is developing for the Genesis/Equus line. Kia will be able to use it too.

  • Estimed forte six speed model when could be arrived in malaysia.

  • Niels Harms

    Will we get a new motor in th 2012 Soul in addition to the 6-speed auto???

  • cerato love

    Do you plan to produce Cerato diesel? Produce Cerato diesel please.

  • Peter

    Any plans of Cerato Diesel and 6-speed auto for Australian market ? In my opinion compared with other competitors in that class Cerato will be absolute winner , chain – camshaft , 6 speed auto , both hatch or sedan , at this moment Kia will be only one who can deliver this combinations for Australia. All the best in 2011 .

  • jtz

    Wait, did my eyes see right. You guys are developing a 8 speed automatic transmission for RWD and FWD? I’m going to guess that’s could be for the coupe and that sedan. If its for the coupe, let me know, It’ll be one heck of a Nissan Z rival since the Solstice couldn’t get the job done. I’ve been hiring for the last three years about some Kia RWD system. That means you already have the platform you just trying to decide when it should be ready. I wonder what stage that RWD coupe is in? Is it in the ice stage? Water stage or crash stage? I wonder if it is in the wind tunner? Could it be that it’s being tested in the back of some secret track? Maybe its not out yet. When you guys do have it out to be tested, and its covered up in black, I hope we see a lot of spy shots. Cover it up good, I like to guess of what it looks like. Cover it up as long as possible. I want to see unique C pillars and A pillars…… unlike the 2009 Honda Pilots’ A pillars coming from the Dodge Nitro’s.

  • jtz

    A new thought just came to mind. I wonder if that 8 speed auto could be in the KV7 concept? Hmmmmmm, could it be? If its not, I got to assume that some RWD concept is going to be revealed its got to be otherwise, why tell us about a RWD 8 speed auto? Maybe the FWD is going to be for the Cadenza? What exactly is the KV7 concept is it a MPV or a CUV? Maybe its both? Kis is up to something, something big, something mean, somthing scary somthing I don’t even know what it is yet.

  • BobT

    Just purchased a 2011 Koup with the new 6 spd auto. Nice trans but the manual shift is VERY slow and could use a speed up.

    Overall, a great car and beats my ex-Corolla hands down. Congrats on the fine value this car gives me.

  • Fabes

    “About 300 basic patents have been acquired related to the unique layout featuring three planetary gearsets, two clutches and three brakes.”

    With regards to that sentence, can I assume that this a dual cluch 6 speed gearbox?

  • Roger P

    Diesels for North America? With gas closing in on $5 a gallon small diesels like the rest of the world drives might be a good idea. Especially interested in cars, Forte and Soul.

  • Someone, could tell me how many friction plates use the Transmission A4FC2 for each clutch?

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  • AutoItKing

    I wonder if this can be installed in older Fortes? Mine has the 4-speed, and it just feels so… lame.

  • @ AutoltKing

    Yes, 6 speed T/M is available for 2011 Forte. So it is possible to install the 6 speed T/M to the Forte, but it might need to change some settings such as ECU and Etc.

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  • Jacqueline Tony

    when does the 6 gear automatic gearbox willbe mounted in de kia pro ceed ?

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  • Peter

    Is the 6 speed auto transmission standard for all the 2011 Cerato or for certain markets only? Your agent in Brunei still featured 4 speed auto transmission in their catalogue.

  • Usedauditransmissions

    Nice blog!
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  • nabil

    well done, proud to be the owner of 6speed forte:-)