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      05-01-2019, 11:54 AM   #1
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Engineering Explained explains why the ZF8HP 8 Speed transmission is class leading

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Engineering Explained breaks down why the X7's ZF8HP transmission is class leading.

List of all the vehicles and variants of the ZF8HP used: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ZF_8HP_transmission

Enjoy!

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      05-01-2019, 01:23 PM   #2
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It's on-par with dual-clutch in terms of performance, but smoother, cheaper, and easier to package. It's no wonder so many cars use it.
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      05-01-2019, 01:26 PM   #3
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Smooth?/ Fuck me the one in the X3 and previous X1 is a right dog. So fucking clunky compared to my Gm 5 speed in my Saab, absolutely ZERO comparison.

It's fine driven hard but is absolutely HOPELESS in the transition from light throttle to off throttle to light/medium throttle. More jerky than a Caribbean chicken.
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      05-01-2019, 01:54 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alfisti View Post
Smooth?/ Fuck me the one in the X3 and previous X1 is a right dog. So fucking clunky compared to my Gm 5 speed in my Saab, absolutely ZERO comparison.

It's fine driven hard but is absolutely HOPELESS in the transition from light throttle to off throttle to light/medium throttle. More jerky than a Caribbean chicken.
I think the one in the E84 four bangers was badly programmed. Our 6s in the 35i felt wildly better. But while I hated our follow up F30, that 8s was easily the best part of that car. I think it comes down to programming, and from my experience BMW mailed it in on the E84 but got it right on the F30.
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      05-01-2019, 02:06 PM   #5
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Red Bread nailed it: Programming variety is one the ZF8's two biggest strengths. The other? Modular, scalable build specs. The ZF8's also used in Dodge/Ram trucks and Rolls-Royces, fer cryin' out loud.

It changed the transmission game nearly as much as the DCT in general itself -- and has as much to do with the impending death of the manual as the DCT does, too.
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      05-01-2019, 02:23 PM   #6
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Yep, Iíve experienced it in a Chrysler and it was poor, was nice in my BMW.
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      05-01-2019, 03:02 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Viffermike View Post
Red Bread nailed it: Programming variety is one the ZF8's two biggest strengths. The other? Modular, scalable build specs. The ZF8's also used in Dodge/Ram trucks and Rolls-Royces, fer cryin' out loud.

It changed the transmission game nearly as much as the DCT in general itself -- and has as much to do with the impending death of the manual as the DCT does, too.
You can pull my manual from my cold, dead...

While that's true, our Q5 has a 7s DCT that I fail to see any advantages over the ZF8. I assume Audi just has a warehouse full of the things and is burning off supply and will eventually change over to the ZF8.
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      05-01-2019, 03:04 PM   #8
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ZF makes some sweet slush boxes
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      05-01-2019, 03:11 PM   #9
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The hardware is great. It's all about software.
Just take a look at 6 speed ZF in my E90. Original vs 2011 vs Alpina B3 vs xHP. Same hardware, same fluid. Just different software profiles. Makes a world of difference. shifts points, shift speed, TQ lockup, D vs S vs M, etc.

In a perfect world, they'd open up the software so that end users can fine tune all the relevant parameters to their liking (within safety margins).
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      05-01-2019, 03:34 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alfisti View Post
Smooth?/ Fuck me the one in the X3 and previous X1 is a right dog. So fucking clunky compared to my Gm 5 speed in my Saab, absolutely ZERO comparison.
Completely agree. I have this in my Jeep GC SRT and I have to make the choice between slow and smooth or quick and clunky. For how ubiquitous this transmission is, you'd think it could do everything. The 6-spd auto in my wife's Hyundai Tucson is generally much smoother, though also a bit slower (which is ok, since it's not a performance vehicle).
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      05-01-2019, 03:58 PM   #11
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Idk... I've driven a few DCT cars (e92, f80, GTR, 458, GT3, Huracan)

the ZF8 in my F30 was nowhere near as quick on downshifts as those cars. might just be a software thing as someone above said.
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      05-01-2019, 03:59 PM   #12
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I recently drove a new a3 with the dsg from a loaner I had for a week. From a stop the car had a tendency to lurch forward or reverse as soon as you let off the brake. Trying to parallel park the thing was very unnerving. It did shift very fast, but I’d take a zf over the vw dsg any day because of the strange behavior as well as the maintenance.
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      05-02-2019, 08:12 AM   #13
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zf8 in.my.m240i has almost converted me to a paddle guy...almost
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      05-02-2019, 08:24 AM   #14
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If this is what BMW used in my F26--and I think it is--it is absolutely in no way comparable to my M2 DCT. My F26 and F87 have the same engine so that's not a drivetrain variable.

Don't get me wrong, I have no problems with the ZF8 but it's way slower than the DCT. Is it all programming related? No idea, but my F26 could use some improvement.
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      05-02-2019, 09:17 AM   #15
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Having owned/experienced the ZF 6,8 (both in BMW)...can say I really liked the 6. The 8 is pretty nice. A 7 speed felt crappy to me in any car, BMW or not (even the F10 M5). Any car just seemed like it was always in the wrong gear.

For some reason the programming in ZF 8 domestic models in the US in the rentals I've driven is a mostly terrible experience. The ZF9 in the Evoque felt terrible as well.

IMO the 8 is the sweet spot currently.
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      05-02-2019, 10:04 AM   #16
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Love this gearbox. Test drive an S4 and decided against it purely because I missed the snappy feel of the ZF8
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      05-02-2019, 10:07 AM   #17
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Once you flash XHP on this thing, it's takes it to a whole new level as well. Obliterates most DCTs I've driven.

BMW uses these things in unmolested form in the M235i/M240i Racing Cup. That should speak a lot to how durable and amazing these transmissions are.
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      05-02-2019, 10:09 AM   #18
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It is insane how good they made that transmission. Really took autos to the next level. I believe in the video he said it made automatics cool again... which... I mean they're definitely not cool but they're at least good now.
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      05-02-2019, 10:22 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Viffermike View Post

It changed the transmission game nearly as much as the DCT in general itself -- and has as much to do with the impending death of the manual as the DCT does, too.
And on that bombshell...
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      05-02-2019, 10:22 AM   #20
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Have it on my x5m, it's good but still can't compare with DCT
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      05-02-2019, 10:34 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alfisti View Post
Smooth?/ Fuck me the one in the X3 and previous X1 is a right dog. So fucking clunky compared to my Gm 5 speed in my Saab, absolutely ZERO comparison.

It's fine driven hard but is absolutely HOPELESS in the transition from light throttle to off throttle to light/medium throttle. More jerky than a Caribbean chicken.

Odd - our '17 X3 35i is one of the smoothest shifting and operating transmissions I've ever experienced. Blows the crap out of the GM 6-speed that was in my '07 X3.
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      05-02-2019, 10:36 AM   #22
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The ZF8 is phenomenal for sure. And for the money can't be beat IMHO. But the reviewer who is comparing to dual clutch transmissions has seemingly never driven a Porsche PDK or else he would be drawing different conclusions particularly about smoothness and efficiency. I'm excluding the PDK-S on the GT variant 911's as they are (like for McLaren and other high end supercars) optimized for the track not daily drivability.
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