Silverado’s New Eight-Speed Automatic Transmission Gets the Job Done
The 2015 Corvette Stingray isn’t the only Chevy to get the Hydra-Matic 8L90. The Silverado’s new eight-speed automatic transmission is also the Hydra-Matic, mated to the available 6.2-liter EcoTec3 V8, allowing for improved efficiency, although an EPA estimate has not yet been announced. Expect EPA numbers closer to the start of production on the Silverado next quarter.
The Silverado’s new eight-speed automatic transmission was specifically designed with 11 percent greater torque capacity than the 6L80 six-speed automatic gearbox, to go along with the insane output of the 6.2-liter V8: 420 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque. Fun fact: those numbers make the V8 the most powerful engine offered in a light-duty pickup throughout the industry.
“The new 8L90 eight-speed is designed tougher to handle the greater power of the Silverado’s powertrains, with great improvements in spin loss to complement that capability with greater efficiency,” explained Kavoos Kaveh, global chief engineer for eight-speed automatic transmissions. “It is a marvel of packaging efficiency and driving efficiency that has garnered more than two dozen patents for General Motors.”
Though it boasts four gearsets and five clutches, the new transmission still fits in the same space that the six-speed automatic did—and with a lower weight.
Maximum trailer rating for the Silverado, based on SAE J2807, is rated at 12,000 pounds, when powered by the 6.2-liter and the Silverado’s new eight-speed automatic transmission.
For improved performance, the transmission features smaller steps between gears, lower spin losses, a new torque converter design with turbine damper, and friction-reducing design features, like all-new synthetic fluid.
The transmission plant in Toledo, Ohio, is responsible for building the new Hydra-Matic 8L90.