20 February 2014 14:45 | By Sean Carson, contributor
The automatic gearbox: a history

What is an automatic gearbox?



What is an automatic gearbox? (© Newspress)
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With Mercedes-Benz having announced the world's first 9-speed automatic gearbox in July last year and Porsche ditching the manual option completely on its amazing 911 GT3, self-shifting technology is really going places. But how much do we really know about automatics and where could the technology go next? Everything you need to know is right here...

First; what is an automatic gearbox? It sounds a simple question – and on a basic level it is. An automatic gearbox is a transmission that removes all or part of the manual operation needed to change gear.

But there are many different types today – you’ve got fully automatic torque converters, wet clutch automatics, dual-clutch self-shifting units, Constantly Variable Transmission (CVT) autos and even pre-selector gearboxes. But how did the automatic transmission come about?

Click through the gallery to find out more... 

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