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VW chief says 10-speed automatics, plug-ins coming

Volkswagen is developing 10-speed automatic transmissions and plug-in hybrids, the automaker’s chief disclosed at an industry forum in Vienna.

CEO Martin Winterkorn, giving an unexpected peek ahead at VW’s product pipeline, said the German automaker is readying a 10-speed automatic that would be strong enough for engines with more than about 370 pounds-feet of torque. That’s typical of five- to six-liter V-8s, so the gearbox should have no trouble working with smaller, four-cylinder engines that VW uses.

Winterkorn, speaking at the International Vienna Motor Symposium last week, gave no timetable for the gearboxes, nor did he suggest which models, in which markets, would get the transmissions.

He also said that in his view, “The plug-in hybrid is the No. 1 alternative drive system for the medium-term future.”

He noted that the Porsche Panamera sedan and the Audi e tron will be VW’s first large-scale production plug-ins, and they will be followed by plug-in versions of the VW Passat and Audi A6 sedans, and the Porsche Cayenne SUV.

He didn’t give a timetable for those, or say which markets would get the.m
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