The latest contender in the Middle East’s luxury compact SUV market, the all-new Cadillac’s XT4, the brand’s first, is turning heads with its blend of expressive design, roomy interiors, and advanced technology. It is also the first Cadillac model to be equipped with GM’s innovative Hydra-Matic 9-speed automatic transmission that delivers unmatched on-the-road performance.

The combination of the 9-speed automatic gearbox and the XT4’s 2.0L Turbo engine delivers an optimal balance of fuel efficiency, performance, and refinement. Hi-tech features that include stop-start technology and the next generation of Electronic Precision Shift, which features an intuitive shifting sequence ensure that owners in the Middle East can enjoy a smooth and seamless driving experience.

Here are nine facts that make the all-new Cadillac XT4’s 9-speed transmission the perfect gearbox apart from other contenders:

  1. Stop/Start Technology 

The latest stop/start technology incorporated into the all-New XT4’s gearbox shuts down the engine in certain stop-and-go driving conditions and contributes to improved fuel efficiency.

For smooth takeoffs without any impact on driving refinement, the transmission software combined with a unique accumulator within the transmission stores energy for the almost imperceptible engine restarts.

2. Quicker Shifts For Better Performance

The XT4’s 237 hp 2-liter turbo engine provides a more immediate feeling of performance thanks to the transmission’s quick shifts. The optimal gear is available on demand, whenever the engine’s power reserve is tipped into. To ensure world-class shift time quickness and responsiveness, millions of control instructions are performed every second.

3. Precise & Smooth

A specific strategy is used in the selection of the gearsets, clutches, and torque converter to ensure that the 9-speed gearbox delivers precise and smooth shifts.

A combination of five planetary gearsets, four stationary clutches, and three rotating clutches are used to save space. The clutch is engaged in one gear at the same instant that it is released from another for smoothness. A freewheeling shift in first-to-second upshifts contributes to greater refinement at lower vehicle speeds.

A new torque converter technology is employed in this automatic transmission to deliver smooth take-offs and additional refinement. To avail packaging advantages, the thickness of the converter has been minimized, keeping the overall width of the engine and transmission as narrow as possible.

4. Fuel Efficiency

The XT4’s Hydra-Matic 9-speed transmission is far more fuel efficient, allowing it to return an estimated 7.8 l/100km in highway driving when compared to the 8-speed equivalents.

A lower numerical top gear ratio enabled by a wider overall ratio contributes to the increased fuel efficiency, which is further aided by the lower friction in the 9-speed automatic.

5. Optimized Acceleration & Cruising

Thanks to its wider 7.6:1 overall ratio, the gearbox offers optimized acceleration and fuel economy and reduced engine noise during cruising. Excellent off-the-line acceleration is achieved due to the difference between the first gear and top gear. The ‘tall’ top gear allows low-rpm highway cruising and helps the XT4 to achieve the best efficiency-to-horsepower quotient in its class.

6. Shift Controls

The shift controls include automatic grade braking for enhanced braking when traveling downhill. When coasting or braking on a downgrade, a lower gear is selected to help maintain desired vehicle speed by taking advantage of engine braking. A control module monitors various factors like brake pedal usage, vehicle acceleration, throttle position, grade, and whether a trailer is connected.

7. Selectable One-way Clutch

Along with Cadillac’s first application of a selectable one-way clutch, the XT4’s transmission has an on-axis design where all the gears are in line with the crankshaft. Both features help to make it roughly the same size as a six-speed transmission. This is achieved by elimination of an additional clutch pack as the selectable one-way clutch can hold torque or freewheel depending on the desired operating mode.

8. Active Oil Management

For optimal efficiency, the pressure and volume of the transmission’s hydraulic system are controlled electronically. The excess oil is held in the valve body side cover which acts as an internal expansion tank, returning it to the sump when needed. It is a special fluid that does not require changing under normal conditions and offers a more consistent viscosity profile and shift performance in extreme conditions is used.

9. Transmission Control Module

A transmission control module (TCM) manages the all-new XT4’s 9-speed transmission control logic and commands all shifting events to provide smooth and precise ratio changes. Transmission performance is monitored by the TCM, which also compensates for normal wear in components such as clutch plates to ensure that performance remains consistent. Manual shift is also enabled by the TCM.