NISSAN MOTOR CO. LTD. AND ITS SUBSIDIARY, Japanese transmission supplier Jatco Inc., are developing an advanced automatic transmission, a company source tells Ward's.

“It will be (available) soon” in a production model, the source says, adding the transmission will have at least six gears but not a dual-clutch system, such as Volkwagen AG's Direct-Shift Gearbox.

Up to now, Nissan's most advanced automatic transmission has been a 5-speed, offered in its Infiniti luxury lineup as well.

Infiniti will launch two new models next year, including the next-generation FX midsize cross/utility vehicle.

The new EX35 small CUV is equipped only with a 5-speed automatic, but Stefan Conrady, EX product manager, says it is sufficient, despite the fact most luxury cars offer more advanced transmissions.

“Between the 5-speed automatic transmission, the wide gear ratios and the adaptive shift control, I think we have a very rewarding driving experience (in the EX),” he says.