Originally Posted by jp467
The 9 speed is a front wheel drive trans. The jeep will get the 8 speed rear wheel drive trans. The AWD they are talking about would be those on a FWD platform like a minivan.
Damn good point. Yet, by that reasoning and the content of the DN report, the WK2 arguably should be getting the 8-speed "this year."
Hardly likely. Presumably, then, the only rational conclusion is that they will start equipping some models with the 8-speed this year, with the remainder being upgraded at some future date. That scenario fits in exactly with Milous' feedback, which thus far has been the gold standard for accuracy.
The flurry of initial published reviews of the W2 virtually all concluded that the 5-speed box was responsible for the obvious slow performance at takeoff. They were all wrong, as the subsequent software tweak showed. If there's something approximating reasonable consistency throughout the power/RPM band, then an 8-speed box is not likely to make much difference in performance, even if it results in maybe a 2 mpg improvement.
Nice, but not a deal breaker.