Ford says the new gearbox is able to calculate your driving style and provide optimum ratio changes accordingly. So if you're the kind of driver who is always on the go and inputting varying levels of accelerator movement, the transmission's computer will cater for your more sporty driving style and swap cogs as often as possible for optimum performance.
On the other hand, if the computer senses that you're trying to conserve fuel by limiting the amount of accelerator pedal depression, the gearbox will change up into higher gears sooner to save fuel and offer smoother travel. Ford's transmission calibration supervisor, Tim Postgate, recently said,
"The low first gear greatly improves launch feel while the smaller steps between 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th also ensure less 'busyness' within the transmission as it determines the right gear.
"The end result of the transmission being in the right gear at the right time leads to an improvement in vehicle performance and a reduction in fuel consumption."
Another handy feat of the new transmission is that it will actually change down gears during times of deceleration. The gearbox computer senses when the brake pedal is being depressed and changes down gears automatically to offer engine braking. The benefit of this is not only assisted braking but the engine also uses zero fuel while on the overrun, aiding fuel economy.
The new gearbox will become available in the 2011 Ford Ranger when it hits the market during the third quarter of this year.