How The Best Automatic Transmission Works. ZF’s 8-Speed Auto can give modern dual clutch transmissions a run for their money. It’s light, compact, quick-shifting, and shifts are incredibly smooth. The automatic transmission was a game changer. No longer were three pedals required, drivers could relax as they had one less thing to worry about on the road. But the automatic transmission had many flaws. It was inefficient, shifts were slow and often rough, and automatics were big and heavy. ZF introduced the world’s first production 6-speed auto in the 2002 BMW 7-series, but just a year later VW introduced the first production DCT in the European market Golf R32. The dual clutch was faster to shift, efficient, and gave drivers a direct feel. Was this the end for modern automatics? Not quite. ZF introduced their 8HP, an 8 speed automatic that swept the industry as a result of it’s shift quality, shift speed, efficiency, size, and cost. We’ll learn all about it in the video.