Chrysler has a whole cabinet full of pots on the fire, unleashing as it is a slew of heavily revised or completely new cars and trucks over the next couple of years. If you're thinking that this seems like a good time to leap-frog its way back to the head of the pack in terms of vehicle specification, we're right there with you.

And according to reports, so is Chrysler's new management from Italy. We've heard rumblings that the Fiat-controlled automaker will introduce an eight-speed automatic transmission for rear-wheel drive vehicles in 2012, and now rumors indicate that the Pentastar's next trick will be a nine-speed slushbox for its front-wheel drivers, which should have a suitably positive effect on fuel efficiency.

According to AutoWeek, both the eight- and nine-speed gearboxes will be adaptable for use in all-wheel-drive applications and will come ready to accept hybrid bits and pieces. As of now, there isn't any timetable on when we should expect to see the new nine-speeder.

[Source: AutoWeek]