Audi will widely use an eight-speed automatic transmission produced by ZF, instead of a six-speed unit on cars sold in the United States, according to AutoWeek.  The periodical cites the new 2011 dealer order guide when it says that roughly 70 percent of vehicles sold in the U.S. will feature the transmission.

Amongst these are the 2.0-liter turbocharged versions of the Audi A4 four-door and Avant, A5 coupe and cabrio, and the Q5.  All versions of the Q7, along with the A8 and A8L will also be sold with the ZF eight-speed.

Meanwhile, all A6 and S6 units, as well as the front-wheel-drive A4 and A5, the S5 coupe, and the 3.2-liter Q5 will be available with either the six-speed automatic or the CVT.  Cars sold with the dual-clutch automated manual gearbox will not be changed under the new plan.  Likewise, the R8 V8 and V10 will be sold with either the six-speed manual or the R-Tronic gearbox.

The 2011 model year versions of these cars should hit the market this fall.  Audi could make an official announcement later this summer.

Gallery: Audi 8-speed to replace 6-speed automatic across most of range

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