For many who have put some power in front of a GM automatic transmission, the tried and true TH400 was the choice of many. The newer crop of automatic transmissions typically couldn’t handle the power and torque needed, but companies like Hughes Performance has been building newer overdrive transmissions to handle up to 1,500 horsepower.
One of the more popular choices lately has been the 4L series transmissions, but Hughes is adding a second overdrive gear to the mix with its new 6L80E six-speed automatic. The 6L80E has a .83 5th gear and .67 6th gear, and this double-overdrive allows owners to add a little fuel economy to their high-horsepower builds.
General Manager Tony Kane told us, “These are new in production now and we are building them to three performance stages: 500 horsepower, 1,000 horsepower, and 1,500 horsepower. For the first stage, we do some programming and pump modifications, with an upgraded clutch kit and power packs.”
For the second stage, Hughes will add stronger mid shafts and input shafts, and for the third stage there are more billet parts, billet pistons, and modified pump rotor. Of course, these are just part of the modifications that each 6L80E transmission will go through, but it does open up an opportunity for having your cake and eating it, too, when it comes to performance and economy with an automatic transmission.
Kane told us, “We will have some trans brake applications coming up, and while the 6L80E is limited to GM applications, we do plan to work on 6R80 Ford transmissions in the future.”
Keep tabs on Hughes Performance for upcoming applications through its website, and contact the tech team for any questions you have about adding some performance to your automatic transmission.