Nissan and JATCO have just announced a new continuously variable transmission that features a wider ratio spread than any previous example of the type. The maximum spread from low to high in the past has been 6:1 but Nissan/JATCO have expanded that range to 7.3:1, a change that offers better fuel efficiency. Since this is a friction belt type CVT, expanding the ratio spread can normally be problematic because of the physical limitations of bending the steel belt around the pulleys.
As much as many of us would love to park our fossil-fuel-burning internal combustion engines for good in favor of electric or hydrogen-powered cars, that's not likely to happen on a grand scale in the next several years. Like it or not, we've managed to create a technology that's proven so effective in moving people and all their stuff all over the world that it's proving extremely difficult to transition away from it, no matter what the consequences are.
It may not seem like much, but the single extra mile per gallon that Nissan plans to extract from its Versa subcompact will surely be appreciated by its purchasers. After all, every little bit of fuel savings helps when buyers are shopping for small cars, often with the specific intent on downsizing and saving gas. So, since the Versa is down a bit when compared to its closest rivals, the Honda Fit and Toyota Yaris, Nissan decided it needed to do something to stay in the hotly contested race, up
Is it solely a case of one-upmanship that is driving the number of forward gear ratios forward in today's passenger cars? Or, are consumers choosing vehicles based on the number of gears in the transmission? I am not entirely sure, but I do know that I would consider passing on a vehicle just because it only has a four-speed transmission. As rare as they are today, some vehicles, like the GM full-size pickups, are still using four-speed automatic transmissions. Before you comment, I know that th
Canadian gearing technology company Ikona Gear International announced that they have filed for two provisional patents that will help automakers produce more efficient and environmentally friendly vehicles - a frictionless CVT clutch and frictionless CVT differential.