The continuously variable transmission is one of those technologies that seems to make a lot of sense on paper, but in reality, almost always numbs the driving experience. That's one reason why Audi, according to reports, is planning to phase them out.
Continuously Variable Transmission
Among automotive enthusiasts, no one seems to hold a neutral opinion when it comes to continuously variable transmissions. CVTs are either praised for their ability to boost fuel economy or chided for their occasionally poor driving dynamics. Nissan is among the masters of these un-shifting gearboxes in the US, and it uses them in many vehicles in its lineup. However, for the 2015 model year, several models are getting a software update to make their CVTs a bit more like a conventional automatic
Honda has announced a good-sized recall of two popular Japanese-market hybrids: the Fit Hybrid and the Vezel Hybrid are both headed back into the garage. The problem this time around lies in the software program that controls the 7-speed dual clutch transmission (DCT) that could "cause a delay in the ability to begin driving or the inability to move at all." In total, 81,353 units are affected (70,929 Fit Hybrids and 10,424 Vezel Hybrids) and all were made in Japan between July 2013 and February
Nissan's decision to fit continuously variable transmissions across even more of its new models may be coming back to bite the Japanese automaker, as it's been hampered by customer satisfaction issues relating to its XTronic CVTs, which are provided by a supplier called JATCO.
Honda has announced that it has made an initial investment of $470 million to build a brand new transmission plant in Celaya, Mexico. For those keeping track, this is the same city that will also house Honda's new automobile manufacturing facility, which will begin production of the Fit compact beginning in the spring of 2014.
According to Green Car Reports, a few minor changes are on deck for the littlest Chevrolet. Christi Landy, Chevy's small car marketing director, confirmed to GCR that the 2014 model year Spark will lose its four-speed automatic transmission in favor of a continuously variable unit.
Hyundai officials are not afraid to make their views known on prevailing technologies, standing by their choices and criticizing the alternatives. Previously, the Korean automaker's fuel cell boss told reporters that EV makers "jumped the gun." Now comes word that Hyundai is sticking by dual-clutch transmissions, citing the shortcomings of continuously variable transmissions.
Aside from its hybrid technology, Toyota has fallen behind the competition in terms of vehicle powertrains which could leave popular cars like the Toyota Camry and Toyota RAV4 lagging behind the competition. While most of its rivals have started using gasoline direct injection, turbochargers and some have moved to Continuously Variable Transmissions (CVT) to balance performance and fuel economy, many Toyota models are still using underpowered engines and outdated transmission technology. Accordi
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.
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 facilitating 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