variable speed transmission

Considering the cost savings involved with building transmissions with only three moving parts, you’ll understand why car companies have grown to be very interested in CVTs lately.

All of this may sound complicated, but it isn’t. In theory, a CVT is much less complex than a normal automatic transmission. A planetary equipment automatic transmission – sold in the tens of millions this past year – has a huge selection of finely machined Variable Speed Transmission shifting parts. It offers wearable friction bands and elaborate digital and hydraulic settings. A CVT just like the one defined above has three basic shifting parts: the belt and the two pulleys.

There’s another benefit: The lowest and greatest ratios are also additional apart than they would be in a typical step-gear transmitting, giving the tranny a larger “ratio spread” This means it is even more flexible.

The engine can always run at the optimum speed for power or for fuel economy, whatever the wheel speed, which means no revving up or down with each gear change, and the ideal rpm for the right speed all the time.

As a result, instead of five or six ratios, you get thousands of ratios between your lowest (smallest-diameter pulley environment) and highest (largest-diameter pulley setting).

Here’s a good example: When you start from a stop, the control computer de-clamps the insight pulley so the belt turns the smallest diameter while the result pulley (which goes to the wheels) clamps tighter to help make the belt switch its largest diameter. This creates the cheapest gear ratio (say, 3.0-to-1) for the quickest acceleration. As acceleration builds, the pc varies the pulley diameters, as conditions dictate, to get the best balance of fuel economy and power.

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