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Gears? We don’t need gears where we’re going!

By Product Expert | Posted in Technology on Wednesday, May 23rd, 2018 at 8:20 pm
A stock photo of someone shifting gears with a manual transmission.

What is a continuously variable transmission?

Even though gas prices have been fairly low and stable for a while now, several automakers are not taking their eye off of the ball when it comes to fuel economy. There are a few fairly new technologies that have been recently implemented which have really made some major leaps in improving efficiency. The one we are concerned with today is called a continuously variable transmission or CVT. A strong case could easily be made for a transmission being the most important part of an entire vehicle. Without a way to get the power produced by the engine to the wheels, nobody is going anywhere. So, what is continuously variable transmission? Let’s take a look.

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How is a CVT different?

Until the continuously variable transmission was developed, automotive engineers used gears to move the power made by the engine to the wheels. At the most basic level, a CVT works in much the same manner as an automatic transmission, but with one key difference.

Instead of using gears, a CVT employs belts or cables wrapped around a pulley system. The result is a much more efficient transfer of energy, which has resulted in much more efficient cars and crossover SUVs. Several of the brands available for sale at Billion Auto Group use CVT and any one of our sales professionals will be happy to take you for a test drive.

How does it work?

A continuously variable transmission achieves its outstanding fuel economy scores because it isn’t locked into a fixed gear ratio. On the surface, these words might not mean much to you, but it’s an incredibly elegant solution to making vehicles use less gas.

Since CVT-equipped vehicles take advantage of a nearly infinite set of gear ratios, the engine can always be running at its most efficient. When the system was first implemented, owners thought the transmissions were broken because the engine sounds didn’t match the acceleration. Several strategies have been developed to help with this, including using artificial, so-called “gears.”

To see just how a CVT-equipped vehicle will perform, stop by the Billion Auto Group showroom today and speak with one of our product experts.

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