Thursday, March 13, 2008

Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT)

Photo of continuously variable transmissionMost conventional transmission systems control the ratio between engine speed and wheel speed using a fixed number of metal gears.Rather than using gears, the CVTs in currently available vehicles utilize a pair of variable-diameter pulleys connected by a belt or chain that can produce an infinite number of engine/wheel speed ratios.

Pulley-Based CVT This system has several advantages over conventional transmission designs:

* Seamless acceleration without the jerk or jolt from changing gears
* No frequent downshifting or "gear hunting" on hills
* Better fuel efficiency

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