Pakistan Should Learn To Accept That CVT Is The Better Transmission, But Not For Petrol Heads

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CVT or Continuously Variable Transmission is now being used or preferred by most automotive companies now. Leonardo da Vinci sketched a stepless continuously variable transmission in 1490 and it took us almost 500 years to actually get it into production and fit it in a car. The idea was, without a doubt, a revolutionary one.

CVT  is the ideal transmission to get maximum mileage because the transmission doesn’t require you to brake frequently. The accelerator pedal position does most of the work to accelerate or slow down the car. A CVT is also lighter in weight and more compact when compared to huge automatic or manual transmission. This allows car manufacturers to shed some weight making the car more agile and responsive. In theory, a car with a CVT should reach 60 mph (100 km/hr) 25-percent faster than the same car with the same engine and a manual transmission. It also has lesser parts running making it more reliable and easy to maintain.

The transmission works by providing THE perfect gear ratios that vary continuously to run the car. In a manual or automatic transmissions the gear ratios are fixed and hence the slight jerks or “shift shock” we get when the car shifts. CVT has no shifting so no jerks and you get a comfortable smooth ride no matter how hard you put your foot down on the throttle and doesn’t matter whether you’re climbing Kalar Kahar on Motorway or twists and turns on Karakoram highway.

However, there are a few drawbacks. Firstly, and most importantly, it costs a lot; like a lot. This increases the price of the car. Secondly, the transmission uses pulleys and a rubber belts so the wear and tear is maximum when compared to other conventional gearboxes. Another disadvantage of having a CVT is that you can only apply it to a limited amount of torques. It doesn’t support or rather not much useful when dealing with high torque numbers.

If you’re a petrol head and you NEED to feel the engine then do not go for a CVT. I repeat DO NOT GO FOR A CVT. It’s boring and the tranny is working everything out for you. We petrolheads need to keep the power in our hands. It’s like trying to tame down a horse. There’s no fun in riding a well-mannered stallion.

 

  • وجاہت علی

    well honestly i agree all of it.. but.. if u want to imply such system here in pakistan. u should change the mindset of ppl here who prefer 7 lacks worth of shit to any other good car!!!

  • Mashood Anwar

    Cvt and prosmatec is the same thing i guess…. correct me if i’m wrong

  • Guest

    No. Not same.
    Prosmatec is the name of software used for TCM (transmission control module). It is Honda trademark. Only Honda car can have a Prosmatec gear. But CVT is something different.

  • Guest

    When the writer proposes something as “better”, he should give the definition of “better” in his mind.
    CVT takes less fuel only if driven like a sedate grandma. Once you drive it normal or hard, it guzzles fuel like anything.
    CVT gearbox life is limited, while manual is virtually trouble free.
    CVT is disposable as repair is not feasible once broken.

  • Asif

    In Europe the CVT gearbox has been an absolute failiure. It is generally available only on Japanese cars which are no match for their european competition especially models from the German manufacturers like Volkswagen, Audi and BMW. The German cars have either a 6 or 7 speed twin clutch DSG (Direct Shift Gearbox) which has seamless smooth gear changes even under full load acceleration (these DSG type gearboxes are also now used exclusively in all models by Ferrari and McClaren). A CVT gearbox is unreliable after 60000 miles and needs a complete re-build at 100000 miles. Another big weakness of CVT gearboxes is that they cannot handle engines with more than 180 BHP and exhibit signs of clutch slip like symptoms of high revs but no acceleration, which results in poor fuel economy. While the Japanese have a monopoly of the car market in Pakistan they will continue to sell poor quality models at very high prices, something they cannot do in Europe due to the local competition.

  • Haroon Iftikhar

    the writer assumed that the people who read this blog already know that driving any gearbox at high revs will not give you good mileage.
    as for your second point, the writer has mentioned it already that the wear and tear is maximum in a CVT….
    as for your third point, i’m sure it is not how you have written it…. i doubt any gearbox is “disposable”…

  • Haroon Iftikhar

    Sir if you read the blog again, the writer has mentioned this already as a drawback of CVTs that they cannot handle large torque numbers….. let alone Ferrari and McLaren …..

  • Mashood Anwar

    Can u please elaborate it ?

  • Farzan

    I don’t think people in Pakistan are ready to accept cvt transmissions just yet. People here will spend 2.2 million on an Altis Grande, but they’ll take it to a roadside ustaad if anything ever goes wrong. Theses mechanics are untrained, and it’ll take them two seconds to screw up every electronic in your car. Secondly, cvt trannies dont play nice with cng. People here will do anything to get their car on gas, be it a Mehran or a Steermatic. These very people don’t even know that you’re supposed to change the gear oil at every 40k kilometres. Let our awaam adapt conventional auto first, then we can consider moving on to cvt.

  • Pro Truth

    absolutely wrong! I have owned Audi A6 with CVT transmission for. it requires oil change at 40000 miles. Its current mileage stands at 51000 miles and going absolutely strong. other than that there absolutely no need to rebuild the transmission!

  • mohsin malik

    Very interesting article, do we really have the choice here in Pakistan…NO. The assembler does what he does and we are at the receiving end.

    Unfortunately, the writer has not done proper homework. Honda City Vario (a CVT) was launched in 2003~4, the car/ transmission has been misused to the limits driven on CNG deemed as killer for CVT transmission. The cars are going strong after 10years.

    Secondly, the CVT do not use rubber belts, rather very special steel belts. Moreover the torque limitation is no longer valid as better and better material for belts are available. 2015 Subaru WRX has CVT transmission

    Lastly, most of the sports cars are now with CVT.

  • Ahtasham Ahmad

    CVT is good for smooth roads compare to Pakistani roads!

  • Haroon Iftikhar

    Well that is the beauty of a CVT tranny….It’s simple with a very basic understanding…. and i don’t know what to say about people buying a Grande and visiting a roadside mechanic…… Secondly, i think CVT runs better on cng than a conventional A/T or M/T…. just an opinion….

  • Haroon Iftikhar

    i think we don’t have a choice anywhere, sir….. I’ve never heard people deciding in any country what tranny they want or what engine they want to go with…. so i’m not sure what you were trying to imply but that just didn’t make sense…
    Secondly, the article was about running CVT on a stock car ignoring any mods, including cng…. if you claim that you changed the intake manifold or the exhaust manifold or even the engine and then claim that CVT doesn’t run well, then you argument is invalid sir…..
    The torque limitation is still valid please get your facts straight however the design is being continuously developed to handle better with high torques…. the 2015 Subaru WRX CVT is half a second slower than the manual transmission and further slower in a quarter mile…. it is also fitted with a torque converter to provide just the right rpm to the CVT…. it was used in F1 but was further banned…. F1 cars produce around 250 to 300 pounds feet of torque which is just fine… please name me some hypercars using CVT….

  • Haroon Iftikhar

    I also think you misunderstood the article… the article is in favor of CVTs…. please don’t get carried away… the writer did his homework pretty well…..

  • Guest

    The article is titled that Pakistan should learn that CVT is better. Then the article tries to prove it is in fact best. But then the article starts mentioning the drawbacks of CVT. Writer also replies to other commenters that he has taken care to mention drawbacks as well. If something has glaring drawbacks, how is it “better” has not been logically stated. (Everybody may not agree with the logic of the viewpoint of author but author should mention why the author thinks it is better).

    Driving at high revs has less to do with fuel consumption. In manual you can smash the pedal for an overtake ever so often and still turn up with a good fuel economy. In CVT unless you drive like a sedate grandma with 10% pedal you cannot get that promised economy. Mind you (theoretically) CVT should not even let you go to high revs. It is not the revs, it is the pressure on the pedal.

    Disposable: Anything that is too complex or expensive to repair is disposable because it doesn’t make economic sense.

    The real peeve starts with the title being something the article doesn’t live up to (CVTs being better), like somehow justifying that CVT makes the most economic sense. The tone of the article suggests fuel economy is the only consideration in the world and as per this criteria CVT is better, whereas for fuel economy purchasers can do many other things such as buying a smaller engine, and manufacturers can also do some other changes to their car.

    Articles also suggests that riding a manual is like taming a stallion. This claim is certainly false because most manual transmissions are smooth as butter. In fact autos have more perceptible shift shock than human drivers with average level of skill.

  • Haroon Iftikhar

    Everything in this world, almost, has pros and cons and you need to mention them and that is what the writer did…and if you have more pros than cons then it is surely a good thing…. Secondly, if you think high revs have nothing to do with better mileage, God bless you sir…. I’m not sure if i should explain you all that….you’re right about the pressure on the gas pedal though…. The fact that CVT is less complex than a M/T or an A/T, your definition of disposable still doesn’t imply…. I’m also not sure what idea you got from the article but it was not entirely focused on mileage… The mileage is discussed in just two lines of the entire article….. The acceleration numbers are provided from an authentic source….. and i also think you took the “taming the stallion” part too literally….

  • Pro Truth

    well writer says CVT transmission will require a rebuild after 100K? which absolutely wrong!

  • Sultan Lashari

    Tranny is not a nice word. Please stop using it!

  • Hassan Rao

    You said that a car having CVT(means automatic transmission) reaches 100 kmph 25 percent faster than same car having manual transmission….i can’t believe that theory.

  • Shahzaib Rehman

    The tranny is working everything out for you.
    I have no idea what this means, really.

  • Sultan Lashari

    xD Exactly. I guess it referred to the writer..

  • Sultan Lashari

    Beauty of a Tranny..

  • Muhammad Yasir

    Automatic >>>>>> any Manual Transmission !

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