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.