What is CVT?
CVT stands for Continuously Variable Transmission. It is an automatic type of transmission installed in modern vehicles of today. It is said to be an upgrade of the standard automatic transmission in the sense that it provides more power, better fuel mileage, and smoother gear shifts through unlimited gear ratios.
The controls on a car with CVT are basically the same with that of traditional automatic transmission cars. The major difference is that CVTs will automatically adjust gear ratios depending on the engine and car speeds. Standard automatic transmissions usually have a pre-defined set of gear speeds which uses up more power and burns more fuel. In CVTs on the other hand, the engine speed is adjusted depending on what is ideal resulting to less fuel burn and smoother driving.
Much of the advantages of CVT rely on its ability to adjust engine speed according the actual car speed. With gear ratios not set to specific limits, engines will be able give better performance, especially at cruising speeds. Improved fuel economy will also result secondary to the CVTs ability to adjust the gear ratios continuously. CVTs are also known to give better acceleration times when compared with traditional automatic transmission systems.
Being some sort of a technological upgrade to traditional automatic transmissions, not all people are instantly happy with it. One particular concern is the sound the engine makes when “continuously” changing gears. Others also need some “getting-used-to” especially on the engine’s feel which is quite different from conventional automatics. As in the case of flooring the gas pedal, standard automatic cars would react in a form of a forward lurch, while CVTs will register a gradual increase in speed. This “engine feel” makes people think that CVTs are actually slower instead of faster in terms of acceleration.
Car manufacturers are constantly improving the features of the CVT system to please its customers. Many adjustments are added to make the feel of driving CVTs similar to traditional transmission systems.