They are several transmissions built for a car by the transmission manufacturer like ZF transmission, BorgWarner, Aisin and many more and some transmission is built by the car manufacturer itself like Honda transmission, Mazda SkyActiv, Mercedes Benz DCT, and Porsche PDK. Each transmission is designed to give the user a smooth and seamlessly faster gear shifting and to reduce the fuel consumption. They are many transmissions like the manual torque converter, manual transmission, dual clutch transmission and the ZF transmission and each has their own way of delivering a good performance and reducing the fuel consumption.
However, they are one transmission that some car lovers like and some car loves hates and that is the Continuous Variable Transmission or in short, called as CVT transmission. Once in the Audi A4 B8 non-Quattro model had this transmission, but it had been abandoned by Volkswagen Group for their latest Audi A4 B9. However, except for Mazda, all the Japanese car model had a CVT transmission in one or more for their models like the Honda HR-V, Honda CR-V, Toyota Camry, Nissan Teana, Subaru Foster, and many more. As mentioned only Mazda does not have a CVT transmission in their model as their preferred to use their own transmission that is called as SkyActiv transmission which is basically the normal manual torque converter transmission.
The major difference between CVT and other transmission is the CVT does not have physical gear shifting unlike other transmission and this characteristic had led to some car lovers to dislike the CVT as they can describe it as sluggish, no soul, produce loud noise when accelerating, and the main point of dislikes is that CVT does not have gear shifting. Unlike the dual clutch transmission where they are wet and dry clutch, they are several types of CVT transmission created by the Japanese car manufacturer.
And currently, Toyota Motors had introduced another type of the CVT transmission that is called as Direct Shift CVT transmission that is considered as one of the great innovation in the CVT transmission. In this video below by Jason Fenske from Engineering Explained, he had explained on how the new CVT transmission works and why it is an improvement.
Last year Honda Motors had patented their 10 speed with triple clutch transmission and they had introduced it in the new Honda Accord 2018 model that was launched in the US last year. It is also marked the first time in the world that a car manufacturer had a 10-speed transmission in one of their sedan models. Since one of their main competitors had introduced a new type of transmission for a car, Toyota Motors too had decided to make an innovation in their CVT transmission and this is how the Direct Shift CVT comes in the picture.
In these Direct Shift CVT, it is also marked that for the first time ever in a CVT transmission they are a gear and this gear is what Toyota called a launch gear. With launch gear, the car will take off like starting the first gear in a manual transmission hence reduced the sluggishness that had been long associated with the CVT transmission and while the gear act like the first gear in a manual transmission when starting the car, it will drop to the normal CVT style once the driver is accelerating the car at a high speed.
With the addition of the launch gear, Toyota Motors had figured a way to reduce the pulley size and the weight of this CVT transmission. With this reduction in the size, Toyota Motors confidently said that it will enhance the fuel-efficient on this transmission. For all the negative feedback on the CVT transmission, they are one thing that can’t be denied with a CVT transmission, it is reducing the fuel consumption of the car and with the reduction of the pulley size and the weight, the fuel consumption of the car that will be fitted with this transmission will be reduced drastically.
When driving in CVT transmission although they are no gear shifting in the car, it does provide a good acceleration when driving at the high speed but however it does not provide an exhilarating driving experience like the car lovers have when they are driving in the manual transmission, dual clutch transmission or in the supershifting ZF transmission. However, in the Direct Shift CVT transmission, Toyota Motors engineer had found a way to reduce the belt angle responses and it had been claimed that it can provide an exhilarating ride too and it can be said that the day of CVT does not provide the exhilarating ride will be a thing of the past with these CVT.
With the introduction of a launch gear, reduction of the pulley weight and size and reducing the belt angle responses, these CVT is a step forward for a CVT transmission. How great the CVT transmission will only be known when Toyota Motors had installed in their car model which can happen sooner or later but for now they are no Toyota Car model that had these transmissions installed. Toyota Motors may introduce this transmission in their latest Toyota Camry model as usually a new car innovation that can be described as the world first will be introduced in the flagship mode first by any car manufacturer.
With the introduction of the Direct Shift CVT that had the world first launch gear for the CVT transmission, it will sooner or later that another CVT transmission weakness will be fixed. The CVT transmission is not fixed in the high-performance car that has a high engine torque as due to the characteristic of the transmission it does not support it. With the Japanese car manufacturer loves with the CVT transmission where they had installed in one or more of their car model, it will another great innovation with the CVT transmission if a car manufacturer had found a way to have a CVT transmission in their high-performance car. For now, the Direct Shift CVT is the latest innovation in a CVT transmission.