Ford Continuously Variable Transmission CVT Rumors
It has been a little more than seven years since Ford last offered a continuously variable transmission in a non hybrid vehicle, and although it didn’t go too well the first time around, they could be giving the CVT another shot. Some Ford continuously variable transmission rumors recently hit the web, and according to the company’s global product development chief, Raj Nair, the efficient transmissions may come soon.
“We’ve had some experience with CVTs and it wasn’t all good,” Nair told Automotive News. “ They are getting better. And we are taking another look, particularly in the low torque applications. There may be some [potential] there.”
As of right now, the vast majority of Ford vehicles are available with an automatic or manual transmission, but as fewer than five percent of cars sold in the nation have manual transmissions, automatic gearboxes are the primary option. Competing automakers such as Nissan, Honda, Subaru and Toyota are offering up the CVT as an option now, so it’s likely that Ford is going to have to follow suit in order to compete.
An increasing number of automakers continue to turn to the CVT as it is able to provide a much smoother ride, which of course translates to higher fuel economy ratings. In more common transmissions, there are preset gears that have to be precisely hit, which can cause shift shock and throw your vehicle out of the optimal efficiency range. With continuously variable transmissions, however, that is never an issue.
As the name implies, the CVT continuously varies the gear ratio. It uses two drive pulleys and a belt that moves through the valleys of the pulleys. Since it is a gearless transmission, it is able to operate in the optimal efficiency range at all times, unlike manual and automatic transmissions which can only hit their peak performance while in gear. The belt-driven design offers an efficiency increase of about 88 percent.
It is still not known whether Ford will build their own continuously variable transmission, buy one from a supplier or opt out of using them completely, but we have a feeling that it won’t be long before we start to see them on the list of options. Seeing as the automaker is making a push for more efficient vehicles, using a CVT would be a great way to increase the performance of their vehicles while also upping efficiency.
We will be sure to be provide you with more information on the Ford continuously variable transmission rumors as more is made available, so be sure to check back here on the Matt Ford blog in the near future for all of the details. We have our fingers crossed that the CVT will be making a return in Ford vehicles.
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