Technology Tuesday: Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT)

Technology Tuesday at Buckeye HondaWelcome back to Buckeye Honda‘s Technology Tuesday, where we try to explain some of Honda’s newest technologies as well as other automotive technology that could make your day easier or more interesting.

Today we are talking about the Honda Continuously Variable Transmission or CVT.

There are other manufacturers using a CVT but none of them are using it like Honda is.  Honda has taken the CVT to another level by adding in the torque converter.  This not only gives you better feel but it also gives you a better overall driving experience.  The main problem with the CVT in other vehicles is that they feel like you are driving a golf cart.  They are unresponsive and they sound horrible, why in the world would you ever want to drive one of these other than the fuel economy.  Well now you don’t have to sacrifice superior driving feel or fuel economy with the Honda CVT.

The following is a slightly technical explanation of the Honda CVT, give it a read.  The best way to learn about the CVT is to come in and drive it, so stop by Buckeye Honda located at 2615 N. Memorial Dr in Lancaster OH and take one for a spin!

What is a CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission)?

A CVT is a transmission that can change without steps, eliminating the need for gear changes.  A CVT provides more useable power, better fuel economy and a smoother driving experience than a traditional automatic.


If a bicycle were equipped with a continuously variable transmission, it would maintain just the right pedal weight for minimum exertion, whether starting off, cruising, or climbing a hill.  In a CVT, the drive gear ratio can be continuously changed to maintain the right pedal weight for the driving conditions, eliminating the need to shift up and down between 1st gear, 2nd gear, 3rd gear, and so on.


When this principle is applied to an automobile:  The engine continually maintains a low-load rpm during acceleration.

How the CVT works

Traditional transmissions use a gearset that provides a given number of ratios (or speeds). The transmission (or the driver) shifts gears to provide the most appropriate ratio for a given situation: Lowest gears for starting out, middle gears for acceleration and passing, and higher gears for fuel-efficient cruising.

The Honda CVT combines a drive belt with variable-diameter pulleys to transmit power with a continuously variable ratio.


Merits of Honda’s new torque converter-equipped CVT

As a step in our ongoing efforts to make the CVT even more comfortable, Honda has developed a CVT equipped with a torque converter, just like the ones used in automatic transmissions.
Let’s take a look at some of the merits of a torque converter-equipped CVT.

Powerful acceleration for comfortable, sporty driving

During initial startup and acceleration, the torque converter effectively increases engine torque. This allows the Honda CVT with torque converter to deliver smooth, powerful off-the-line acceleration.

Honda is focused on delivering efficient driving performance. That’s why we have designed the CVT to detect strong centrifugal force acting on the car and maintain high engine rpms even when the driver eases off on the accelerator on winding roads.

This allows the car to react to the driver’s modulation of the accelerator pedal with power and sensitivity, for sportier driving performance.

Torque amplification also improves fuel economy

The torque converter amplifies torque for powerful off-the-line performance. This delivers ample acceleration with less load on the engine than previous models, further improving fuel economy.

The Honda CVT: easy to use, comfortable, economical, sporty performance.
It’s a Honda original.



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