Frequently thought of as a boring alternative to an automatic transmission, usage of the the continuously-variable transmission (CVT) is expected to more than double by 2016.
Thanks in no small part to Nissan’s implementation of the fuel efficient, yet soulless transmissions, the CVT seems to be gaining new found legitimacy among consumers more concerned with fuel efficiency than actual driving performance. According to IHS Automotive, fewer than one percent of cars in 2005 had a CVT, but by 2010 that number had jumped to seven percent. Furthermore, the firm predicts that 16 percent of cars will use the gearless systems by 2016.
Its 2013 Altima sedan, for example, will use a standard-equipment CVT with simulated shifts to offer improved fuel economy. Drivers that look at a car purely as a means of transit probably won’t blink as the bland systems are integrated into more and more cars, but that’s not the way most driving enthusiasts feel.
From the noise they make under hard acceleration to the completely unspirited driving feel, there’s more fun in stretching chewed gum than driving cars with CVTs. That’s because they can adjust infinitely to an engine’s torque — something that help fuel mileage but kills the feeling of driving fun.
Among the other automakers getting excited about selling cars with CVT technology, the Honda Accord is both expected to follow in the Nissan Altima’s tracks in order to remain competitive, something the Toyota Corolla will do as well.
[Source: Automotive News]