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Welcome to the final installment of Trans Wars, a three-part miniseries exploring the automatic transmission. So far we’ve compared torque-converter and dual-clutch units, but these two gearboxes aren’t the only ones on the market today.
In yesterday’s installment of Trans Wars we explored the benefits and downsides of conventional automatic gearboxes, ones that feature fluid-filled torque converters. This type of transmission has been around for more than 50 years; it works well and has pretty much become the industry standard.
Join us for a three-part miniseries exploring the ins and outs of automatic transmissions. For the first installment we celebrate heritage by tipping our hats to a great motoring tradition that’s as American as baseball, apple pie and Oldsmobile. This is Trans Wars!
Automatic transmissions are HUGELY popular in North America. Europe is still a strong hold for the manual gearbox but on this side of the Atlantic self-shifters account for at least 90 percent of new-vehicle sales; the standard trans lost the market-share race decades ago and in spectacular fashion.
Clearing a room of automotive enthusiasts is easy. Just lecture them on how “amazing” the continuously-variable transmission in your car is.
A new continuously-variable transmission, a supercharged 2.5L four-cylinder engine and an front-drive hybrid system should all arrive on the new Nissan Altima for 2013, helping Nissan stay competitive in an increasingly tough segment.
The hybrid drivetrain will be similar to that used on the Infiniti M Hybrid, but adapted for front-wheel drive vehicles. The new hybrid system will work in concert with the new CVT gearbox, which is expected to bring a 10 percent fuel economy boost to any vehicle, regardless of whether it’s equipped with a hybrid system or not.
Finally, Nissan’s venerable 2.5L 4-cylinder engine will get a supercharger, though power figures were not released.
[Source: Automotive News]