GM Preparing to Make CVTs In-House

Luke Vandezande
by Luke Vandezande
The 2013 Chevrolet Spark drives through Belle Isle in Detroit, Michigan during a media event Thursday, August 2, 2012. (Photo by John F. Martin for Chevrolet)

General Motors strategy to deal with rapidly tightening fuel economy restrictions is likely to include a new CVT developed in-house by the company.

Continuously variable transmissions are currently a part of GM’s repertoire, but only in limited applications including the Spark. Citing an unnamed source, WardsAuto reports that GM is in the late stages of developing a CVT that it will package with several high volume models by 2019.Later this year GM will roll out a new family of three- and four-cylinder engines that will eventually be mated to the new CVT. Wards reports that GM is currently hosting suppliers at its global powertrain headquarters in Pontiac, Mich to take bids for parts.

General Motors hasn’t officially announced plans for a new CVT, but IHS Automotive forecasts that a new GM-developed CVT will launch sometime between 2017 and 2018. “We expect the CVT to be used for small cars including Cruze, Spark, Trax and Sonic for the Chevrolet brand, as well as Opel products,” IHS senior analyst Stephanie Brinley wrote in an e-mail.

SEE ALSO: Ford Offering Start-Stop on ’70 Percent’ of Line by 2017

Automakers are hurrying to meet impending corporate average fuel economy standards that will require automaker fleets to average 54.5 MPG by 2025. In late 2013, Ford announced that it would include engine start-stop technology across 70 percent of its lineup by 2017, claiming the technology would offer drivers an average 3.5 percent fuel savings, but up to a 1- percent savings in some cases. Start-stop systems are most effective in heavy stop-and-go traffic where the car would otherwise be idling for long periods of time.

Editor’s note: this story was updated to include commentary from IHS Automotive after the original publication.

[Source: Wards Auto]

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Luke Vandezande
Luke Vandezande

Luke is an energetic automotive journalist who spends his time covering industry news and crawling the internet for the latest breaking story. When he isn't in the office, Luke can be found obsessively browsing used car listings, drinking scotch at his favorite bar and dreaming of what to drive next, though the list grows a lot faster than his bank account. He's always on <A title="@lukevandezande on Twitter" href="">Twitter</A> looking for a good car conversation. Find Luke on <A title="@lukevandezande on Twitter" href="">Twitter</A> and <A title="Luke on Google+" href="">Google+</A>.

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