CVT Transmissions are becoming increasingly popular among Automakers these days. According to Wikipedia “A ContinuouslyVariable Transmission (CVT) is a transmission that can change steplessly through an infinite number of effective gear ratios between maximum and minimum values.

This can provide better fuel economy than other transmissions by enabling the engine to run at its most efficient revolutions per minute (RPM) for a range of vehicle speeds. Alternatively it can be used to maximize the performance of a vehicle by allowing the engine to turn at the RPM at which it produces peak power.”

Chrysler uses it’s version of the CVT, the CVT2 in a number of their vehicles including the Caliber, Patriot, and Compass. It’s a pulley based CVT that operates very similar to a clutch in a snowmobile. The CVT transmission uses two V-pulleys and a steel push belt to vary the input to output speed ratio. The transmission engages the torque converter clutch almost immediately when accelerating, and keeps engaged throughout speed changes, eliminating slippage and increasing efficiency.

Optimized gear ratios, especially in the 30-60 mph range, improve passing and feel more responsive. Continuously varying the transmission ratio allows the engine to stay in its most efficient operating range. Check out the images and video below to help illustrate how everything works.

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CVT2 Transmission from the Caliber, Patriot and Compass. The video below shows an animated CVT2 in action!