Volkswagen posts best March sales in US since 1973; boom in Passat sales
Audi developing e-sound for EVs

Honda develops new CVT for midsize vehicles; featured first on all-new Step WGN and Step WGN Spada

Cutaway of the new CVT for mid-size vehicles. Click to enlarge.

Honda Motor Co., Ltd. has developed a new continuously variable transmission (CVT) for mid-size vehicles that significantly enhances both driving performance and fuel economy. The new CVT is the latest addition to the Earth Dreams Technology (earlier post) series of next-generation technologies for automobiles.

The all-new Step WGN and Step WGN Spada in Japan will be the first vehicles to feature this new CVT and will offer the highest fuel economy in their class, based on Honda calculations for 5-number (i.e., compact-size), 2.0 liter-class vehicles with a height of 1,800 mm or more and seating seven or eight occupants (as of April 2012).

Current model of the Step WGN Spada. Click to enlarge.

To enhance fuel economy, the new CVT is compatible with an idle-stop system and features a high-efficiency electric oil pump and high-strength belt, among other features. The wide ratio range offers cruising with enhanced torque in the lower rpm range, thereby enhancing fuel economy. At the same time, the wide ratio range increases drive power during off-the-line acceleration to help realize an exhilarating and sporty driving feel.

The G-Design Shift, a new coordinated control system for gearing, throttle and hydraulic control, responds quickly to driver input, maintains strong and smooth acceleration G and helps realize an exhilarating and sporty driving feel.

Through this combination of technologies, in a comparison of Honda vehicles in the same class, the new CVT offers 5% higher fuel economy than a conventional CVT and 10% higher than a 5-speed automatic transmission.

In November 2011, Honda announced Earth Dreams Technology, a series of next-generation technologies for automobiles that significantly enhance both driving performance and fuel economy, combining environmental responsibility with the fun driving customers expect from Honda.

The first technologies in the series were the newly developed engine and CVT for minicars that were featured on the N BOX. The new CVT for midsize vehicles featured on the all-new Step WGN and Step WGN Spada is the second technology to join the series.



The CVT answer to the 8-speed dual-clutch gearbox?


"The CVT answer to the 8-speed dual-clutch gearbox?"

Only if it fulfills the following criteria:
a) smaller and lighter than DCG
b) increased reliability
c) same price or cheaper than DCG


I would add "more efficient" on top of the list. Contemporary CVTs have not been very efficient. Thus, European car manufacturers (with a few exceptions) have more or less lost interest in CVTs. The first generation DCGs were not so efficient either but the second generation is much better. For diesel applications, gearbox and car manufacturers are already working on 9-speed versions of the DCG.


No surprise to me.  Just eliminating the parasite drain of the hydraulic pump is a win.


Surprise, surprise: Most of the parasitic loss is in the belt/wheel contact.


With future in or near wheel e-motors on all wheels, CTV or 9+ speeds AT may no longer be a requirement, regardless of their relative efficiency.

Both will go the same way as 100% mechanical time pieces went.


Protean has a 50 kW in wheel design that could be put in board as well. Two of these would eliminate the transmission and differential nicely.


OK, here is the challenge - and it always is in the IP world: it looks like Nissan and Honda are eliminating 40% of the friction in the transmission. Ford (and VW) have cut consumption 10-20% via engine downsizing. So.....if Ford can get 30MPG combined in a 1.6T/6sp automatic Fusion and Nissan can get 31MPG combined in a 2.5/CVT Altima, could somebody get 34MPG combined in a 1.6T/CVT mid size car?


If you strive for efficiency, an e-motor is not the way to go. You Americans have to learn to save energy!


Peter.. many new e-motors have very high efficiency (95%+) and should be very durable and maintenance free. Our electricity is about 95%+ Hydro (the other 5% is from Wind and Nuke); very reliable (99.999%+); is very cheap @ about $0.06 KWh; very sustainable for centuries to come. The average BEV using about 10 KWh/day for about 60 Km/day would cost a mere $0.60/day. That's a lot (25 times) less than the equivalent ICEV with gas at $1.50/L. With all other maintenance cost saved, the total difference may be close to 28/30 times.

There is no doubts that EVs are many times more efficient and cleaner than equivalent ICEVs, even when initial purchase price is 50+% higher.


Wow, I'm getting old and curmudgety:

You can have my manual transmission when you pry it out of my cold, dead fingers.


Henry Gibson

They should implement Artemis hydraulic hybrid with less weight and less complexity and up to twice as many miles per gallon with the same engine or even more with a smaller engine. The Artemis company was sold to a Japanese company for its windmill transmission for megawatt windmills. ..HG..


If e-motors have a peak efficiently of 95% a mechanical gearbox at 98% is more efficient. As long as you make electricity from coal, natural gas and nuclear energy, EVs do not make any sense. As MIT showed in a report a couple of years ago, not even future US electricity production could make an EV as efficient in a WTW perspective as a parallel electric hybrid. (I have provided the link to this reference a couple of times before, so it is not included here.). Thus, regarding efficiently and CO2 emissions, there are no arguments for EVs. Luckily, they are so expensive that no one wants to buy them.

BTW: So far this year in Sweden, only 5 private car owners have bought an EV, this in spite of all the incentives.


I think there is some misunderstanding here. Harvey by "Our electricity" probably meant electricity in Quebec, which is very 'green'.
You probably haven't been there yet, I'd recommend that you visit Montreal and Quebec City, preferably in summer, as winters are very cold (although for those from Sweden it may not matter), very nice places, good to know some basic French. You can combine that with visits to New York City and Boston. Quebec is not typical American, something between America and France.


I think Sustainable Mobility has to do with the human race on this planet and not one locale that might do better than others.

The one element that we all have in common is the sun. Once we harness that wireless fusion generator we can get more towards a sustainable future.

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