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JATCO to Display New Transmission for Hybrids, CVT with Auxiliary Gearbox at Tokyo Motor Show

Thew new JATCO RWD hybrid transmission. Click to enlarge.

Japanese transmission manufacturer JATCO will exhibit a newly-developed transmission for hybrids at the upcoming Tokyo Motor Show 2009. The company will also showcase its new continuously variable transmission, developed with Nissan, featuring an auxiliary gearbox. (Earlier post.)

The new transmission for hybrids is based on the company’s 7-speed automatic transmission for FR vehicles (front engine, rear-wheel drive). Designed for parallel-type hybrid vehicles, the unit features one motor and two clutches, and supports motor-independent drive.

JATCO is targeting about a 30% increase in fuel economy (based on the Japanese 10-15 cycle) for the transmission. JATCO currently supplies a front-wheel drive hybrid transmission, based on a CVT, to Nissan for use in the Tino hybrid.

The new CVT, targeted for Nissan compact vehicles, offers high transmission ratio for quicker starts and acceleration. The new structure raises the available transmission ratio from current 6.0:1 to 7.3:1, more than 20% higher than other CVTs, for enhanced responsiveness on starting and acceleration. The 7.3:1 ratio is higher than the average conventional 7-speed automatic transmissions used on high-displacement engine-equipped vehicles, making it among the world’s highest ratios for production vehicle use, according to JATCO, (excluding DCTs and manual transmissions).

JATCO also recently opened a new plant in Guangzhou, China to produce belt continuously variable transmissions (CVT) for 2.0~2.5 liter class vehicles.

The new plant is JATCO’s second overseas production base after the plant in Mexico. It manufactures belt CVTs for 2.0~2.5 liter class vehicles. Annual production capacity is 140,000 units. The CVTs produced there will be used in the Nissan Teana, Sylphy, X-TRAIL, Qashqai, and other models that are produced at Dongfeng Motor Co., Ltd. (DFL).



The Big-3 could buy (import) this type of improved transmissions at much lower cost than currently used less efficient locally built units.

That would be one way to get more fuel efficiency at lower cost very quickly, from a simple administration decision.

The same could apply to ancillaries, motors, etc.


Tyrannies aren't needed for BEVs; just a motor and a differential or two motors for each rear drive wheel. This however is an interest feature for those consumers who will be stuck with driving ICE cars. I'll wait for the new BEVs.


I think that the belt type CVT is a dead end. It provides for a small gain in engine efficiency but has a continuous friction slip loss in the transmission which cuts into the efficiency and cause wear. All friction type CVT transmissions have a slip that is proportional to the torque being transmitted. The dual clutch transmission with 6, 7. or 8 gears should provide almost all of the engine gains without the slip losses except for a brief time (less than a second) the transmission is changing gears. Also this is not a new concept that the "Big 3" is not aware of. GM looked at the belt type CVT concept more than 25 years ago and decided that it was not worth pursuing.

It is also my opinion that the parallel hybrid will eventually be replaced by the serial type hybrid which probably will not require a multi-gear transmission. The serial hybrid such as the Chevy Volt allows the IC engine to either be off or running at it's peak efficiency point.

Roger Pham

Parallel hybrid does not need much of a transmission, but just a power-split planetary gearing device like in Toyota's HSD mechanism, or, to avoid patent infringement, a simple 2-3-speed transmission is all that's needed, since the eletric motor and the batteries will deliver a lot of low-speed torque.

This particular 7-speed JATCO transmission is probably designed for a large diesel truck that will replace perhaps the non-hybrid original 12-14-speed transmission, or for super-duper sport cars like the Corvette, which can never accelerate fast enough to satisfy the testosterone surge!


Well said Roger.

Stan Peterson

One of the serious criticisms of the Chrysler mid-size and compact cars is the noisy, peaky, over camming of the Chrysler versions of the GEMA I-4 "World" engines also used by Hyundai and Mitsubishi.

Chrysler was forced to do this to increase peak HP, since it uses the older JATCO CVT versions in Chrysler mid-size and compact platforms were insufficient to produce reasonable performance, and their dual-clutch 6 speed DCA alternative, was dealyed and then canceled because of financial problems.

The Hyundai version of the World I-4 engine, with a flat torque relaxed cam profile is highly praised. This new JATCO 7.3::1 CVT version, immediately allows Chrysler engineering to alter to a Hyundai-like cam profile in these other wise identical engines.

Although late in the game, it helps make the Chrysler offerings much more competitive. It should transform them from noisy, seemingly underpowered cars, to fine performers.

Meanwhile, Chrysler has completed the engineering conversion to DI for the I-4 World engines; and the FIAT connection has led to a project to apply FIATs VVL, throttle-less technology known as "Multiair" to the World I-4s that adds 10+% to the power ratings while increasing mileage by 10%. FIAT boasts of the cost effectiveness, and easy applicability of Multiair to any ICE.

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The dual clutch transmission with 6, 7. or 8 gears should provide almost all of the engine gains without the slip losses except for a brief time (less than a second) the transmission is changing gears. Also this is not a new concept that the "Big 3" is not aware of.
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It's a great news knowing that a new design of machine is out but I guess inventors should first prioritize conserving fuel. I bet that kind of engine can burn lots of fuel every mins/sec.

Jane of skin moles


Japan really are more far advance in technology. I was expecting of this product to be produce in nearly 2012 but they have produced it earlier. I can say that Japanese engineers had really focused on this one.

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