Torotrak’s continuously variable transmissions increase efficiency and performance

Torotrak Group continuously variable transmission

Torotrak Group has made several improvements to its continuously variable transmission (CVT) technology, providing a wider ratio spread and seamless power delivery.

Torotrak’s main drive CVTs combine its full toroidal traction drive variator with other conventional transmission components. The variator is suitable for both front- and rear-wheel-drive platforms. It’s designed to be highly scalable, and has been demonstrated at power levels over 300 kW.

Torotrak expects global sales of CVTs to reach 12 million per year by 2020.

“Market preferences are shifting from conventional automatics to CVTs,” said John Fuller, Director of Concepts & IP. “Our solution can accelerate that trend by satisfying the needs of front-wheel-drive but also potentially rear-wheel-drive layouts, where the high torque levels and packaging constraints can be more challenging for conventional CVT technology.”

EVs in particular could benefit from the latest variator developments.

“By increasing the wheel torque at low vehicle speeds, a toroidal CVT can improve gradeability and performance, or be an enabler for a downsized electric powertrain that is lower in cost and weight,” said Fuller. “With the CVT configured to achieve efficiencies in excess of 95%, there is also potential to increase EV range.”

Torotrak 2016 powersplit passenger car transmission

Source: Torotrak via Green Car Congress