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Subaru of Keene

11 Production Ave
Keene, NH 03431

  • Sales: (888) 466-1070
  • Service: (888) 461-8077
  • Parts: (888) 691-4539

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What is CVT and How CVT Works

Continuously Variable Transmission


Simplicity = Better Fuel Economy

Continuously variable transmission (CVT) is not a new invention, Leonardo  da Vinci created it in 1490 and Daimler, Benz (Mercedes Benz) received  the first patent in 1886 and Subaru improved it on the Outback, Legacy and Impreza.


The transmission works by shifting through an infinite number of gear  ratios between the minimum and maximum threshold without steps. This creates  a smooth driving experience without the shift lag experienced in traditional  transmission systems. The transmission does not require a clutch and gives  the driver optimum fuel efficiency and performance. Discover why Subaru's  CVT, found on the Subaru Outback, Subaru Legacy and 2012 Subaru Impreza,  is the best economical and performance driven choice for you and your  family.


How CVT Works

Before we get into the technical definition (below), you might be wondering  why Subaru's use CVT rather than a traditional gearbox transmission  that uses gears and gear trains. CVT offers the benefits of fewer mechanical  breakdowns, increased fuel economy and power when you need it. Traditional  transmissions shift during a given minimum and maximum RPM. This decreases  your fuel economy and doesn't give you the maximum power for your  automatic transmission.

Subaru's Lineartronic CVT uses two hydraulically operated, adjustable  pulleys with a chain link that runs between and connects them. The metal  chain allows the system to remain compact while requiring less maintenance.

The chain rides within each V-shaped pulley so that the chain equals  the pulleys width. The distance between the sides of the pulleys is  adjustable, allowing the chain to ride lower or higher in the valley  of the V shape. The gear depends on the size of the V shape within the  pulleys.

Manual Mode

One of the benefits of Subaru Lineartronic CVT is that it allows you  to switch to manual mode, which simulates a six-speed manual transmission.  The driver can use paddle levers on the steering wheel, or the shifter  to increase gears for cruising, or downshifting gears for passing and  acceleration power. When the engines rev limit or minimum is reached,  the vehicle shifts the gear if you forget.



Subaru's Lineartronic CVT offers several benefits:

Smooth vehicle operation: The continuous variable transmission offers  step-less shifting, which allows for a smoother transition between gears  because there is no mechanical shifting. Due to the way the CVT works, there  is no noticeable up shifting or down shifting, which creates a very smooth  operation for passenger and driver comfort.

Fuel efficiency: The CVT  keeps the engine in its optimal power range, which increases fuel economy  as gears are shifted as needed. If you need more power, the gears downshift  to give you passing power and acceleration you want as your press down  on the pedal.

Quick response: Eliminating mechanical gear changes the step-less CVT  enables the powertrain to be more responsive for throttle application  and vehicle speed. For example, there is no hunting for gears when going  uphill, or when passing.

Driving pleasure: The manual transmission mode allows you to take full  control of your vehicles power by shifting gears for increased performance  and acceleration. You have the fun to drive benefits of a manual transmission  and the convenience of an automatic transmission.

Interior comfort: The step-less transmission allows for improved driver  comfort because there is no mechanical shifting of gears. The driving  experience with CVT is smooth and quiet.

Subaru Lineartronic CVT is found on the Subaru Outback, Subaru Legacy  and now on the all new 2012 Subaru Impreza.

Come to  Subaru of Keene  and test drive a Subaru with CVT

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