While they may be technological marvels, continuously-variable transmissions aren’t particularly glamorous. They are, however, good for fuel economy and that particular trait has reportedly caught GM’s interest once again.
As you may recall, The General took a crack at CVTs in the past with the Saturn ION and Vue, but after a few short years, reverted back to a traditional automatic transmission in both models. With fuel economy en vogue once again, GM is considering another go at CVTs as a quick and easy way to boost fuel economy.
According to GM Daewoo CEO Mike Arcamone, the place to look for CVTs in the near future is Chevrolet, particularly in the small cars. Arcamone told Automotive News that the Chevrolet Cruze and upcoming Aveo and Spark would be the natural fits. His deputy and vice president of engineering for small- and mini-cars, Sohn Dongyoun, says those models will need to see at least a 10-percent bump in fuel economy at their next redesign and CVTs are an easy means to that end.
What do you think? Is GM right to pursue CVTs to increase fuel economy, or is it a waste of development dollars? Give us your armchair engineering solutions in the comments below.