Ford Considering CVTs For Future Models
Consumer response to continuously variable transmission continues to be notably split, with some lauding fuel economy and quick acceleration and others critical of its loud operation and an overall decrease in longevity. Ford hasn’t put a CVT in a non-hybrid vehicle since 2007 with the gone-but-never-forgotten Ford Five Hundred, Ford Freestyle, and Mercury Montego; a report from Automotive News, however, indicates that the automaker is considering bringing back the CVT.
“We’ve had some experience with CVTs and it wasn’t all good,” Raj Nair, Ford’s global product development chief, told Automotive News (subscription required). “They are getting better. And we are taking another look, particularly in the low torque applications. There may be some [potential] there.”
The obvious choice for a CVT would be the Fiesta SFE, which only offers the 1.0-liter three-cylinder engine with a manual transmission. While the stick may well be the go-to choice of automotive enthusiasts everywhere, fewer than 5% of all cars sold in North America today utilize manual transmissions, making some kind of automatic option a must.
CVT technology has improved greatly over the past seven years, which has led to the CVT becoming a more viable option for automakers such as Nissan, Honda, and Audi.
While Ford’s mind is likely far from made up on the issue, it appears we might be closer to Ford using CVTs in nonhybrids than we’ve been in at least half a decade.
News Source: Automotive News (subscription required)