Gone are the days when automakers wouldn't use anything not designed in their own studios (about forty years gone, if we're being honest). The powertrain of Dodge's new 2007 Caliber, for example, is a figment of globalization worthy of champagne and tongue-kisses from George Soros. For one, the Caliber's CVT2 continuously variable transmission (pictured), a DiVinciesque system of belts, pulleys and cogs, was created by Nissan's Jatco, Ltd. (CVT systems, as you may know, allow a car's engine to stay in its optimum RPM range, notwithstanding its velocity.)
One notable feature of the CVT2 application, is software that mimics the feel of a traditional transmission, squelching the instant rise in RPMs that could give first-time CVT operators the sensation of slipping on banana peels.
What's more, the Caliber's all-wheel-drive system — with variable torque output for front and rear — was developed with Mitsubishi. (It's Chrysler Group s first electronically controlled AWD system.) Plus, VW will supply a 2.0-liter direct-injection turbodiesel engine that will be available in overseas markets.