Get Leonardo DaVinci on the horn, he may be in for some royalty cash. Edmunds Inside Line is reporting on Nissan's move to make continuously variable transmissions (CVTs) — a design for which showed up in ol' Lenny's notebooks — the norm on many of its models. The company plans to produce upward of 1 million CVTs per year worldwide, on both hybrid and traditionally powered cars. In the US, the Murano crossover already comes with CVT as an option, and Nissan's new Versa subcompact will get optional CVT. The move will mean more business for the company's Jatco division, which will supply the trannies (from a new plant in Mexico) for Nissans and for the 2007 Dodge Caliber. Since CVTs swap gear ratios continuously, acceleration comes without the telltale pause between gear swaps in a traditional automatic. As for the whiny noise, we'll all just have to get used to it.
Nissan Anticipates a Major Shift to CVTs [Edmunds]
Dodge s World Beat: The 2007 Caliber s Global Powertrain [internal]