CVT for Trucks

By John C.

Continuously variable transmissions are seeing expanded use in cars as further engineering development has widened their applicability.  Imagine being at the ideal engine speed at the exact time it is needed, all the time.  This has even greater potential usefullness for trucks.  The driver can select economy, performance, off-road, winter driving, and work (tow/haul) modes.  There would be gains in all of these areas at the same time, without requiring changes to the engines or other aspects of the truck.  This will not be easy.  Alot of engineering is required for the cvt transmissions to handle the torque and horsepower a modern truck provides.  Ensuring reliability for the typical truck use will also require alot of development.   But going from 6 to 7 to 8 to more speeds on a transmission is playing micro-leapfrog.  If Ford can do this, it would be playing quantum-leapfrog.  Their competitors would need at least several model years to offer an answer to Ford's paradigm shift.