The future is CVT, at least in Nissan’s eyes. Nissan is ramping up CVT installations up to almost 40% of total vehicles sold, which are about 400,000 vehicles a year in North America alone.
Nissan’s CVT gearbox is called Xtronic CVT. The 2007 Nissan Versa small sedan and hatch will feature this as an option. CVT is a stepless gearbox system which allows infinitely variable gear ratios because it uses variable belts instead of fixed gears for transmission.
Nissan’s Xtronic CVT-M6 is available here in Malaysia in the Nissan Murano. It has a manual 6-speed mode.
Another unique feature of the Xtronic CVT is the elimination of the ‘rubber-band’ feeling with other CVT transmissions. This rubber band feeling is when you press the accelerator from a stop. The RPM goes up kind of high before settling down again, just like a clutch that’s being released slowly. Nissan’s Xtronic CVT has some logic control that prevents this.
Ironically Nissan’s shift_ future doesn’t require any shifts at all! ;)