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What is CVT?

The Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) has long been recognized by Toyota engineers as one of the most powerful weapons in their battle for maximum fuel efficiency.

CVT transmission vs automatic transmission

In conventional manual and automatic transmissions, a pre-set number of gears limits the powertrain to a narrow operational range where fuel efficiency and performance are somewhat limited. For example, with a modern six-speed automatic, only six pre-set, fixed gears are available. As such, the engine and transmission must operate in just one of six possible relationships between the vehicle speed, selected gear, and engine revs.

How does a CVT transmission work?

With a CVT transmission, a vehicle's engine spends more time at lower and steadier revs, reducing fuel consumption and emissions. When performance is required, the CVT transmission can provide faster and more fuel-efficient access to the engine's available performance.

To summarize, the CVT transmission is the preferred choice for maximum fuel efficiency and performance, and all with virtually no compromise.

The CVT transmission enhances refinement too, as it exhibits no lunging or slamming sensations common with gear changes in a conventional transmission. As an illustration, imagine carrying a tray of snacks to some friends downstairs. From a smoothness, a conventional transmission amounts to walking the tray of drinks down the staircase - it's rougher and less smooth, because there are a set number of equally spaced steps. On the other hand, a CVT transmission, with no pre-set gears, is like walking the tray of drinks down a ramp - it's smoother and less abrupt.

Toyota innovation: Direct Shift-CVT

CVT Launch Gear leads to a whole new innovation: Toyota's Direct Shift CVT. Toyota calls the innovation the CVT "Launch Gear". With its arrival, engineers have effectively hand-picked the most efficient components of both conventional and CVT transmissions, combining them into a single unit.

The result is Toyota's brand-new Direct Shift-CVT: a world-first design that advances the CVT on all fronts by incorporating a single component from the conventional transmission: first gear. The new transmission works just like a regular CVT, though it employs a single Launch Gear, which is like the first great in a conventional transmission, or the "easy" gear of a bicycle.

Performance and Fuel-Efficient Vehicles

There are many benefits to the new CVT transmission. First, the addition of the new Launch Gear allowed engineers to further optimize all parts of the transmission.

The new Direct Shift-CVT stacks up as a win-win proposition for today's driver. Best of all, there's nothing unusual detectable from the driver's seat and drivers can expect more of what they already love about their Toyota: smoother acceleration, more responsive performance, and further reduced fuel consumption.

Combined with the latest Toyota Dynamic Force Engine, itself fitted with various fuel-saving innovations, a high-tech fuel injection system, and world-leading thermal efficiency thanks to a compression ratio that approaches exotic car levels, the new Direct Shift-CVT opens up a new world of possibility for Toyota drivers after the most fuel-efficient performance possible.