Audi To Phase Out Multitronic CVT Automatic

Trevor Collett | Jul 22, 2014

Audi has confirmed the current range of constantly variable transmissions (CVT) in its line-up will be the last.

Using the name ‘Multitronic’, Audi was one of the first carmakers to develop the CVT for use in cars, with the transmission previously associated with much smaller, low-powered engines (such as scooters).

But Audi now believes the CVT has reached the end of its development. It intends to phase the CVT out when models that currently offer the transmission are updated or replaced.

Instead, Audi will concentrate its efforts on the S-tronic dual-clutch automatic, which the carmaker says has already surpassed the CVT for efficiency and driveability.

Speaking at a technology event in Sweden, Audi’s Ralph Rigger said the company would switch to a two-transmission line-up, with the S-tronic to be offered alongside the ‘traditional’ torque converter automatic.

Even the tried and true automatic’s days could be numbered however, with Rigger saying Audi is working on a version of the S-tronic capable of handling the big torque and all-wheel-drive seen in models that currently use an eight-speed automatic.

Mr Rigger pointed to Audi’s A7 Sportback, saying the updated model could boast better fuel efficiency due in some part to a switch from CVT to S-tronic transmissions.

Other carmakers have also invested in CVT automatics, but the transmission is largely the domain of small engined front-wheel-drive petrol and diesel models, along with hybrid variants.

MORE: Audi news and reviews

Filed under: Audi, transmission, efficiency, News, s-tronic, CVT, 8a

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  • hammer
    Hammer says,
    4 months ago
    2 likes
    Yeah, I've always wondered how far the CVT in cars as a mainstream transmission will go. Considering the dual clutch seems to performs better, it's just as smooth and provide similar (if not better fuel economy). Plus it can handle higher power outputs.

    CVT could just be relegated back in the world of scooters or a few small econoboxes.
    • Breadvan says,
      4 months ago
      2 likes
      You forgot to add "in Europe" to the end of your first sentence. CVT seems to be quite common in Japanese cars. You're also mistaken about power as CVT is used in cars like WRX and Murano - both somewhat powerful cars. It's an engineering issue - there aren't theoretical limits.

      I'm quite happy for the Japanese to take CVT tech further. We're only better off with more technical directions. As an engineer, the DSG offends me. It is unnecessarily complex which means expensive to replace/fix and more places where things can go wrong. Yucky. In comparison the CVT is nice and simple.
      • Ashley says,
        4 months ago
        I am with breadvan on this! The DSG sounds like a really complicated piece of gear, while the CVT is brilliantly simple.
  • Andrew Cowley says,
    4 months ago
    1 like
    Yeah like the DSG has been such a roaring success in their VW cars.
    • FrugalOne says,
      4 months ago
      4 likes
      Yeah like the DSG has been such a roaring success in their VW cars.


      +1

      The reason for axing the CVT is simple, $$$$ costs more to manufacture, another change brought to you buy the accounting-dept.

      • Breadvan says,
        4 months ago
        1 like
        Spot on - as usual. Not just manufacturing costs though. Also engineering costs. More variations of engines/transmissions to design/validate.
  • RHO says,
    4 months ago
    My daughter has a Nissan Rogue, CVT, I don't think its bad. Unless you are driving a performance car, most of us really just want efficiency.The Rogue CVT delivers it well enough. It gets decent mpg, and it is quick enough.
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