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.
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