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While some automakers have wholeheartedly embraced continuously variable transmissions (CVTs), Ford has largely shied away, but the company’s resistance may soon end.

Raj Nair, Ford’s chief of global product development, told Automotive News that “we’ve had some experience with CVTs and it wasn’t all good”.

Ford’s use of CVTs has largely been limited to hybrid models, such as the C-Max and Fusion hybrids that aren’t sold in Australia, and a few North American cars, like the short-lived Ford Five Hundred/Mercury Montego/Ford Freestyle (below) triplets that were sold between 2004 and 2007.

ford-freestyle-rear

Instead, Ford has elected to stick with conventional automatic transmissions for some vehicles, such as the FG X Falcon range, while other model lines, like the Focus, offer buyers a choice between manual or automated dual-clutch transmissions.

At the other end of the spectrum, Nissan Australia currently offers CVTs, either as standard or as an option, in all of its mainstream passenger car lineup, except for the Micra hatch.

Things may change, though, at Ford, as Nair continued by saying: “[CVTs] are getting better. And we are taking another look, particularly in the low torque applications.”

Nair didn’t comment as to whether Ford was looking to develop its own CVT in-house or obtain one from an outside supplier.




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