OT: Car buffs, help needed

Adam Maas adam at mawz.ca
Sat Oct 31 15:01:38 EDT 2009

On Sat, Oct 31, 2009 at 2:21 PM, Igor Roshchin <str at komkon.org> wrote:
> What I actually meant is more about the jerky sound which happens
> even in case of an AT.
> And on top of that, - even with AT you can
> feel the gears switching (even if you are deaf), - the abrupt change
> in acceleration is stil there.
> You don't feel that with CVT. - That lead to a perception (at least
> among US consumers) that the engine is not powerful enough.
> That's why companies started simulating stepped transmision on top
> of CVT's.
> Igor
> PS. And I agree with William Robb on what constitutes a competent
> driver.

That feel was part of the issue, but the first wave of CVT's in the
late 80's did rob power from the car, not due to efficiency losses,
but due to effectively shifting up too fast, robbing the car of power
at the wheels. The modern computer controlled CVT's have much better
control over the ratio variation and thus can keep the change down
when accelerating hard, which removes the feel of gutlessness. They're
also using more powerful engines in cars now, it's a lot easier to
make a 70-100HP, 2500lb car feel gutless than a 250HP 3500lb car.
M. Adam Maas
Explorations of the City Around Us.

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