Subaru vehicles operate with a continuously variable transmission (or CVT), which differs slightly from most transmissions in other vehicles. But, what exactly is a Lineartronic CVT transmission? And how does it work? Today we’re exploring the answers to those questions.
What Is Continuously Variable Transmission?
A traditional transmission in a vehicle operates using a set of distinct gears, switching between them. The transmission in a traditional engine will shift the gears to offer the right ration of power to speed for any given driving scenario.
The Lineartronic continuously variable transmission (CVT) used in most models of Subaru cars is slightly different. Instead of switching between fixed gears, the CVT engine uses a steel chain which connects to pulleys of varying width. There are no fixed gears in a CVT transmission. Inside the car, the controls are the same as an automatic transmission: two pedals, with no clutch, and a PRNDL shift pattern. Instead of having gears, however, the CVT has the pulleys which grow narrower and wider, changing the relationship of engine speed and car speed.
You’ll never feel or hear the transmission shift because it is not a shift of gears. Instead, it merely raises and lowers the engine speed as required – bringing up the RPM for faster and better acceleration, and lowering the RMP for a more fuel efficient drive while cruising.
Benefits of Driving a Lineartronic CVT
Driving with a Lineartronic CVT transmission feels very similar to driving with a regular automatic transmission, as most modern models shift gears smoothly so the driver feels nothing unless closely paying attention. Without any fixed gears, you will never feel any power interruption while driving as the pulleys change in width. The Lineartronic CVT engine also offers a number of benefits to the driver, such as
- Consistent power at the right time
- Excellent fuel economy
- A lighter engine, offering a better handling and easier acceleration
- Faster acceleration
- Smoother acceleration
- Fewer parts to wear or breakdown, offering more reliability
- The option to switch to manual mode if you prefer (some trims and models are excluded, check with your Subaru sales representative)
For more information on Subaru’s Continuously Variable Transmission, visit your local Subaru dealer.