Your article on transmissions ("Engineers: Six-speeds will soon rule" in some editions of the April 11 issue) sheds light on the emergence of six-speed automatics but is too quick to dismiss the future of the continuously variable transmission.
While CVT engineering can be viewed as a challenge, it is also a fantastic technology that provides customer benefit in both fuel economy and smoothness of operation.
You need look no further than the Nissan Murano to find a great example of why Nissan sees a bright future for CVTs.
The Murano CVT (supplied by Jatco) handles 245 hp and 246 pounds-feet of torque and delivers best-in-class fuel economy that's 10 percent to 12 percent better than that of a comparable four-speed automatic transmission,
More than 137,000 Muranos have been sold in the United States, and every one of them has a CVT. Globally, Nissan has sold more than 1 million CVT-equipped vehicles, and the company expects a fourfold increase in global CVT applications during the next three years.
In the United States, Nissan plans to expand the number of CVT offerings significantly, with a target of 40 percent of our fleet within three years.
KURT von ZUMWALT
Product Public Relations
Nissan North America