CNET GLOSSARY: Terms for the techie
continuously variable transmission (CVT)
Unlike traditional multispeed automatic transmissions, the CVT is an "infinite speed" unit with no perceptible shifting. During maximum acceleration, the drive ratio adjusts to maintain peak engine horsepower. At a constant vehicle speed, the CVT maintains just enough engine power for economical cruising. Some recent models, such as Audi's A4, incorporate optional shift modes.
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