NSK Develops a Highly Efficient Toroidal Variator Module for Front-wheel Drive Automobiles

NSK Ltd. (NSK; Headquarters: Tokyo, Japan; President and CEO: Norio Otsuka) today announced that it has developed the world's first*1 toroidal variator1 for use in front-engine, front-wheel drive (FWD) vehicles. The new product surpasses both the multi-step automatic transmission (AT) and the belt-drive continuous variable transmission (CVT) in fuel economy.

NSK will exhibit this product at Tokyo Big Sight (located in Koto Ward in Tokyo) from Wednesday November 30 to Saturday December 11 at the Tokyo Motor Show 2011.

Product features

  • World's first toroidal system for FWD vehicles

    Conventional toroidal CVTs were available only in front-engine rear-wheel drive vehicles such as large-sized vehicles, due to the space required. NSK's new system changes internal specifications and uses more compact components. These improvements have resulted in a device 20% shorter than the conventional product, allowing for installation in FWD vehicles. Weighing 30% less than the conventional product, the toroidal variator can be utilized in a wide variety of vehicles.
  • Improved transmission efficiency

    Transmission efficiency that is superior to even the highest efficiency conventional products. Friction has been reduced by 50%.
  • Wider range

    Increasing the gear ratio has made lower engine speed at a wider range of speeds possible.
  • Module design

    Conventional toroidal CVTs have to be at least partially assembled after their delivery to the auto manufacturer. NSK's new toroidal variator is constructed as a module that is ready as-is for installation. This leads to improved productivity for auto manufacturers.


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