Nissan Motor and affiliate transmission supplier JATCO have developed a new generation of more compact and lightweight CVT transmission with a wider ratio spread said to match that of conventional seven-speed units.

The new design combines conventional CVT belt operation with an auxiliary gearbox and will be available in compact vehicles worldwide in the near future.

Nissan claimed the world’s highest transmission ratio for quicker starts and acceleration after raising the available transmission ratio from 6.0:1 now to 7.3:1 to enhance responsiveness on starting and acceleration.

The 7.3:1 ratio is higher than the average conventional seven-speed automatic transmissions used with high displacement engines, the automaker said.

Combines a belt-driven CVT with an auxiliary transmission shortened overall length by 10% and reduced weight 13% compared to comparable conventional CVTs.

Adaptive shift control (ASC) improves performance by automatically selecting the best ratio for starting off, acceleration and uphill or downhill driving.

“Nissan believes the CVT has very good potential as a leading technology for raising the fuel efficiency of internal combustion engine systems,” said Nissan powertrain engineering division head Shuichi Nishimura, corporate vice president.

“The need to improve fuel economy, with the resulting reductions in CO2 emissions motivated us to step up our efforts in the joint development with Jatco of this next-generation CVT.”

The supplier makes a full range of CVTs for applications from mini vehicles to 3.5 litre V6 cars and delivers 43% of the CVTs made globally.

Nissan and Jatco have so far sold 1m CVT-equipped vehicles, as well as introducing seven-speed conventional automatic transmissions to improve fuel efficiency.