Continuously Variable Transmissions (CVTs) are not new, but they're increasingly common as the automatic transmission option for a broad range of vehicles thanks to their fuel-saving characteristics. Because of this, I've been getting more and more questions about how they work and what makes them more efficient than alternatives. This article aims to act as a short primer, using videos to show you what happens inside a CVT. Enjoy!
This second video is shorter and a 3D animation, but it also shows quite well what takes place inside a CVT when it adjusts itself to provide the optimal ratio for whatever the engine load is:
Here's another animation explaining the CVT, this one by BOSCH: