Nissan has said that it will remain dedicated to it's efficient continuously variable automatic transmission systems, despite other manufacturers dropping the technology. Director of Nissan's product planning, Mark Perry, told reporters that the system can provide a 7-10% efficiency boost over a traditional four-speed automatic gearbox. "We're expanding CVTs across the lineup. We have great confidence in the technology. Our engineers are confident they can make further fuel-efficiency gains."
Like a surprising number of clever inventions, continuously variable gear systems were first invented by Leonardo Da Vinci, so they're hardly new. Some production cars appeared in the 50's that featured similar systems, allowing them to change gears gradually and constantly, with no noticeable jump between each ratio. In a CVT, two pulleys are connected by a belt, and the ratio between the pulleys changes when the axle size changes. This allows a car to always be in exactly the most efficient gearing ratio all the time, and improves mileage. ::FreeP ::Picture source