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Audi Abandons CVTs, Focuses On Conventional Auto And Dual-Clutch Transmissions

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2016 Audi A7

2016 Audi A7

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German automaker Audi has decided to kill off its continuously variable transmission, in the next generation of its models. Continuously variable transmissions, or CVTs, have long been available in several Audis, but the firm will now replace it with conventional automatics and dual-clutch transmissions.

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The decision, Audi driving behaviour engineer Ralph Riegger told Motoring, was made on the basis that dual-clutch transmissions are now capable of delivering the fuel efficiency gains that previously only CVT models allowed. Called Multitronic, the CVT was available in a number of Audi models, including the A4, A5, A6 and A7.

"It isn’t being developed anymore," explained Riegger. "It served its purpose because it was very good for fuel economy."

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CVTs have proven unpopular with some drivers, despite their theoretical benefits—the independent rise and fall of engine revs compared to road speed can be disconcerting, and gives drivers a "disconnected" feel. The new dual-clutch gearbox, by comparison, should prove more popular—allowing greater control and with seven ratios, providing a suitable mix of performance and economy. Despite Audi's decision, CVTs as a whole are expected to become more popular over the coming years, as customers become ever more concerned about fuel efficiency.

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