As reported by Autonews, Ford is seriously considering going back to using Continuously Variable Transmissions (CVT) on non-hybrid vehicles.
"We've had some experience with CVTs and it wasn't all good. They are getting better. And we are taking another look, particularly in the low torque applications. There may be some [potential] there." said Raj Nair, Ford Global Product Development head.
Ford sees the possibility of improving the fuel economy of their small-displacement models by using CVT, specifically on the Fiesta, EcoSport and maybe even the Focus instead of Ford’s dual clutch PowerShift. Using a CVT on their turbocharged EcoBoost engines may also yield fuel economy benefits.
The CVT is enjoying widespread use among automakers that have cited a couple of advantages, better fuel economy and smoother shifting.
Ford currently offers CVT on their hybrid lineup including the Ford Fusion Hybrid, the Ford C-Max, and the Lincoln MKZ Hybrid.
The last time a CVT was used with a naturally aspirated Ford engine was in 2007.
Ford has not confirmed whether they will build their own CVT or outsource it from a supplier.