TO CVT OR NOT TO CVT?
I fully understand the misgivings enthusiasts have towards sports vehicles using a constantly variable transmission (CVT). Surely this must be a mismatch of transmission and performance for any sportscar? Manual motoring is driving in its purest form; however, looking at the top-end sportscars, manual transmissions are seemingly a dying breed, which to some extent invalidates this argument. I was shocked to realise this, as I consider myself a motoring purist, too.
There are still some great manual gearboxes available; take the one in the new Honda Civic Type R, for example. I was puzzled to hear the Honda Jazz Sport is available with a CVT only in our market. However, when test driving one, I was amazed by its smooth, eager power delivery.
Despite what I’d expected of CVTS, I am convinced this is the best solution for me, as I spend much of my time in heavy Johannesburg traffic. The rational argument won over the emotive performance-only diatribe, since the efficiency of the CVT comes with satisfying
performance in the real world. I am now sold on the idea of the CVT and no longer find it a disagreeable transmission option.
I challenge drivers to try the latest CVTS on daily routes and favourite roads. You will be impressed with how well a CVT fits into your real-world driving experience: happily, without gears.
GUY MCILROY Johannesburg
[Point well made, Guy, but I remain a CVT sceptic; a wellengineered torque-converter automatic transmission is the best option for the urban slog. That said, I’d trade any auto for the sublime manual gearbox in the Civic Type R, an element which helped the Honda charm everyone who drove it at this year’s Performance Shootout – editor.]