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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 07-18-02, 01:44 AM Thread Starter
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Torotrak signs evaluation license with ZF

Torotrak signs evaluation license with ZF
Special to TCC from AutoWorld
By Mark Wilkinson

Torotrak, developer of the infinitely variable transmission (IVT), has just
signed a license agreement with ZF to allow the Germany-based global
transmissions supplier to assess the revolutionary transmission.
The addition of ZF brings Torotrak's portfolio of license holders into a
very august group including, as it does, transmission manufacturers and
developers Aisin AW and Getrag, and also Koyo Seiko, one of the world's leading
bearing specialists.
ZF is well-known for its conventional stepped automatic transmissions, used
by Audi, BMW, Jaguar, Mercedes, Range Rover, Volkswagen and others. The
company has just launched its six-speed automatic transmission in BMW's 7-Series
and the Jaguar S-type. ZF also runs a joint venture with Ford in the U.S. to
produce both conventional automatic and CVT transmissions.
CVT is expected to be the 'next-big-thing' in medium-sized cars. The
ZF-Ford joint venture expects to produce 1 million units a year by 2005, although
this is now behind schedule, hampered by its torque handling ability. IVT, on
the other hand, is not limited by torque capacity so it could conceivably
challenge the high-torque conventional automatic transmissions used for larger
engines (3.0 to 6.0 liters or more) in the big vehicles.
The IVT has been proven to provide up to 20 percent fuel savings over a
conventional four-speed automatic transmission in a Ford Expedition and has also
been tested in Ford Mondeos and various Rovers. Its main benefit is its high
torque handling capacity for compact dimensions and low weight. It also
manages to do without a torque converter as a starting device, thereby avoiding
torque converter 'stall' in off-road situations.
AWKnowledge's test of IVT revealed a smooth, responsive unit that performed
just like any other intelligent modern automatic transmission.
Maurice Martin, chief executive, said, "This agreement with ZF represents
another strong endorsement from the industry following a similar evaluation
license with Aisin AW of Japan signed in January this year. The first Aisin AW
prototype will be produced later this year (the Series 3e) and we look
forward to further developments with ZF."
With all the major independent transmission specialists (including Jatco,
which is strongly affiliated with Renault-Nissan) on board now, the IVT is now
a healthy step closer to eventual production.
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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 07-24-02, 03:54 AM Administrator
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I don't know if I would like it only because I like to hear and feel the gear change. Would be strange but I guess you would get used to it.
20 % fuel savings has got to be the key point.

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