Toyota’s New CVT Has A Launch Gear

Toyota’s Direct Shift-CVT Has A First Gear For Starting Off
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People are often underwhelmed with the driving experience of a CVT, and initially, many CVTs were underwhelming. Toyota is changing that, with numerous improvements to their CVT to make shifts quicker, more precise, and more engaging to drive. And it’s no longer just using a belt for accelerating. Starting from a stop, the CVT switches over to a direct gear drive, much like starting in first gear in a manual transmission. As the vehicle speed increases, the first gear is dropped and it switches over to belt drive, letting the CVT handle the higher speeds.

The changes to their new continuously variable transmission result in better launch acceleration, faster shift speeds, and a greater transmission efficiency at all vehicle speeds. How is this possible? Check out the video for full details.

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  1. Post By Kawz C

    Toyota needs to get rid of the cvt gearbox!

  2. Post By Roberto Saldívar Cortés

    I just hate that CVTs fakes gear changes, I mean it's a CVT don't emulate an automatic, it's silly to me.


    Is this the same as the launch control on my 2015 F10 M5 DCT ?

  4. Post By Weggman Hillard

    You need a bigger caulk board!

  5. Post By Xgamer121X

    I truly hope there will be a driving mode available that disables those pointless simulated shifts.

  6. Post By Ronald Reed

    The most inefficient an internal combustion engine is throttling up or down, if an engine only has to run at a set RPM you can make it super efficient, thats where a CVT trans really shines.

  7. Post By Ronald Reed

    My father had a rental center when I was young and a piece of equipment we had adjusted the belt with an adjustable pully, after comparing that to the way a bicycle chain reacted under torque, I was certain I just thought up a new style transmission. My father had some friends from his days on the staff at Pontiac and an engineer friend of my dad told me it was genius and he even had a name for it if I didnt, Continuous velocity transmission aka CVT. He THEN told me the history of the Transmission but for a few minutes i had thoughts of grand wealth, fame, obviously free education at a prestigious college where beautiful girls would throw themselves on me, oh well, for a few moments….

  8. Post By Edson Brasil

    Does it make any difference in the MPG at traffic or highways? Thank you! Nice video

  9. Post By Albert S.

    Just make a dct and get rid of CVT already

  10. Post By YouTube User

    Isn't the Jatco7 the same and in use already?

  11. Post By oak 1971

    CVT's are great in theory! On a unrelated note, manufacturers are adding actual gears and the sensation of having actual gears to CVT's due to the piss poor real world performance of a CVT.This is done only because regular humans are retards and do not know what is good for them.

  12. Post By Jon Londrezos

    CVT rules.

  13. Post By Pavel Krupets

    I do love CVT as it's a lot safer in the mountains with the snow / slush / ice (Subaru Outback), as there is no interruption in force on the road. I do love manual in summer in the mountains without any snow / slush / ice on summer tires.

  14. Post By Ed Spencer

    Nissan does the same thing, without the launch gear. The Altman SR shifts like this in drive, I hate it. Then there's the paddle shift mode, which is fun and helps with power demands in hilly and mountainous driving. When you're going uphill and you find the engine is lugging just downshift 2 gears and keep it there until your out of the climb. Easier on the engine and definitely easier on the converters and belt.

  15. Post By Joshua Lovelace

    I think you mean a "zee Eff" transmission you insufferable canadian lol

  16. Post By Derpu Wolf

    Do you think we should improve on CVT technology? I hope we can find a way to make a beltless CVT since belts are so inefficient. I honestly love CVTs because of how they are. Infinite gear ratios and whatnot. I personally hope companies stop making CVTs with stepped gear ratios. Like, the point of the CVT is to keep the engine at peak output through most of the speed range. Not only so, but keeping it quiet and smooth for comparison.I don't know why CVTs are hated so much. They're meant for a certain job, sorry it doesn't satisfy the old school sounding stepped gear box. I just love them so much.


    Please make vedios about the new technologies in electric cars

  18. Post By Rene1935

    Theoretically, CVTs should be the best, but how can I use a CVT in mountain switchback driving where I like to use engine braking and better use the engine to hold back the vehicle while going downhill and then being at a good RPM for heading up the next hill? I love my 2015 Ford Fusion Titanium with its paddle shifters when driving mountain switchback roads. I also did this with manual transmissions, such as on my BMW motorcycles.

  19. Post By Creeperboy

    Wow, car tech has changed so much since my early childhood. I'm not even 20 years of age.

  20. Post By PT111111

    Thanks for the video, this channel is more useful and efficient than googling. Can you do a video on unsprung weight?

  21. Post By mikldude

    I like the old conventional torque convertor slush box , My 17 year old ford big family rwd sedan , that still has the original boring 4 speed auto that has had no special care taken other than keeping the oil clean and changed at factory specified intervals , and adding an oil cooler for towing a big ass caravan .In 17 year's it has had a selector seal(about two dollars for the seal) and an extension housing seal , ( about 10 dollars for the seal and easily replaced) .And I'm still driving it . Will a cvt have such a service life ?????

  22. Post By Alfie Phillips

    mark chamber table religious examine those standing refugee tomorrow.

  23. Post By Randy G

    Your nuts! No one likes CVT, at least those who have a clue. Recently bought 2 hondas, my daughters is CVT, mine is 6speed auto which is PERFECT! Time will tell on my daughters car, both are low mileage '15, accord & civic. BTW- Mine is the sweet V6, love the power.

  24. Post By se7en1976

    When they start fitting these to ACTUAL fast cars.. Ill worry about it.

  25. Post By James S Danyluk

    Hey man. Love the vids… could you expand on the differential / transmission series regarding tow/haul mode for the pickup enthusiasts please?!

  26. Post By MusicSoundPlayer

    I want a toyota cvt with mazda HCCI, Infinity variable compression ratio and Koenigsegg pneumatic valves. What else? Painted Calipers?

  27. Post By Emilthehun

    Awesome. I drove a cvt car and it was the never ending buzz of the engine that turned me off while full acceleration. Did you do a video yet on automated manual transmission yet? That I'd love to see how it actually works.

  28. Post By 01FozzyS

    Watching you on tv right now with Justin Bell!

  29. Post By jezmun

    I had a Nissan Juke AWD DiGT only available with CVT and loved its smoothness and acceleration – not many sold in the UK!

  30. Post By Nathan Bridges

    I find this information interesting and in further "nerding out" all this car technology that keeps coming out always leaves me curious as to who invented it? From an Petrol head point of view we have a lot of history in the automotive world and yet it seems that in the past few years all this new technology has just been associated with the car manufacturer rather than the team of engineers or persons that actually came up with the idea. Just a thought. Thanks for the info.

  31. Post By Gizmo Thewytchdoktor

    cvt…the tech that moves mopeds. good in theory. sucks in practical application. not for the enthusiast. great for those who use a vehicle as an appliance. one of the most polarizing applications of technology i can think of. right up there though with drivers"aids" that allow people behind the wheel that really don't belong behind one. this could easily turn into a diatribe but the space is limited and only petrolheads would agree or understand.back to enjoying my anachronistic v12 jag :-)

  32. Post By iracema martins de faria

    Man do a video about just Water Injection!!

  33. Post By DucFanDan

    I’m obviously an engineer, and not a human. (Aerospace systems engineer specializing in propulsion)I’ll keep my SS sedan with the Tremec 6-speed, three pedals, row-my-own gears.My experience with CVTs hasn’t been great. Early Subaru CVT just sucked. Every time you stepped on the gas, it would take several seconds to wind out before you felt any additional “thrust” (torque actually transmitted to the drive wheels). Plus it was 90% fwd biased, which made playing in the snow, well, not particularly playful. Bought a 3.6L 6-cyl Outback with the Stone Age 5EAT. Much better. More positive acceleration, and the older gearbox was actually RWD biased, which you can plainly feel in the snow. I can goose it and get some rotation out of the 3.6R, where the 2011 2.5i CVT would just mush forward and understeer.What I fail to understand is why the false “gear ratios”. I wouldn’t have had such a problem with the CVT if it had felt “tighter”, meaning more directly responsive to my throttle inputs. Instead it was like driving a wet sponge. But adding false “ratios” doesn’t help. All the CVT needed was to be more tightly tuned to the engine and throttle, instead of taking an eternity to wind the engine out before accelerating every time I stepped on the skinny pedal. Seriously… I have flown turboprops that felt more solidly “connected” to the pilot’s throttle inputs… and they’re pushing off of *air*.Anyway… CVTs continue to be butchered from their original intent because of weird humans and corporate analysts who can’t seem to figure out what consumers actually want. So for now, I am sticking with the Tremec manual in my SS sedan, and the Outback will eventually be replaced most likely with a Macan. The PDK dual-clutch is a sweetheart. Rented one for a week, loved it. As connected feeling as my SS sedan, with ease of use when traffic turns to hell. Sport mode in the Macan was pretty much bang on for my personal preference in shift points. Don’t care that I will have to have that clutch pack replaced at the dealer. Got to pay to play, and I’d rather pay for that than suffer the doldrums of driving another sub-par automatic or CVT.

  34. Post By Pan Lau

    Add a highway gear after that, when you found thats not enough, add one more in the middle, finally you got 3 speed + cvt.Few years later, people start complaint the auto clutch can't transit smoothly, so switch back to torque converter. LOLActually, Toyota found the solution for the problems above, ECVT. <3

  35. Post By d3Rm0Nk

    Gearshift "senstions" of an automatic gearbox …

  36. Post By dosmastrify

    Rented a maxima with a cvt that behaved like you describe, dude, the motor sitting at 5500 while that speedo flew up was quite fun

  37. Post By manzelli1981

    The first 19 seconds of this video cracked me up. Good stuff as always. Thank you!

  38. Post By Christian Eshelman

    Nice video. Just bought a 2015 CRV for the wife. CVT is much improved from the previous gen with a 5 speed. Honda’s new accord comes with a 10 speed. Will you do a video on it? You mentioned the 8 speed at the end, so I’m curious as to which direction Manufacturer’s will go into 2020. Always enjoy the vids!

  39. Post By mjouwbuis

    I would rather have an overdrive gear on a CVT since starting off is one of the major strong points of a CVT. You want the CVT action when you use it most, not for cruising on the highway.

  40. Post By Alfisti Adventures

    That last bit made me think a marketing guy went to the engineers to tell them: that new transmission…. i dont feel the gears…. make me feel the gears >:(. and the engineers stopped trying to explain how a CVT works and made it happen.

  41. Post By Josh Dollins

    only driven cvt in a ford (500 i think?) and subarus I personally like them just fine

  42. Post By Tim Middleton

    A launch gear, good idea for cvt reliability.

  43. Post By strawboss59

    The Mitsubishi Mirage has had a 2 speed "axle" in front of their CV transmission since 2014. Something like the old 2 speed differentials on the old ford trucks….the first truck I drove had a split shift.

  44. Post By gerryzub

    I own the Toyota LE ECO corolla. The worst thing about the CVT in the car is the response from a stop. Hopefully this new launch gear will fix that. I hate having to pull out quickly in the corolla. It just cant pull out quickly from a stop.

  45. Post By Chris James

    Isn't this just like what nissan did with the newer generation xtronic cvt a few years ago ? with the planetary gear for take off and the d-step logic for simulated shifts when you floor it.

  46. Post By BrianNC81

    How often do the belts in a CVT need to be replaced?

  47. Post By RJ Costain

    Whoever doesnt like cvt essentially dont like snowmobiles. Same feeling.

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