March 24, 2005
Source: Audi AG
Audi helped continuously variable transmissions to make a breakthrough with its multitronic. Now the 500,000th CVT transmission has been produced for the Ingolstadt brand. This is the latest high point in a success story that started in 1999.
The multitronic was first introduced in 1999 in the Audi A6 2.8, which developed a torque of 280 Nm and an output of 193 bhp. Audi thus entered a torque range that nobody had previously believed a continuously variable transmission capable of. Another strength of multitronic: this was the first time that a CVT transmission had managed to eliminate the “rubber band” effect. This brief revving of the engine without noticeable acceleration when stepping on the accelerator was an unpleasant side effect of the continuously variable transmissions available up to this point.
As a result of its increasing popularity and high acceptance with customers, the multitronic was soon also introduced in the Audi A4 and Audi A8. With this new transmission, Audi succeeded for the first time in combining the convenience of an automatic with the dynamism of manual shift.
Audi worked closely with the well-known supplier LuK on the development of the multitronic. The most important component of the multitronic is the link-plate chain produced by LuK which consists of 1,025 individual chain links and 150 cradle transmitting members. When pulling away, there is a pressure of up to eight tonnes on the cradle transmitting members connecting the links.
The TV commercial for the jolt-free CVT transmission featuring the famous Elvis fan doll has become legendary. For a while, this pelvis-gyrating figure was a highly sought-after accessory.
The success story of the multitronic is being continued. There are already transmissions on the test stand that transmit up to 400 Nm of torque. This opens up further application possibilities for the continuously variable transmission in the future.