Justy, Opa, Cedgro, Skyline… Pioneer car series “domestic CVT”[Recommended car]| MOBY [モビー]

Currently, the continuously variable transmission “CVT” is widely used from light trucks to high-power vehicles, but in the early days, it caused trouble due to its low durability, and was too expensive compared to normal AT vehicles. And there were quite a few hurdles to spread.

In this early stage, we will introduce three representative examples of “domestic CVT pioneer vehicles,” including those that took on the challenge of commercializing CVT, developed it, or left it at that.

Subaru Justy (first generation, 1987, ECVT)

Equipped with Japan’s first belt-type continuously variable transmission

flickr.com Author: Rutger van der Maar CC BY-SA 2.0

The history of CVT, which uses a V-belt and two pulleys to change the gear ratio steplessly, is surprisingly long. Subaru was the first in the world to use a CVT that turns the drive on and off with an electromagnetic clutch using a metal belt.

The “ECVT” jointly developed with VDT of the Netherlands, which inherited the DAF patent, was installed on the Justy (1st generation) and then on the Rex (3rd generation) in 1987. Until then, unlike other companies, it had relied on the old-fashioned auto-clutch MT. We brought a full-fledged ATM to Subaru’s light / compact.

The electromagnetic clutch makes a “bang!” It gives a sense of AT, and was later supplied to Nissan as an NCVT.

Toyota Opa (2000 Super CVT)

Conservative Toyota finally decided to adopt it, and spread at once

toyota opa

While Subaru, Nissan, and Daihatsu are also developing various belt-type CVTs independently and installing them in commercial vehicles, Toyota, which had a strong conservative tendency in domestic vehicles, finally released the first CVT in the Opa released in 2000. Released a vehicle equipped with “Super CVT”.

The Opa itself has a short wagon-like body with a slightly longer overall length than a hatchback, and a rear seat that allows the seat to slide, seeking a high level of comfort. I’m here.

However, it was sold at Toyopet stores, not Vista stores, which are in charge of experimental models in Japan, and it seems that Toyota wanted this model to succeed.

In reality, the concept seemed rather ambiguous, and although sales of the Opa were not strong and ended in one generation, it seems that it was enough to prove the practicality of the super CVT, and domestic compact cars have CVT as a matter of course. It’s been a chance to adopt like.

Nissan Y34 Cedric/Gloria (1999), V35 Skyline 350GT-8 (2002)

The ultimate “Extroid CVT” that extinguishes grand dreams and romance

Reference image: Nissan Skyline (late 11th V35)

Until then, the combination of belts and pulleys was considered normal for CVTs with a relatively small displacement and low power output. Nissan’s “Extroid CVT” that attracted attention.

First, it was installed on the Y34 Cedric/Gloria VQ30DET equipped vehicle with a 6-speed manual mode, and then on the V35 Skyline VQ35DE equipped vehicle 350GT-8 with an 8-speed manual mode.

However, it is more expensive than the base model, and Nissan has introduced a 7-speed AT, and the multi-step AT has made it possible to perform sufficiently precise shifting. You won’t hear it at all.

Although it is sometimes introduced as a joke frame as a typical “pioneer car” that made efforts in the wrong direction, the effort itself aimed at the ultimate CVT should be evaluated.

* The author information of the images used in this article is as of the publication date.

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