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165 Commerce Dr, Fairfield, CT, 06825

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Dealership Info

Phone Numbers:Sales Hours:
  • Mon - Thu9:00 AM - 7:00 PM
  • Fri9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
  • Sat9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • SunClosed
Service Hours:
  • Mon - Fri7:30 AM - 5:30 PM
  • Sat8:00 AM - 3:00 PM
  • SunClosed
Parts Hours:
  • Mon - Fri7:30 AM - 5:30 PM
  • Sat8:00 AM - 3:00 PM
  • SunClosed
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What is a CVT?

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CVT stands for Continuously Variable Transmission, a type of automatic transmission with infinitely variable gear ratios. In order to fully answer the question, “What is a CVT?”, transmission designs and behaviors should be compared in detail. Here’s what you’ll need to know to get started:

  • Manual transmissions use fixed gear ratios and a driver-controlled clutch in order to bring your vehicle up to speed.
  • Automatic transmissions also use fixed gear ratios, but the movements between gears are controlled by the vehicle itself.
  • Continuously variable transmissions (CVTs) also bring you up to speed automatically, but they don’t use traditional gear ratios at all. Instead they use a pulley system to vary the ratio according to the precise needs of the moment.
  • Dual-clutch transmissions, like those you’ll find in Mercedes-Benz vehicles, combine the control and efficiency of manual transmissions with the convenience offered by automatic designs.

How Does a Continuously Variable Transmission Work?

Depending on where you look, you may also see a continuously variable transmission referred to as a shiftless transmission, a stepless transmission, or a pulley transmission. These alternative names already provide plenty of clues for drivers who want to understand what CVTs really do:

  • Instead of shifting between six, seven, or eight fixed gears, a CVT uses a cone-shaped pulley system. These pulleys are connected by a single intervening belt or chain.
  • As you drive, the fixed side of the CVT remains in place. The other side moves, extending the length of the chain. The result is what might normally be described as a shift in gears–although here, there is no actual shifting taking place.

What is a CVT Good For?

Traditionally, manual transmissions have been seen as more efficient than automatic transmissions–and with good reason. Shifting between fixed gears without wasting power is a difficult thing for a machine or a computer to do!  CVT transmissions are more efficient than standard fixed-gear automatic transmissions, which means that they’re often found in small cars and subcompact SUVs where fuel economy ratings are most competitive.

CVTs vs. Dual-Clutch Transmissions

If you’ve been doing research on Mercedes-Benz vehicles, then you’ll know that a continuously variable transmission isn’t currently offered on any vehicle in our lineup. Instead, our smaller and more efficient vehicles–like the Mercedes-Benz A-Class or the Mercedes-Benz GLB–offer dual-clutch transmissions.  What’s the difference between a CVT and a dual-clutch transmission?

  • No Pulley System: While DCTs also offer the efficiency of manual transmissions and the ease-of-use of automatic transmissions (at least in their more modern instantiations), pulleys are nowhere to be found.
  • Two Transmissions, One Housing:Instead, this type of transmission resembles two manual transmissions, complete with two clutches, housed together and functioning as a single unit.
  • No Loss of Torque in Shifting: In addition to being efficient, a DCT can ‘pre-load’ the next gear before it’s time to shift–allowing you to change gears without any loss of torque to the drivetrain.
  • Automatic Capability: The original DCTs still required the driver to shift manually. Today, designs like the 8G-DCT® in the GLB can take you through the gears automatically.

All of these factors have made DCTs, rather than CVTS, the transmission of choice for performance enthusiasts in Westport and Norwalk.

Experience a DCT at Mercedes-Benz of Fairfield

If you want to experience the latest in advanced transmission design, don’t wait to start a conversation with Mercedes-Benz of Fairfield. Shop our virtual showroom today, or use our vehicle finder service to locate a model with the transmission that you’ve been searching for.

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165 Commerce Dr • Fairfield, CT 06825

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Open Today! Sales: 9am-6pm

Open Today! Service: 7:30am-5:30pm

Open Today! Parts: 7:30am-5:30pm

Mercedes-Benz of Fairfield 41.1666432, -73.2262337.