Though the basics of car engines stay the same, transmission systems have improved over the years. The latest is the continuous variable transmission. It is a good idea to examine how this new technology works and what benefits it brings. Though conventional transmission systems of cars had a certain number of gears, a CVT gearbox doesn't have a fixed number of gears. Instead, it virtually offers thousands of different combinations. Therefore, it is a very much more efficient system than the conventional systems.

CVT is a simple system that has only two pulleys and a belt connecting them. There are no gear wheels. Both the pulleys are able to change their diameters as each of the pulleys is made up of two cone-shaped halves. These halves could move together or apart. When the two cones of a pulley move apart the diameter of the pulley comes down and when they move together, the diameter of the pulley goes up.

When the car fitted with such a gear box is going to start from standstill, the two cones of the drive shaft will move apart making the diameter lower and the two cones of the pulley on the transmission shaft will move together making the diameter of the pulley higher. This means the pulley connected to the shaft from the engine will revolve faster and the one connected to the transmission shaft will revolve slower. As the car gathers speed, the two cones connected to the drive shaft will move closer to each other increasing its diameter. The opposite will happen to the ones on the transmission shaft. By this time, the vehicle will be moving fast.

Due to this arrangement, the ride in the car will be smoother as there will be no jerks at gear shifts. Also, it is very efficient as there are thousands of combinations that could be used by the gear box. In addition to the belt driven systems, there are a few more systems that use the same principle. All work with the same efficiency when they move cars.

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Though there are different types of CVT systems used in cars, finding some information about the basic pulley based one will give you an idea on how it works. Like in an ordinary gear box of a car, in a CVT system also, you get a drive shaft that is connected to the engine and another shaft that is connected to the transmission. Each of the shafts has a pulley in each and the connection between the two pulleys is made with the use of a V belt.
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