The Subaru Lineartronic CVT features a manual mode system that simulates a six-speed manual transmission. When in this "virtual" manual mode, the driver can use paddle levers on the steering wheel to select one of six programmed "speeds." These six speeds are ratios intended for various driving conditions.
Shifting to a lower ratio is accomplished by tapping the downshift when the vehicle is in "Drive." The manual downshift holds the chosen ratio until the engine's rev limit is reached.
The Lineartronic CVT has several benefits:
Smooth operation: Continuous, step-less variation of the width of the drive and driven pulleys takes place without mechanical gear changes. Other than the response of the powertrain relative to driver input, there is no sense of upshifting or downshifting. The end result is smooth operation, which contributes to passenger comfort.
Fuel efficiency: The control modules for the engine and transmission keep the engine in its optimal power range, changing CVT pulley ratios to achieve improved fuel economy and performance.
Improved response: By eliminating gear changes, the step-less CVT enables the powertrain to be more responsive to changes in throttle application and vehicle speed. For example, there is no gear hunting when driving uphill.
Fun to drive: By simulating the operation of a manual transmission, the Lineartronic CVT's manual mode increases driver involvement and makes the vehicle more fun to drive.
- Legacy 2.5i – optional
- Legacy 2.5i Premium – optional
- Legacy 2.5i Limited – standard
- Outback 2.5i – optional
- Outback 2.5i Premium – optional
- Outback 2.5i Limited – standard
Interior comfort: By incorporating chain drive in the CVT's design, Subaru was able to engineer a more compact unit. That enabled increased space for the passenger cabin, with more leg room, in particular.
Altogether, the Subaru Lineartronic CVT adds to the premium driving experience of the non-turbocharged 2010 Legacy and Outback models.
Read about the 2010 Legacy and Outback introductions in this issue.