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Blueprints: Sport Lineartronic CVT
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Getting power to the pavement – in the simplest terms, that’s the primary function of any transmission. So when it came to choosing one for the 2.0-liter Dual Overhead Camshaft (DOHC) turbocharged engine developed for the all-new WRX, the choice was obvious: Subaru Lineartronic CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission). 


This innovative technology has been engineered to work seamlessly with the SUBARU BOXER engine and Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive to deliver instant response on demand. 



How it Works The Subaru Lineartronic CVT is based on two adjustable pulleys and a link-type chain that runs between and connects them. This system allows the transmission to be compact while requiring less maintenance than a typical automatic transmission.


The pulleys are V-shaped, and the chain rides within each at the point where its width equals the pulleys’ widths on the V-shape. The transmission’s electronic control module hydraulically adjusts the distance between the sides of the pulleys, and the chain rides lower or higher accordingly. That determines the gear ratio and contributes to the vehicle’s speed and fuel efficiency along with how the engine is managed.



Key Benefits Smooth operation: The CVT “shifts” without steps because there are no mechanical changes – no upshifting or downshifting, even when driving uphill or passing. 


Fuel efficiency: The CVT automatically adjusts to keep the engine in its optimal power range, which helps to improve fuel economy. If more power is called for, the CVT answers with quick adjustments to deliver ample passing power.


Quick response: Eliminating mechanical gear changes enables the powertrain to be more responsive to throttle application and vehicle speed. It never hunts for gears.


Driving exhilaration: The Lineartronic CVT features a manual shift mode via paddles mounted on the steering wheel. Manual mode allows the driver to take full advantage of the tenacious power of the turbocharged engine by shifting in electronically determined steps – offering the control of a manual transmission along with the convenience of an automatic.



Hands-On Control Integrated with the CVT is Subaru Intelligent Drive (SI-DRIVE), which allows the driver to customize the driving experience by choosing from three modes of engine response: Intelligent, Sport, and Sport Sharp. By selecting the most performance-oriented mode – Sport Sharp – the CVT automatically shuffles through eight electronically preselected stepped gear ratios. 


By using the paddle shifters in any of the three modes, the driver has 6- or 8-speed manual shifting that cranks up performance to the next level. Shifts take place in as little as 490 milliseconds – faster than competitive dual-clutch systems. In manual mode, the CVT’s shift logic will hold engine rpm at redline without automatic upshifts for greater driver control.



Subaru Sport Lineartronic CVT – Subaru Intelligent Drive
SI-DRIVE adapts the engine performance management system via three driver-selectable modes of operation. The SI-DRIVE mode selected determines the number of manual-mode speeds.  
Mode Characteristics Number of Forward Speeds
Intelligent – I With its moderate power delivery and smooth drivability, this mode is ideal for around-town driving and for difficult driving conditions such as slick roads or loose surfaces. It is the most fuel efficient of the three modes. 6
Sport – S This mode is versatile, providing linear acceleration that is as ideal for freeways and suburban streets as it is for climbing mountain roads. 6
Sport Sharp – S# Delivering maximum driving enjoyment, this mode features 8-speed stepped shifting and is ideal for tackling twisting roads and for confidently merging or overtaking other vehicles on the highway. 8






Smooth, Efficient … and Fiercely Fast At its core, the optional CVT was designed to provide a smooth and efficient ride. But the WRX drivers require more, and this transmission helps deliver that as well as a full range of driving experiences from the comfortable to the intense.