Torotrak, the high-tech transmission specialist, is in partnership with Jaguar and Land Rover on a mechanical hybrid system that is centered on a diminutive infinitely variable transmission (IVT) paired with a minute flywheel.
The combination of the IVT and the tiny flywheel is similar to that of the KERS technology installed to the 2009 lineup of F1 challengers.
When the car utilizes the brake system, the energy that is produced is channeled to the IVT and is utilized to spin the flywheel up to 64,000 rpm. When the car accelerates thereafter, the stored energy is released to provide a bump in power and boost energy efficiency.
This week Torotrak to a financial bump as well when it signed a contract with Allison, the US transmission giant, receiving an enormous cash inflow.
Allison bought 10 percent of Torotrak's shares which translated into 7.1 million Pounds of fresh cash for the British firm.
The deal included, among others, Allison licensing the groundbreaking Toroidal CVT technology of Torotrak, which utilizes discs and rollers instead of meshing gears resulting in higher efficiency translated into a gain in fuel economy of 20% in contrast to standard transmissions.
Currently being used in some US-market ride-on lawnmowers, the CVT transmission is not yet available for passenger car use. [source autocar]