Perodua Ativa's (D55L) CVT to be better than Proton's. What's the D in D-CVT?

Eric · Feb 24, 2021 10:00 AM

Perodua Ativa's (D55L) CVT to be better than Proton's. What's the D in D-CVT? 01

First things first: the upcoming 2021 Perodua Ativa’s Dual-Mode CVT (D-CVT) should not be confused with Toyota’s Direct Shift CVT, seeing that the latter features a launch gear, but the D-CVT doesn’t.

With that out of the way, let’s take a closer look at Perodua’s first-ever CVT-type automatic transmission.

What’s so special about it?

Perodua Ativa's (D55L) CVT to be better than Proton's. What's the D in D-CVT? 02

Unlike traditional belt- or chain-driven CVTs, what sets the Ativa’s D-CVT apart from the competition is its combination of steel chain and planetary gear set. Planetary gear set is used to complement steel belts to give the CVT a more direct feel.

Perodua Ativa's (D55L) CVT to be better than Proton's. What's the D in D-CVT? 03

The D-CVT's planetary gear set

The D-CVT functions like any other CVT, as it utilizes the belt at start-stop and lower speed conditions. 

Perodua Ativa's (D55L) CVT to be better than Proton's. What's the D in D-CVT? 04

At lower speeds, the D-CVT utilizes the belt

However, from medium to higher speeds, the clutch engages and power is routed to the planetary gear set, creating a simulated torque converter automatic sensation.

Without getting too technical, D-CVT works oppositely from Toyota's Direct Shift CVT, seeing that the planetary gear is used at higher speeds instead of start-stop conditions.

Perodua Ativa's (D55L) CVT to be better than Proton's. What's the D in D-CVT? 05

It engages the planetary gears via a clutch at higher speeds

Apart from creating a transmission that has less of a rubber band effect, the D-CVT also helps improve the engine’s fuel consumption. In this case, the Ativa has a claimed fuel consumption of 5.29-litre/100 km.

Also Read: CVTs - not all are good, not all are bad. Find out who makes the best CVT.

So its very efficient, but can it handle more power?

Perodua Ativa's (D55L) CVT to be better than Proton's. What's the D in D-CVT? 06

The D-CVT found in the Perodua Ativa’s donor cars, the Japanese market Toyota Raize and Daihatsu Rocky, both have a torque limit of 150 Nm.

Perodua Ativa's (D55L) CVT to be better than Proton's. What's the D in D-CVT? 07

That’s fine and dandy, considering that the Ativa/Raize/Rocky has a peak torque of 140 Nm.

If you're planning to modify your Ativa, keep the torque limit in mind, as exceeding the torque limit could result in a damaged CVT.

Also Read: 2021 Perodua Ativa's 98 PS 1KR-VET turbo engine - what other cars have it?

If I don’t want a CVT, are there any other options?

Perodua Ativa's (D55L) CVT to be better than Proton's. What's the D in D-CVT? 08

Unfortunately, for the Malaysian market, the Perodua Ativa is only offered with the D-CVT transmission. No four-speed automatic to be found here.

That said, for buyers of the Ativa’s Indonesian siblings (known by their codenames A250 and A251), they will get an option of a six-speed manual transmission – something that even Japan misses out on.

The Indonesian-spec duo will also get an additional engine option, namely a naturally-aspirated 1.2-litre petrol engine that does 88 PS and 108 Nm.

Also Read: Indonesia first to get 6-speed manual Daihatsu Rocky, sad for Malaysia's Perodua D55L?

Will other Perodua models get this CVT as well?

It’s a given, really.

Perodua Ativa's (D55L) CVT to be better than Proton's. What's the D in D-CVT? 09

It is only a matter of time before Perodua deploys the D-CVT into the rest of its line-up. While he Perodua Ativa is the first recipient of the new transmission, we reckon new DNGA-based models from Perodua will continue to offer the D-CVT, including the upcoming next-generation Perodua Alza.

Perodua Ativa's (D55L) CVT to be better than Proton's. What's the D in D-CVT? 10

To recap, the 2021 Perodua Ativa is an upcoming SUV that features a number of Perodua-first features, including a downsized turbocharged engine, CVT-type automatic transmission, and the ASA 3.0 ADAS suite. It is also the first Perodua to be developed on the DNGA platform – essentially the same as Toyota’s TNGA platform, albeit developed for budget compact cars.

Also Read: 2021 Perodua Ativa: D55L name and specs confirmed, AEB & 1.0T CVT as standard!

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