Our geeky side likes this news about Ford's CVT

Ford's decision to bring development of a new continuously variable transmission for its line of plug-in hybrid and hybrid vehicles in house wasn't due to dissatisfaction with its previous Japanese supplier, according to a story in WardsAuto. The fact is that Ford thought they could make an even better transmission while cutting costs.

Ford's engineers "have developed a new electrified continuously variable transmission that provides greater fuel economy and a higher electric-only top speed in its upcoming plug-in hybrid-electric vehicles," the story reported.

The new hybrid transmission will be used in the C-Max hybrid and plug-in hybrid cross/utility vehicles, as well as the Fusion PHEV and hybrid and the Lincoln MKZ hybrid.

An electrified CVT like its predecessor, the new Ford-developed transmission outperforms the old one in several ways.

"We made improvements to the gear-ratio operation and the match between the engine, and that gave us a lot more flexibility to optimize the (transmission) to get the best fuel economy and other big improvements over the outgoing product," Shailesh Kozarekar, manager-transmission electronics at Ford told WardsAuto.

One of the benefits of the new CVT is an electric-only top speed of 85 mph (137 km/h) in the upcoming Ford C-Max Energi PHEV, besting the outgoing Escape Hybrid's 44 mph (71 km/h).