The epicyclic is a series of inter-linked spinning gears which act like a mechanical adding machine. In effect it subtracts the speed of the central - or sun gear (driven by the output of the variator) from the planet gears (driven directly by the engine).
2Transmission Variator Ratio
The outer annulus gear - which is connected to the wheels - acts as the output, or 'answer'. The planet gears are supported by the planet carrier which is driven by the engine. The change of ratio in the variator (the speed it transmits) alters the relative speeds of the sun and planet gears.
3The Geared Neutral Condition
As the epicyclic 'mechanical adding machine' is subtracting one speed from the other, it is possible to make the output gear rotate in either direction. If the answer is positive, the car moves forwards. If the answer is negative, the car moves backwards. If the answer is zero, the car is stationary - the geared neutral condition.
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