Not a necessarily a smart guy, but here's my 2cents.
With electric motors you don't really need a gearbox because you don't have the peaky torque curve of an internal combustion engine so there's no real reason to keep the motor within a narrow powerband by controlling RPM. Intelligent ESCs like the ones we have right now that can add timing on the fly make gearboxes indeed redundant, by effectively jumping from one torque curve to another as RPM increase and timing is added. This is very much like VTEC, only VTEC can only do a couple of torque curves, being limited by mechanical implements like camshafts, or camlobes, etc. Just as an aside, the only real continuous variable valve timing ever produced comercially was available on a Porsche (what else?) with complicated camlobe profile. Don't remember which one right now, but I am sure google would find it. Even that only allowed a finite range of valve timing curves to be achieved but transition was indeed continuous, i.e. theoretically infinite. Modern VTEC is just a little trick that switches back and forth between two valve timing curves depending on a number of engine regime parameters as directed by on board software.
For comparison, with electric motors you basically have an infinity of curves and an infinite range (not that all of it is benefic).
CVT is just a temporary phase we go through to keep our beloved petrol cars a little while longer, i.e. lower fuel consumption, improve driveability, etc.
If anything, my bet is that R/C technology will be adopted by real size cars not the other way around. They need to go electric first though. At the moment they don't really have the electronics (i.e. semiconductors or whatever) that can switch huge currents fast enough to drive 2 tons of car around, but they'll happen and once their price is down far enough it will become cost effective to use in cars.
It is the way of the world to become more and more software-run and eventually real cars will catch up (everything else from boats and trains to airplanes, space shuttles, space probes and satellites is run by software already). Not a bad thing in my opinion.
Team Greasy Weasel
The best upgrade to any car is some driver skill.
Last edited by niznai; 04-12-2010 at 01:10 AM.