Established in 2009, Varibox CVT Technologies is an intellectual property company specialising in the development of alternative positive drive CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) concepts. The core business of the company is to invent and patent new positive drive CVT technologies, as well as prove the application of their inventions via tested prototypes. The company does not venture into the mass production of its transmissions, but rather license the technology to interested parties.

Varibox has successfully developed and tested three unique CVT concepts namely the ROTORcvt, icvt and RADIALcvt. Patents associated with these technologies cover 13 international countries including; Austria, Australia, Brazil, China, Countries bound by the European patent office, India, Japan, South Korea, USA and South Africa. It is the goal of Varibox to license the protected technologies to manufacturers of various transmission drive related products globally.


The History of the CVT dates back to the 15th century when Leonardo DaVinci sketched a stepless Continuously Variable Transmission in 1490. However, the first toroidal CVT concept was only patented in the 18th century, but it had to wait for the industrial revolution and the development of traction fluid technology before its manufacture.

It was not until the early 1980s that practical CVT application became viable. Early CVTs, whilst proving the efficacy of the engineering concept, relied on pure rubber belts to create the friction interface to change the radius between two interfacing metal surfaces. The resultant heat generation, vibration and friction losses characterised early CVT technology. With the introduction of traction fluid and special steels, steel on steel friction drive was made possible, CVT’s became more efficient with a higher power density. CVT’s in general currently shows a very high growth rate with production volumes doubling every 2-3 years. CVT’s however still suffers lower mechanical efficiency than manual transmissions while their hydraulic control systems make them heavy and expensive, while reducing mechanical efficiency.


In 2001, recognising the need for a design that eliminated the shortcomings of old-style CVT technology, inventor, Dr. Jan Naude partnered with Marinus van den Ende and Barloworld Equipment, a division of the global Barloworld group to establish a company called Barloworld CVT technologies. Through Barloworld CVT technologies, Dr Naude set out to develop prototypes that would lead to his revolutionary innovations. At this time Barloworld rendered much needed support in terms of R&D.

January 2009 marked the beginning of Varibox CVT Technologies following a management buyout from Barloworld, as well as the arrival of new investors. In 2014, Varibox successfully patented and prototype-proved its unique ROTORcvt and icvt inventions. As of 2016, a patent for another breakthrough technology called the RADIALcvt, a multi parallel power path CVT, with only one steel on steel friction drive interface in each path is pending.

Today, Varibox is continuing their endeavours as a separate entity and is marketing their patent protected inventions in order to find a licensing partner that will further develop and commercialise the products. Varibox is set to continue on their path to penetrate the gearbox industry and bring about major change.


Recent Varibox achievements include the following:

  • Honourable Mention for the RADIALcvt at the 2017 US based international Create the Future Design Awards: The RADIALcvt, recently placed in the top four Automotive/ Transportation innovations, at the annual US based international Tech Briefs Create the Future Design Awards, 2017. The honour underlines the innovation's disruptive value within the CVT market. For details see
  • Da Vinci TT100 Business Awards Programme, 2017: Varibox's recently made the final round of the Da Vinci TT100 Business Awards Programme, 2017 (Sustainability Category), which rewards innovation and technological progress in South African companies. Varibox's RADIALcvt innovation was given recognition as key potential drivers of sustainability and global competitiveness. See
  • EVIA 2017: Varibox participated in the 2017 EVIA (South African Electric Vehicle Industry Association) conference and published a paper entitled “RADIALcvt as an ideal electric vehicle transmission” (Naude J. J., 2017). The EVIA conference entitled, The Era of EV Action in South Africa - Government and Industry implementation plans for 2018, was held at the IDC on 6 December 2017. See attached EVIA BROCHURE 2017_FINAL LOW RES.pdf. Varibox is featured on page 26 to 29.
  • International recognition: Varibox was recognised by Bosch (Spit, 2017) as one of the international important players in the CVT market. See Figure 2.
  • The first RADIALcvt tests were done at WITS on 3 October. The very encouraging outcome of the tests is that it puts the RADIALcvt mechanical efficiency in line with that of current commercial CVT's.

This is very encouraging for Varibox since above tests presents the first RADIALcvt prototype tests that are compared to commercial CVT's which have been in development for many years. The full details of the testing and the results can be viewed in chapter 8 of the attached design, simulation and testing document, attached as RADIALcvtDesignVer1.12.pdf. Some modifications to the RADIALcvt are in progress as well as a second round of tests at WITS University. A blog version of the test results can also be viewed at:

Varibox CVT Technologies have also been presented with numerous awards from prestigious corporate specialists over the years. These include:

  • SABS prototype design award for WO03056212 in October 2003
  • IFS (International Foundation for Science) Swedish IDESA Certificate for WO03078869 in February 2004
  • SABS prototype design award for WO2004072511 in November 2004
  • SABS prototype design award for WO2005036028 in November 2005
  • Barloworld CVT Technologies obtained TT100 (Top Technology 100) status in 2003, 2004 and 2005.



At Varibox CVT Technologies we apply our expertise and enthusiasm for engineering to be the leading engineering innovation and “green” solutions company in the global CVT market. We aim to revolutionise the CVT space through the invention and licensing of advanced, cost effective and environmentally friendly alternative CVT technology while delivering vast returns for all stakeholder.


  • Varibox CVT Technologies will change the way CVT technology is applied in the industrial, OPE and Automotive and Commercial vehicle sectors.
  • To create higher returns for CVT manufacturers through the development of more affordable CVT technologies.
  • To contribute to a cleaner, sustainable environment for future generations through the invention of advanced, environmentally friendly CVT technologies.



Varibox CVT Technologies are committed to excellence by ensuring engineering and design integrity. We are also committed to bring about positive change that will benefit future generations, staff, investors and partners.


We will create value for our clients by partnering with them to in order to ensure their success. We will do this through providing continuous, high quality technical support and by applying our expertise in the field of mechanical engineering and CVT to their benefit.


We are focussed on developing superior CVT products that will benefit the industry as well as consumer. Throughout our projects we apply our expertise to achieve revolutionary, cost effective and clean CVT innovations.


Private shareholders – Since 2009

Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) – 2012

Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) – Since 2014

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