While many enthusiasts in the country swear by manual transmissions, there are many in between them that can’t deny the convenience of an automatic. However, all of them must have definitely thought about the perfect car which would combine the convenience of clutchless-shifting and the satisfaction of rowing through gears yourself. Well, Hyundai Motors has now made those dreams come true. In an industry-pioneering move, the company has debuted an Intelligent Manual Transmission (iMT) in the Hyundai Venue compact SUV. The new gearbox gets a 2-pedal configuration, while giving the driver’s the benefit of shifting gears physically through the 6-speed manual transmission. The Hyundai Venue was also the vehicle of choice for the company when they introduced connected car technology in India.
The new Intelligent Manual Transmission (iMT) combines a gear lever with an intention sensor, hydraulic actuator and a Transmission Control Unit (TCU). So how does all of this work you may be asking? Well it all starts with the driver and what gears they decide is needed. After the transmission lever slots into a particular gear, the intention sensor sends that signal to the TCU. The TCU module, in turn, sends a signal to the hydraulic actuator to create hydraulic pressure which is needed to activate the slave cylinder. The pressure which is built up in this cylinder, is used to control the clutch and pressure plate, thereby engaging or disengaging the clutch. The driver, without any hint of delay, is able to seamlessly shift through any gear he wishes. Hyundai’s main aim with this system is to give customers all the benefits of an automatic and manual transmission, rolled into one cohesive unit.
The Intelligent Manual Transmission (iMT) will start rolling out this month and will only be available in variants with the Kappa 1.0-litre GDi turbo petrol engine with 6-speed manual transmission. The trims available with this engine-transmission combination are S, SX and SX(O) - priced between INR 8.46 lakh (ex-showroom) and INR 10.95 lakh (ex-showroom). While the upcoming Kia Sonet compact SUV was all set to become India’s first model to be available with a clutchless manual gearbox, it was beaten to the punch by its own cousin.