Hyundai and Kia have jointly taken the Indian market by storm and one of the prime reasons behind their meteoric sales figures is the unreal amount of gearbox and engine combinations that the Korean carmakers offer. The Korean duo strengthened their onslaught last year with the inclusion of iMT in their arsenal. The iMT gearbox has turned out to be a success and the models equipped with this radical transmission have managed to find quite a few takers. If reports are to be believed, Maruti Suzuki could be working on its own version of the iMT gearbox.
Maruti Suzuki recently filed a trademark application for the ‘S-Assist’ name in the country. While there is no official word on it, the Maruti ‘S-Assist’ moniker is likely to be used for its clutchless manual transmission.
With this new IMT system, the driver can shift gears without the need to mechanically operate the clutch pedal. So how does the iMT work?
How does iMT work?
When the driver touches the Intention Sensor placed on the shift lever, the Transmission Control Unit receives a signal that the driver wishes to change gears. This engages the hydraulic actuator to actuate the clutch. This is managed by a Concentric Slave Cylinder (CSC) through a Clutch Tube. The CSC uses the pressure generated by the actuator to control the clutch and pressure plate which engages and disengages the clutch.
How does it help?
It is a widely accepted fact that operating a clutch in heavy traffic on a daily basis poses many health problems and has a direct impact on the driver’s legs and spinal cord. The iMT by eliminating the clutch pedal altogether addresses this issue and makes the driving experience a lot more effortless. Sure, there are conventional automatic gearboxes available for the same purpose but they rob the fun away of driving a manual. iMT combines the best of both worlds.
Maruti Suzuki currently makes do with AMT transmission which is basically a type of manual gearbox where both gear shifting and clutch engagement/disengagement operations are performed by sensors and actuators. Maruti currently offers such transmission options in models such as WagonR, Celerio, S-Presso and Swift. It is being assumed that the company could introduce its own version of iMT with the Brezza.