Hyundai launches intelligent manual transmission in Venue SUV

by Autocar Pro News Desk , 22 Jul 2020

A little over two weeks after it announced plans to introduce its Intelligent Manual Transmission (iMT) or ‘clutchless manual gearbox’ in the Venue SUV, Hyundai Motor India today launched the unit in the compact SUV’s Sport trim variant.

This variant is powered by 1.0-litre turbo petrol and 1.50-litre diesel engines. The iMT-equipped Venue’s pricing starts at Rs 999,000 (ex-showroom) for the entry-level SX variant, going up to Rs 11.21 lakh for the SX (O) with the new Sport pack.

What is iMT?
You can think of this ‘two-pedal, clutch-less system’ as a hybrid of manual and automatic gearboxes. The task of shifting gears rests with the driver, as with a conventional manual gearbox, though the iMT does away with the need of a clutch pedal altogether by essentially automating its functionality.

Hyundai says that the technology uses an ‘intention sensor’ with the gear lever that informs a transmission control unit (TCU) when the driver is about to change gears. The TCU then signals a hydraulic actuator to engage and disengage the clutch plate while the driver shifts gears.

What are the benefits of iMT?    
The two-pedal system essentially eliminates the need to manually operate a clutch pedal, which should relieve the stress of driving in start-stop city traffic. However, it aims to retain the joy of driving generally associated with a conventional gearbox by allowing the driver to manually slot in gears. Hyundai also states that iMT will enhance convenience “without compromising on fuel efficiency and performance” like a torque-converter automatic transmission.

Hyundai beats Kia to iMT race in India
While this may not be the first instance of an iMT in the world, nor even the first one in India, it is a first in this segment. Interestingly Kia had first announced that it would bring in this technology with its Sonet compact SUV which makes its world premiere on August 7, 2020. However, with today’s launch of the Venue iMT, Hyundai has beaten its sister brand to the market.

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