Hyundai is offering an intelligent Manual Transmission (iMT) for the very successful Venue crossover in India later this month. The clutch pedal-less manual transmission promises the best of both worlds.
While the acronym ‘iMT’ sounds like a fancy new branding for AMT (Automated Manual Transmission), it is not exactly the same thing. Both are semi-automated, but in the iMT, the driver will be able to slot gears manually like in a traditional manual transmission. As with any semi-automated gearbox, the clutch operation will be taken care of by a sensor and a hydraulic actuator.
The components of the iMT include an ‘Intention Sensor’, hydraulic actuator and Transmission Control Unit (TCU). The TCU receives signal from the Intention Sensor, indicating the driver’s intention to change gears. The TCU sends this signal to engage the hydraulic actuator; the hydraulic pressure is then sent to Concentric Slave Cylinder (CSC) through a Clutch Tube. The CSC uses this pressure to control the clutch and pressure plate, thereby engaging and disengaging the clutch.
All the driver has to do is to change gears like in a traditional manual transmission and forget about the clutch. Let’s hope the drivers of the iMT don’t forget about the clutch when they get behind the wheel of an actual manual transmission vehicle. The iMT was recently introduced in the new i20 and Kia Rio facelift as well (international markets).
As for the Venue, a 6-speed iMT will be coupled with the 1.0L 3-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine.
The ‘iMT’ is not a new thing altogether. Bosch tried it with the eClutch while the SAAB 900 NG featured a ‘Sensonic’ clutchless manual gearbox. Apparently, the latter was a bad idea. It’ll be interesting to see Hyundai’s take on a clutch pedal-less manual.