It’s hard to describe—from a user point of view—whether the new Intelligent Manual Transmission (iMT) in the Hyundai Venue SUV is an automatic gearbox or a manual. Technically, iMT is a manual gearbox; it has gears and a gear lever that looks exactly similar to any manual gear lever. But the drive experience is more like an automatic car; iMT doesn’t have a clutch but just a brake and an accelerator pedal. Yet again, it’s not entirely automatic either, because the driver has to manually shift gears. You see technology can confuse you at times. Currently available in the Venue and soon in the Kia Sonet as well, iMT is the next big gearbox technology in Indian cars after the AMT (automated manual transmission) that was initially made popular by Maruti Suzuki.
How it works?
The engine can be started only when the gearbox is in neutral, with the brake pedal pressed. Once it starts, you shift to first gear, release the brake and the car will start to move, gradually. If you press on the accelerator the car will pick up speed. Once the desired RPM is reached, release the accelerator pedal and shift to the second gear, and so on. There is no clutch pedal. You can also upshift or downshift with the accelerator pedal pressed, but that would require a slight amount of extra force while shifting gears.
The technology is a boon in the urban stop-and-go traffic, as there is no need to use the clutch (reminder: there is no clutch pedal). But unlike an AMT gearbox, where there is a slight lag when the gearbox automatically shifts gears, that lag can be controlled by the driver in iMT; in fact, just like in a manual gearbox, there is a little or no lag in iMT as well.
Hyundai is offering iMT mated to the powerful turbocharged petrol engine—iMT is about Rs 15,000 more expensive than a manual gearbox model. It is available only in two trims: the SX priced Rs 9.99 lakh, and the SX(O) priced Rs 11.08 lakh (ex-showroom). It is not being offered mated to the diesel or to the more affordable 1.2-litre petrol in the Venue.
Get live Stock Prices from BSE, NSE, US Market and latest NAV, portfolio of Mutual Funds, calculate your tax by Income Tax Calculator, know market’s Top Gainers, Top Losers & Best Equity Funds. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.