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Old 12th February 2014, 16:30   #1
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Default Automated Manual Transmission (AMT): The new buzz in India

An automatic manual transmission (AMT), a manual transmission that offers convenience of an automatic (in the indian traffic situation) , great fuel efficiency and marketed cleverly by the industry leading auto giant Maruti Suzuki now seems the new buzz word in transmission.

While Maruti Suzuki kickstarted the trend with the recently launched Celerio B-Segment hatchback, both Tata Motors and Mahindra & Mahindra have showcased cars equipped with semi-automatic gearboxes.

Volkswagen, already has an automated manual transmission doing duty on its budget Up! hatchback sold in Europe. Dubbed the ASG, the semi-automatic gearbox on the Volkswagen Up! Polo and Vento's could be the next to come with this transmission.

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However,this sudden renewed interest in AMT tech is down to its cost effectiveness and that electronics have evolved over the years, improving AMT units in terms of their performance and reliability could set a trend and lead to the end of the manual transmission?

Last edited by volkman10 : 12th February 2014 at 16:43.
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Old 12th February 2014, 17:32   #2
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Default re: Automated Manual Transmission (AMT): The new buzz in India

As mentioned though AMT seems to be the biggest buzzword in the town today thanks to Maruti Celerio, one of the most exciting news around it surely must be that of the Tata Zest compact sedan getting an AMT for yes only its diesel motor.

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/auto-e...ml#post3363425

Now that will be a first for this class of compact sedans and if the vehicle is niggle free could bring in lots of moolah for Tatas. Not to be left behind heard that Hyundai may be brining in the AMT in its Xcent compact sedan as well not sure for which motor though.

Also the same link on Tatas at Auto Expo shows the AMT Nano which will be segment first again for the entry leven hatches. Way to go Tatas

Yes its raining AMTs for sure and all the better for our urban customers!
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Old 12th February 2014, 17:33   #3
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Default re: Automated Manual Transmission (AMT): The new buzz in India

Initially Indian buyers would be still a bit skeptical about the performance of AMT (Mainly fuel efficiency). It would be interesting to see how Celerio AMT performs in terms of sales. That would give us an indication if the benefits of AMT have reached to the minds of common men or not. Communication would be very important. Once positive word of mouth starts spreading then it would bring more prospective buyers which would eventually help other manufacturer like Tata and M&M, when they bring their products later this year.
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Old 12th February 2014, 18:01   #4
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Default re: Automated Manual Transmission (AMT): The new buzz in India

After my experience driving the Celerio with AMT, I am not in favor of this technology. I just did not find the drive interesting, as I did on other regular autos. May be that's just me.

As long as the AMT boxes deliver fuel efficiency coupled with cheap owning experience, this tech will catch up with us Indians pretty soon.
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Old 12th February 2014, 18:07   #5
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Default re: Automated Manual Transmission (AMT): The new buzz in India

The AMT technology is patented by Magneti Marelli (MM), the component arm of Italian carmaker Fiat SpA. Unsurprisingly then, Fiat too is mulling introduction of an AMT-equipped Grand Punto hatchback and Linea sedan.

But here is the catch, Fiat used this tech on the old Punto, Celerio AMT will not be a variant in the global offering. Are we moving to a dated technology?
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Old 12th February 2014, 18:22   #6
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Default re: Automated Manual Transmission (AMT): The new buzz in India

I dont know whether the comparatively less enthusiasm of the Indians on Automatics has got only to do with the FE part of it! In fact another regular refrain one gets to hear is the comparatively sluggish response of an automatic. At other times it is also about how many of the Indian manufacturers cut cost by going for a lesser spec'd autobox as compared to its geared cousin. You really don't care much if a 6-speed manual gear car suddenly has a 4-speed autobox.

For me the biggest two issues with autoboxes have always been the way the autoboxes respond as compared to manual and the fact that I just can't imagine my long drives with 2 pedals and a steering and nothing else to do!!! Even if the first point is addressed by the AMTs the second point might still remain an issue for people like me. Other than these two points I dont give 2 hoots if an automatic has some 1-2 kms less FE over its geared cousin.
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Old 12th February 2014, 21:27   #7
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Default re: Automated Manual Transmission (AMT): The new buzz in India

I think AMT will become a buzzword and will be a good success in India. My reasons:

1. Exposure and Education: There is a large section of people who do not know anything about automatics due to lack of exposure. Auto companies hardly advertise AT's and typical Indian consumers do not really follow automobile trends have no knowledge about AT's and/or have never seen an AT. Couple of examples:
  • After I bought my Vento TSI, several people have asked me, how exactly it works, why no clutch etc... (I am not joking)
  • I went to see the Celerio, was observing people looking at the car. One person was saying 'no clutch!!' and had this expression
Now, if more people know about it and understand how it works, I am sure there will be many takers. Now thats something Maruti is doing perfectly with the Celerio. They are flooding all print, media and web channels with a lot of ad's are are really creating a lot of hype. Now, if any other manufacturer did this, It may not have had an impact. But India loves Maruti and when Maruti says something, India listens. And this will definitely help other Manufacturers with AMT plans

2. Price and Efficiency: Discussed a lot, the small population who know AT's and walk in to buy an AT are turned off by the large premium over the equivalent manual in addition to the poorer efficiency. Something that the Celerio addresses (efficiency to be proven but looks promising). Also I read that the cost associated with the AMT is going to be pretty standard, So I assume if they put in an AMT in say the Ertiga, it is still going to cost 30-40,000 more than the manual. Higher up in the chain, this difference will be more insignificant.

3. Type of AT's used: Typically AT's in India are given a step motherly treatment. So you have 4 speed AT's while the manual counterparts are 5 geared. So typically an AT ends up being dull to drive. An AMT does not have this problem. If the manual is 5 geared, the AMT will be 5 geared, if it is 6 geared, AMT will be 6 geared.

4. Variants: Typically AT's are only available in 1 Variant or at most 2. With AMT it is much easier for the Manufacturer to provide an AMT variant for all the manual variants.

5. Full Manual mode: I think the single most critical benefit of AMT. This is currently found on cars upward of 10L. It really gives the best of both worlds and the on the fly switch between D and Manual is an added benefit. I am sure even AT haters would not mind a clutch-less car.

Last edited by Rajeevraj : 12th February 2014 at 21:29. Reason: typo correction
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Old 12th February 2014, 21:40   #8
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Arrow re: Automated Manual Transmission (AMT): The new buzz in India

Can we assume this technology as "fail-safe" as a torque convertor?

What will happen if the unit mechatronic or hydrolic unit fails when the car is in first gear? Wont it be catastrophic? Will the person be able to stop the car with just brakes alone?

A torque convertor when fails, fails to deliver power. For a manual transmission that is stuck, we have clutch.

Of course Maruti/Suzuki engineers could have thought about this and may have someways, but curious what could it be?

Last edited by Sedate : 12th February 2014 at 21:41.
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Old 12th February 2014, 22:49   #9
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Default re: Automated Manual Transmission (AMT): The new buzz in India

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sedate View Post
Can we assume this technology as "fail-safe" as a torque convertor?

What will happen if the unit mechatronic or hydrolic unit fails when the car is in first gear? Wont it be catastrophic? Will the person be able to stop the car with just brakes alone?

A torque convertor when fails, fails to deliver power. For a manual transmission that is stuck, we have clutch.

Of course Maruti/Suzuki engineers could have thought about this and may have someways, but curious what could it be?
In such a case just turn the ignition off and the car will coast to a stop. Actually clutch-less is blessing. I have seen some people pressing clutch before braking, putting all the load on brakes. Clutch-less means it always stays in gear and that acts as retardant if you trun the ignition off.
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Old 12th February 2014, 23:07   #10
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Default re: Automated Manual Transmission (AMT): The new buzz in India

I Know i am but where is the parking switch how do you leave the car in gear.
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Old 12th February 2014, 23:17   #11
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Default re: Automated Manual Transmission (AMT): The new buzz in India

Pardon my ignorance, how is the AMT different from the other auto trannies that are there in Indian cars like the Honda City, Ford Fiesta and Polo TSI?

I do know that some of those cars permit manual intervention in the form of paddle shift and tiptronic. But how does AMT differ from those?
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Old 12th February 2014, 23:34   #12
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Default re: Automated Manual Transmission (AMT): The new buzz in India

Quote:
Originally Posted by vnabhi View Post
Pardon my ignorance, how is the AMT different from the other auto trannies that are there in Indian cars like the Honda City, Ford Fiesta and Polo TSI?

I do know that some of those cars permit manual intervention in the form of paddle shift and tiptronic. But how does AMT differ from those?
They are tantalizingly close.
The main difference is that, the AMT, being a semi automatic transmission, does the gear shift, after the manual intervention by the driver. Just that he doesnt need to press the clutch.
Once the driver upshifts or downshifts, the cars electronic sensors will sense the action, and will trigger pneumatics to perform the action equivalent to a driver pressing the clutch, to achieve the desired action.

Quote:
Originally Posted by terra85 View Post
I Know i am but where is the parking switch how do you leave the car in gear.
Since the transmission will be mechanically direct one unlike the fully automatic ones, the car will always stop in gear, so there is no need for a parking mode or 'P' to force slotting to gear position.

Last edited by sarathlal : 12th February 2014 at 23:43.
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Old 12th February 2014, 23:36   #13
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Default re: Automated Manual Transmission (AMT): The new buzz in India

Went to local dealer to see the car. Couldn't take out for test-drive as it was late. The sales guy pointed out the difference. I hope he is right. He says there is no P because D (when engine is switched off) denotes 1st gear. So you stop the car (it will be in D), just turn the engine off and pull the key out. So effectively the car will be in 1st gear and hence enough transmission braking to lock the wheels. That explains why there is no P.

As for this AMT, how come we never heard of it before. Is it a new invention by Maruti? Also, on the paper, it looks fantastic. It is an AT car with manual mode too and none of the AT complications. It is just an MT car with a changer-unit piggy-riding on the gear-box. If that changer unit goes bad, just throw that and put in a new one. Like changing a fused bulb. This external unit which should not take more than 20 minutes to replace. I hope I'm, right about this whole thing. Of course, it won't be as cheap as electric bulb and also I'm sure it won't have as short a life-span. So, on paper the system looks pretty good. No wonder Tata/Mahindra/Hyundai too are considering it.
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Old 12th February 2014, 23:44   #14
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Default re: Automated Manual Transmission (AMT): The new buzz in India

Quote:
Originally Posted by vinair View Post
After my experience driving the Celerio with AMT, I am not in favor of this technology. I just did not find the drive interesting, as I did on other regular autos. May be that's just me.

As long as the AMT boxes deliver fuel efficiency coupled with cheap owning experience, this tech will catch up with us Indians pretty soon.
IMO AMTs should not be compared to conventional automatic transmissions.

AMTs are manual transmissions where you dont need to use the clutch. They are best used it manual mode where you still have control to select the gears, dont need to press clutch and the shifts occur rather fast as compared to slotting the gear lever manually.

While used in the fully auto mode, they are fussy and the shifts can be felt. The full auto mode is just there to make life easy when absolutely required, thats all.
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Old 13th February 2014, 00:06   #15
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Default re: Automated Manual Transmission (AMT): The new buzz in India

Quote:
Originally Posted by pgsagar View Post
Went to local dealer to see the car. Couldn't take out for test-drive as it was late. The sales guy pointed out the difference. I hope he is right. He says there is no P because D (when engine is switched off) denotes 1st gear. So you stop the car (it will be in D), just turn the engine off and pull the key out. So effectively the car will be in 1st gear and hence enough transmission braking to lock the wheels. That explains why there is no P.

As for this AMT, how come we never heard of it before. Is it a new invention by Maruti? Also, on the paper, it looks fantastic. It is an AT car with manual mode too and none of the AT complications...
You'd be surprised to know this is Fiat tech, its subsidiary actually, a company called Magneti Marelli. Sadly Fiat didn't choose to take the first mover advantage and these other companies like Maruti & Tata who now, I guess, just design brand and service the cars, are getting to enjoy its initial success.

As you said, its a simpler way of implementing gear changes automatically, cheaper too! Cheaper to source from Fiat as manufacturing and royalty is both together lower than cost of the current Actual automatic gearboxes.
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