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AMT (Automated Manual Transmission), the most inexpensive automatic

Snapshot: Why are AMT gaining so much popularity? Apart from the reason that they have convenience to offer, another strong reason is that they do it without losing on the efficiency front. Here are a few things worth noting about the AMT transmission.

In recent years AMT gearbox has gained immense popularity, and its use in entry level cars is more prevalent than ever before. It offers an unbeatable combination of affordability and convenience. Not only that, the fuel efficiency that it has to offer is in fact more than what you would get with a manual gearboxes. They are also not expensive to maintain as some of the other automatic gearbox technologies. So, how does it work? The article answers some basic questions related to the AMT transmission.

What is an AMT transmission?

At the heart of the AMT transmission is a manual gearbox, hence the name – Automated Manual transmission. It is a two pedal technology just like all other automatic transmissions, and uses actuators for clutch and gearshift operations. Actuators are either electro-mechanical or electro-hydraulic type.

Note that there is a clutch, but no clutch pedal, so in the background the clutch and shifts are operated by actuators. All this is precisely controlled by the TCU (Transmission Control Unit).

Read – How a manual transmission works?

Which cars offer the AMT transmission?

Maruti Alto K10, Tata Nano, Maruti Swift Dzire, Renault Duster, Tata Zest, Mahindra TUV300 are a few other cars that offer AMT transmission.

What are the modes of operation available in an AMT gearbox?

Most AMT gearboxes offer two modes of operation – Semi automatic & fully automatic. In case of fully automatic mode, the car drives like an automatic car and gear change takes place in accordance with your input at the accelerator / brake pedal. While the semi automatic mode has a provision for driver input and he can change the gears by pushing the gear lever forward or back. However, unlike a manual, there’s no need of clutch.

Are there any other differences between AMT and traditional automatic gearbox?

A traditional automatic offers ‘Creep’ function which enables the car to move forward as soon you take your foot off the brake pedal. Until recently the AMTs offered by different car companies did not offer the ‘Creep’ function and therefore, you required to use the accelerator pedal after releasing the brake pedal.

The new AMT systems developed by companies like Ricardo for TUV300 offer the creep function. Another car that offers the creep function includes Tata Nano. Cars from Maruti like Celerio and Alto K10 does not offer this feature. The Tata Zest is another car that skips the Creep functionality.  

Which are the different companies that develop the AMT gearbox?

Among the prominent companies like Magneti Marelli & Ricardo some other names among manufacturers include Getrag, ZF and Wabco.

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