Maruti Suzuki to launch clutch-free cars in 2014
Maruti Suzuki India Limited, the country's largest car maker, has attempted to take driving comfort to a whole new level. The legendary auto maker has recently hinted that its new creations will be equipped with an Automatic Manual Transmission (AMT) technology. This system is based on the renowned Formula One motorsport championship and will allow drivers to shift manual gears without using the clutch. The company, in a bid to revolutionise its cars, will be engaging this innovation in almost all small segment automobiles. Interestingly, the auto maker happens to be the first in this league to introduce such a technology in the Indian market.
Reports are suggesting that the company's upcoming hatchback called Celerio will be the first model to be equipped with AMT. This car will soon be making its debut at the Auto Expo 2014 and speculations are rife that the new innovation will be unveiled along with this model. It should be noted that the new technology will not hinder the fuel economy or the cost of a car. Senior officials of Maruti Suzuki quoted in this regard, “It gives the comfort of an automatic transmission and the fuel efficiency of a manual transmission. Customers can change gears like any automatic transmission car but the cost of this will be like a regular manual-geared car.” Seemingly, the out-of-the-box strategies of the famed car maker is another lucrative scheme to tempt prospective buyers.
Sources have surmised that the company's future models will not be having the clutch pedal and gears will be shifted either sequentially or fully automatically, through a hydraulic system. Furthermore, it will be delivering high mileage unlike other auto transmission cars which fail to accomplish such figures. The company has not divulged any further plans officially but it is speculated that these new cars will not be steep in its pricing. At present, all the cars bearing automatic gear shift are usually priced 25 per cent steeper than its manual version and have failed to gain popularity in domestic auto market owing to such reasons. But, Maruti Suzuki promises that its upcoming model will be much cheaper on budget.
Experts are of a view that this proposal by Maruti Suzuki will certainly change the perception of an owner for his/her car. A general trend that has been witnessed by all is that automatic transmission has not been quite successful among mid-level sedans and premium hatchbacks. On the other hand, the luxury and premium sedan segment has targeted automatic gearbox to be its primary feature and the same has been an efficient performer in these cars. Maruti Suzuki had earlier launched this type of technology in 1987 in M800 model. This feature was basically employed for physically challenged people but failed to cope up with the legacy of the company as it was much costlier than its basic model. The auto maker now returns with such innovation once again and apparently it has eradicated all cause of problems that were faced earlier. It will be really interesting to see how the domestic consumers adapt to automatic manual transmission in the upcoming time.
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