Mahindra Quanto AMT Compact SUV spotted testing in India

The Mahindra Quanto AMT has finally hit the testing circuit in India, nearly 10 months after it was unveiled at the 2014 Indian Auto Expo. The Quanto AMT is Mahindra’s attempt at making the sub-4 meter compact SUV more relevant to buyers, in the face of flagging sales.

The automated manual transmission (AMT) unit of the Quanto is sourced from English engineering major Ricardo. The AMT unit converts the five speed manual gearbox of the Quanto into an automated unit by automating the operation of the clutch. The Quanto AMT is likely to be priced about 50,000 rupees higher than its manual transmission counterpart.

The AMT unit on the Quanto is likely to pack in two modes – regular and economy. The economy mode of the AMT will allow the Quanto to shift into higher gears quickly, thereby boosting fuel efficiency. This feature could prove to be particularly useful on the Quanto, which is one of the heaviest sub-4 meter cars with a kerb weight of 1,650 kilograms.

Also, the rear wheel drive layout of the compact SUV means that the 1.5 liter-3 cylinder twin turbo diesel engine loses out on fuel efficiency, compared with the mostly front wheel driven competition. So, an economy mode for the AMT will make the Quanto slightly more fuel efficient in real world conditions.

The success of the Quanto AMT is likely to have big implications for Mahindra. More Mahindra SUVs with the AMT option are likely to be sold in India, if the Quanto AMT makes it big in the Indian car market. AMTs have already become mainstream in India, what with the likes of the Maruti Suzuki Celerio and Alto, and the Tata Zest featuring this option.

In the coming years, expect more AMT equipped cars in India. In fact, Magneti Marelli, an Italian parts maker owned by the Fiat group, has noted that in future, 30 % of cars sold in India will feature the automated manual transmission option. In the SUV world, the Quanto could be a bellwether as far as AMT technology is concerned.

Spyshots courtesy IndianAutosBlog