Snapshot: According to a report on Motorbeam, Volkswagen India will jump onto the semi-automatic (AMT) gearbox brigade shortly. The Polo hatchback and the Vento sedan are touted to be the first crop of Volkswagen cars to be equipped with the semi-automatic transmission that automates the working of the clutch. However, there is no indication as to when exactly Volkswagen India would begin equipping the Polo and the Vento with the AMT (automated manual transmission).
Car makers in India have begun taking to semi-automatic transmissions in a big way. While Maruti Suzuki kickstarted the deluge with the recently launched Celerio B-Segment hatchback, both Tata Motors and Mahindra & Mahindra have showcased cars equipped with semi-automatic gearboxes.
Tata Motors will introduce the AMT on its Zest compact sedan in the second half of this year while Mahindra will do the same on the Quanto compact SUV come August 2014. Maruti Suzuki, Tata Motors and Mahindra have announced that more car and SUV models in their respective product ranges would be equipped with AMTs shortly.
Coming back to Volkswagen, the German car maker 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! weighs just 3 kilograms more than its equivalent, 5 speed manual gearbox.
A similar gearbox on the Polo/Vento would not only make the AMT equipped versions as light as their manual gearbox equipped brethren but would also make the cars more cost effective and fuel efficient as AMTs use less complicated parts and cost less to build when compared with conventional automatic gearboxes.
Notably, the Volkswagen Up! equipped with the AMT costs about 50,000 rupees more than the manual gearbox equipped version. If Volkswagen India does get around to equipping the Polo and Vento with AMTs, a similar price point is likely to pan out for these car models as well.
Here’s CarToq Expert Roshun Povaiah giving you a lucid explanation on how the automated manual transmission (AMT)/semi-automatic gearbox technology works through this exclusive video.