Maruti Suzuki has officially opened bookings for the all-new 2018 Swift at over 2,300 dealerships around India. Interestingly, 65 % of the people booking the new car are opting for the AMT equipped petrol and diesel models. This indicates that AMT is getting very popular in India due to the higher convenience it offers at an affordable price point. The new Swift will be officially launched in India at the 2018 Auto Expo, between 7th and 9th February.
AMT stands for automated manual transmission (AMT), a technology that was first introduced during 2014 in India, through the Maruti Celerio. Ever since, many budget cars have received this technology, and the Maruti Swift is the latest car to feature it.
On the new Swift, Maruti offers a 5 speed AMT with both the 1.2 liter K-Series petrol and the 1.3 liter Fiat Multijet turbodiesel engines. VXi, ZXi, ZDi and ZDi trims of the new Swift get the AMT option. The AMT equipped variants are expected to be priced around Rs. 50,000 more than equivalent manual gearbox equipped variants. The Swift will also be sold with a 5 speed manual gearbox on both the petrol and diesel variants. The car is the first in its segment to offer automatic variants on both petrol and diesel models. This is expected to be a major selling point.
AMT technology is cheaper, lighter and more fuel efficient than conventional torque converter and CVT automatic transmissions. However, it is jerkier and has a fair bit of lag compared to conventional automatic transmissions. This lag does not encourage spirited driving but when an AMT equipped car is driven unhurriedly, it responds very well and serves the purpose of automating the gear-shifting.
It is a big boon in city traffic, and this is why AMTs have become so popular in India, whose cities are getting more traffic infested than ever. Other cars equipped with this technology include the Tata Nano, Datsun RediGO, Renault Kwid, Maruti Alto K10, Tata Tiago, Maruti WagonR, Maruti Celerio, Tata Tigor, Maruti Ignis, Maruti Dzire, Mahindra TUV300 and Mahindra NuvoSport.