Gone are those days when an automatic gearbox was a luxury in cars. With the new advancements in automobiles, there is a whole new range of automatic gearboxes available now. These transmission units are not only more refined than the ones used before but are cheaper and more economical too. Following is a complete list of the type of automatic gearboxes which are offering potential alternatives to the conventional manual gearbox:
Automated Manual Transmission (AMT)
Perfect for – those who are looking for a fuel-efficient automatic gearbox at an affordable price point
A more modified version of a manual gearbox, an automated manual transmission (AMT) uses sensors, actuators, servo motors and programmers. All these work together for automatically shifting between the gears by engaging the clutch. Given that most of the structure is similar to a manual gearbox, they don’t cost much and are highly fuel-efficient.
However, the transmission shifts are not seamless as in other automatics. Many entry-level cars like Renault Kwid, Hyundai Grand i10 Nios and Aura, Maruti Ignis, Dzire and Swift and Tata Tiago and Tigor come with this transmission.
Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT)
Perfect for – those who want a comfortable and stress-free low-speed ride
A continuously variable transmission employs pulleys and a belt, which work together to offer infinite gear ratios according to the speed and throttle input. While this gearbox has no shift shocks and is very smooth, the rubberband effect during heavy throttle inputs might be irritating at times. This gearbox is available in many cars like Maruti Baleno, Hyundai i20, Creta and Verna, Honda Amaze, Jazz and City, Kia Seltos, Nissan Magnate and Renault Kiger and Duster.
Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT)
Perfect for – those who are looking out for more engaging and performance-oriented drives
The most advanced automatic gearbox of recent times, a dual-clutch transmission unit, that uses a twin-clutch setup for alternate gears. When one clutch is engaged, the second one is kept ready in advance. It results in seamless and quick shifts, therefore offering better acceleration and smooth drive. The downside of this transmission is that it is expensive, with repairs costing heavily at times. Nowadays, many mass-market offerings like Hyundai Venue, Verna, i20 and Creta, Kia Sonet and Seltos, Volkswagen Taigun and Skoda Kushaq are coming with this gearbox.
Torque converter (AT)
Perfect for – those who want smooth and reliable gear shifts
The oldest form of an automatic gearbox in the market, a torque converter unit employs a planetary system for gears with an impeller and turbine. During shifting of gears, the transmission fluid in the impeller is pushed to corners, due to centrifugal force. This gearbox offers a smooth drive but is not the most fuel-efficient one around. The gearbox is commonly used in mass-market and premium offerings, with cars like Maruti Vitara Brezza, S-Cross and Ciaz, Hyundai Verna and Creta, Kia Seltos, Toyota Innova Crysta and Fortuner, Volkswagen Vento and Skoda Rapid.
Intelligent Manual Transmission (IMT)
The newest to join this list, the intelligent manual transmission is not an automatic gearbox completely. The gearshifts are done conventionally like in a manual gearbox, but these clutch-less units use actuators, that sense the pressure on the gear lever and engage the clutch by itself. This offers an easy urban drive but is not as fully convenient as other automatic gearboxes. Many new-generation offerings like Hyundai Venue and i20 and Kia Seltos and Sonet are offering this gearbox.