The fact that automatic gearboxes are improving is not unknown to the market. And with the advent of simple yet very cost-effective technology called AMT, we are surely going to see more of automatic gearbox equipped vehicles in the market. Here are a few of them:
Renault Kwid AMT
Called Easy-R in Renault’s lingo, the AMT gearbox is going to be present in two of the brand’s most successful products in the country, the Duster SUV and the Kwid compact hatchback. While we’ll discuss about the Duster in detail below, let us first see what the Kwid has to offer.
The Easy-R gearbox will be available on the 1-liter engined Kwid, which was showcased at the 2016 Auto Expo. While the company refrained from mentioning the final power and torque figures, expect them to be close to what the competition offers – both Alto and Eon are available in 1-liter versions, although it’s only the former which gets an optional AMT unit.
While the company might be in the process of renaming the upcoming hatchback, the early reviews tell that the Zica is a huge improvement over Tata’s previous products. Replacing the ageing Indica, the car will come with two engine options: a 1.2-liter petrol and a 1.05-liter diesel. And although the AMT version was missing from the first drive of the vehicle, the company is expected to introduce the gearbox soon after the launch.
Tata Kite 5
The interesting Kite 5 compact sedan, displayed at the 2016 Auto Expo, might be a couple of months away from an official launch, but it will also benefit from AMT.
Based on the same platform as the Zica, the Tata Kite 5 will use the same engines as the hatchback, but will offer more space inside. The car will also boast a segment-leading 420 liters of boot space. Tata knows how to products competitively, so expect the same for the Kite twins (Zica was internally called Kite). The sub-four-meter length, in case of the Kite 5, will surely help, too.
Like the above mentioned Kite twins, the Nexon was also present at the 2016 Auto Expo. Sharing its platform with the larger Tatas (Bolt and Zest in this case), the compact SUV will get bigger engines – a 1.2-liter turbocharged petrol unit and a rumoured, developed-in-house 1.5-liter diesel engine. With an increased number of compact SUVs getting automatic/automated-manual gearboxes, Tata Motors will not let the opportunity go, either.
Tata is said to be waiting for the AMT manufacturer Magneti Marelli’s increased supply of the gearboxes, and from September this year, the supply issue is likely to be solved. So while the Kite twins might get the gearbox a few months after their launches, the Nexon might have it right from the day it’s launched – rumoured to be early 2017.
Mahindra Quanto Facelift
With a wider portfolio of compact crossovers/SUVs (read TUV300 and KUV100), it remains to be seen how Mahindra positions the upcoming Quanto facelift. Let’s leave that for Mahindra to decide, but as far as the product goes, expect added features, better looks (it’s easy to improve the way the Quanto looks, isn’t it?), and an AMT gearbox.
The engine is also likely to be swapped with the slightly less powerful but more fuel efficient unit from the TUV300. And since the TUV gets the AMT unit anyway, it won’t take too much of engineering to offer that on the Quanto.
Renault Duster Facelift
Another 2016 Auto Expo exhibit, the Renault Duster facelift gets updated styling, improved interior, and a longer list of features. But that’s not the most important addition!
The vehicle will also get the Easy-R AMT gearbox, but only on the more powerful 110 PS variant of the 1.5-liter diesel engine. The company could have chosen to bring a dual-clutch gearbox but that would have added cost. And that in a cost-effective and hugely competitive segment could do more harm than good. The automated manual gearbox comes is a 6-speed unit, like the standard manual.
As for the Duster facelift’s launch, a recent report claims that it can be as early as next month.
[The photo used for the Mahindra Quanto Facelift is a speculative rendering and the final product can look different. The use of Renault Kwid Climber’s photo is for representational purposes only.]