Maruti launched the Celerio AMT in early 2015 at a price tag of merely ₹4.99 lakhs and since then there was no looking back for the AMT cars in the Indian automotive industry.
With the launch of Celerio, many other carmakers brought their version of hit and affordable cars in the AMT model. Tata came out with Tiago AMT, Hyundai launched the Santro in the AMT version, Renault brought its Kwid and much more.
Automatic Manual Transmission cars or AMTs are the new trendy thing in the Indian automotive market. With an easy to drive mode and a hassle-free gear change, the transmission model has proven out to be a hit amongst the domestic car buyers.
Although, there have been certain myths and rumours about the AMT transmission that’s been doing the rounds of the Indian market and hence keeping the consumers in two minds about whether to go for it or not.
We’re here to demystify the rumours and debunking the myths about the new trend that is the automatic transmission.
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So, here are the 10 facts about the AMT cars that nobody told you.
Difference between a typical Automatic Transmission and AMT
Just to clear the air, automatic and automatic manual transmissions are two different concepts. So, let’s see how these two compare with each other.
In an automated transmission, the vehicle changes the gear ratios on its own. The driver does not have to worry about changing the gears as the transmission does all the work.
In an automatic transmission car, there are certain parts and components which are completely absent in the manual car, such as the torque converter, the valve body and the clutch bands.
The way you drive, the higher the revs, the gears will be managed accordingly by the car.
Automatic Manual Transmissions (AMT)
Now, for an AMT, think of it as an automatic car with an optional clutch. The driver has the option to use clutch if s(he) wants.
For example, on a downhill road, a driver might want to have better control on the gear and the speed, so as to use minimum breaks. After the driver is on the plains again, s(he) can change back to automatic for a good drive.
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10 Facts about AMT Transmissions
AMT cars are easy to maintain
Against the popular belief, AMT cars are rather easy to maintain than their automatic siblings.
An AMT car is easier to maintain, as the transmission is just a manual one with some minor additions to the engine to make them a bit more inclined towards the automatic transmission sphere but still playing in the manual transmission field.
Compared to the maintenance of a manual gearbox, an AMT has a lower cost of maintenance in the long run.
AMT is a boon in traffic
Most of the modern AMT cars being sold in the country these days come with a ‘creep’ function. Turning the function on the car creeps in traffic at a mere speed of 5 to 6 kmph, unlike in manual transmissions where you have to play a game of clutch and brake in order to go through a traffic infested stretch.
There’s a difference between AT and AMT
An AMT is not an exact automatic transmission. The AMT transmission might have its own upsides and downsides in all. Where an automatic vehicle is completely clutch-less, the AMT vehicles do have a clutch. It’s just that the car will be handling it on its own, saving some work for your feet. If you’re someone who’s coming from a fully automatic car, the AMT might not impress you that much. Although, it might be an upgrade for someone coming in from a manual transmission vehicle.
AMT is fuel-efficient
The most popular misconception or hoax about the AMT transmission is that it consumes more fuel. Apart from leaving a few, most of the automatic transmissions do suffer from this problem.
Although, the AMT cars are rather more fuel-efficient than their manual siblings or automatic siblings in some cases, considering the fact that they are part manual. In most of the cases, the AMT version has the same mileage as a manual one.
Overtaking is a task in an AMT vehicle
While the technological advancements have taken place in the AMT arena and the cars have become quicker, there is still some issue in overtaking a vehicle at high speeds in an AMT vehicle. While the automatic ones manage to bring the gears down, the AMT vehicles can prove out to be a bit sluggish in overtaking a vehicle. So, make sure you plan your overtaking before you intend to do so.
Always. Use. The. Handbrake.
While it’s an upgrade from a manual transmission, there are several drawbacks that have to be looked into. Due to its engine built and mechanism, the cars having AMT transmissions don’t have hill descent control or hill hold assist. Always make sure to apply the handbrake when parking your car.
AMT does not hamper the performance
The entire AMT technology was taken from the Formula 1 cars. The F1 cars used to have the same technology to run and race around the tracks. An AMT transmission uses electronic and automatic gear shift which makes it more accurate than a human gear shift. Moreover, whenever you see the engine bringing in some sluggishness, turn on the manual transmission. Simple.
AMT is new and still-in-development
AMT has been in the market since the 1930 s which makes it 80 odd years old. Although there have been certain advancements in technology, the basic concept and mechanism are tried and tested.
AMTs are getting better day by day
This point might contradict some of the statements mentioned above, but it’s true. The newer cars that are coming with the AMT transmissions tend to have better transmission, better pickups and overtaking capabilities and moreover they come in with hill hold assist and hill descent control, such as the Tata Nexon and Renault Duster in the AWD version.
AMT cars are cheap
With the market for the AMT cars increasing rapidly and the companies bringing in the AMT versions of there hit cars, the AMT version is now rather easy on the pockets, contrary to the popular belief.
Here’s how the Maruti Suzuki AGS (Auto Gear Shift) AMT works: