Automatics are getting famous in India by the day, and a major reason behind this massive shift in the auto industry has been due to the introduction of cost-effective transmission option – AMT. AMT stands for Automated Manual Transmission and is now an increasingly common sight on cars from small hatchbacks to larger and expensive sub-compact SUVs. Automatic cars are easier to operate in the massive city traffic and offer greater convenience as compared to the manual variants. Therefore today let us focus on the more affordable option the automatic transmission range and get to know about it in a better manner and learn a few facts about them that remain obscure in common public knowledge space.
Expectations and Operation
AMT (Automated Manual Transmission) is the same as a manual gearbox and has almost the same working profile. However, the difference here is that AMT has no clutch operation and shifts gears for you, but the underlying mechanism is entirely same as a manual gearbox with some added operational features. Also, this makes them not as smooth as conventional automatic cars and the lag is always present. However, for a first time user an AMT is almost perfect as it eases the ride for the driver by taking away the cumbersome gear changing operation away in heavy traffic.
As we have already stated, AMTs are essentially tweaked manual gearboxes and thus, the very definition of manual gearbox is present in an AMT transmission as well. One can always shift gears manually and take control in an AMT powered car. This offers the driver with a lot of control in demanding situations. Although this feature of a manual also comes with a trade-off of the manuals, as AMTs do not come with parking mode, hill hold or hill descent features. Therefore the AMT car owners have to rely on handbrakes in almost every situation. This is a major trade-off that AMT makes as compared to more conventional automatic variants.
Affordability and Mileage
As we have already stated the deep connection of AMTs and manual gearboxes, their relative simplicity and ease of manufacturing makes them more affordable to make and hence buy. There are some tweaks done to a manual to get and AMT hence they end up being more affordable as compared to conventional automatics. The manual legacy also comes in handy as far as maintenance and mileage are concerned as the simplicity of AMTs make them more fuel efficient and affordable to maintain as compared to conventional automatic gearbox options.
The Good and the Bad
Modern advancements are bringing features such as hill hold and creep in AMT cars. The creep feature eliminates the need to keep a constant accelerator input to stop the car from stalling. This provides a major relief as far as driving in bumper-to-bumper traffic is concerned and makes driving very easy.
However there are some trade-offs in AMT transmissions as well, the most notable of them is the absence of engine braking in AMT equipped cars. Engine braking ensures that the brakes do not wear out easily and slopes become easier to tackle while driving. However this feature is not present on an AMT equipped car. Another trade-off is the sluggishness of AMT cars, one cannot expect instant punch from the engine when putting the foot down. Yes, the car will move, but the punch is missing which is not in the case of manual or conventional automatic transmissions. However, this problem can be tackled by switching to manual shifting in such situations.