Your definitive guide to the types of automatic cars available in India.
Most of us here in India have learned our driving on manual transmission cars. However, car manufacturers have increasingly started offering cars with automatic gearboxes over the past decade. And they don’t even come at a premium anymore as their prices are pretty similar to those of their manual transmission companions. But these automatic cars don’t all have the same transmission systems. There are five different types of automatic cars that are being offered in India right now. Let us tell you all about them.
Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT)
Among the most advanced types of automatic transmission systems, the Dual Clutch Transmission employs a twin-clutch system that facilitates smooth gear shifts. DCT cars deliver faster and more accurate gear shifts but they do tend to fall short on the fuel efficiency front. The best part about driving such cars is that most of them come with paddle shifters behind the steering wheel, giving you the feeling of driving a race car. The Skoda Superb, the Jeep Compass, and the Kia Seltos are some of the cars offering DCT options.
Intelligent Manual Transmission (IMT)
Intelligent Manual Transmission cars aren’t entirely automatic. Ergo you need to shift gears yourself using the regular patterns. However, you don’t need to hit the clutch each time you’re doing that. Software and actuators combine their abilities to activate the clutch whenever you’re manually shifting gears. Since such cars have fewer parts compared to fully automatic cars, their cost is more or less similar to that of manual transmission cars.
Automated Manual Transmission (AMT)
An Automated Manual Transmission (AMT) makes use of sensors and actuators to automatically shift gears by engaging the clutch. Cars with such a system are fuel-efficient but their shifts aren’t always seamless as in other automatic cars. This kind of transmission system is found on several entry-level vehicles like the Maruti Ignis, Tata Tiago, Hyundai i10 Nios, and more.
Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT)
CVT gearboxes are driven by pulleys and a belt. Their combination leads to the car offering infinite gear ratios according to the speed and throttle input. This kind of gearbox offers very smooth shifts, however, there’s a slight rubber band effect that proves annoying during heavy throttle inputs. The Maruti Suzuki Baleno, Toyota Yaris, and Nissan Magnite are among the cars with CVT gearboxes available in India.
The torque converter technology is the oldest form of automatic transmission. It works on a planetary system for gears while using an impeller and a turbine. When the gear is shifted, such gearboxes push the transmission fluid in the impeller to the corners using centrifugal force. The big advantage of such a transmission is a smooth ride, while the big disadvantage is that it’s not very fuel-efficient. Cars like the Vitara Brezza, Hyundai Verna, and the Kia Seltos offer torque converter transmission systems.
Which one would you pick?