While more and more automakers choose to eliminate manual transmissions in favour of automatics—be it the conventional, dual-clutch or CVT type—Hyundai is announcing an industry first: a manual gearbox with no clutch pedal.
The Korean manufacturer claims its new two-pedal, six-speed “intelligent Manual Transmission” (iMT) technology provides the joy of rowing your own gears without the hassle and difficulty of controlling a third pedal, especially in urban commutes.
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How does it work? For starters, the transmission control unit receives a signal from an intention sensor built into the shift lever, indicating the driver’s desire to change gears. It then relays that signal to a hydraulic actuator forming hydraulic pressure, which is sent to a concentric slave cylinder that controls the clutch and pressure plate, thereby engaging and disengaging the clutch.
Hyundai says the system is “seamless,” but drivers who are used to classic manual transmissions will probably take some time getting familiar with it. We bet their left leg will be twitchy the first few times.
For now, this unique gearbox will only be available in the Hyundai Venue sold in India, but eventually other vehicles and other markets could follow. Does it sound like something you would consider?