A n advanced gearbox, featuring manual and automatic options for gear shifting will soon be introduced into Japanese vehicle manufacturer Suzuki’s compact range of cars.
Suzuki states that, with the new transmission, key advantages for the driver and passengers will be experienced, including smoother gear shifts, improved efficiency and a more driver- involved driving experience.
The transmission combines attributes of manual shifting and automatic gearboxes by integrating an electrohydraulic actuator with a five-speed manual gearbox. The actuator operates the clutch and the gear shifts, and synchronises these actions with the engine’s speed to ensure enhanced gear changes.
The innovative gearbox combines the actuator and controller, and mounts it directly onto the manual transmission, ensuring integrated, efficient operation. Further, since the gearbox remains a manual unit, it does not suffer the efficiency losses usually associated with torque converter-based automatic transmissions.
Suzuki engineers say the automated gearbox offers ease of use, as it obviates the need for the clutch and gear shift operation, while a creep function provides smooth acceleration when moving off from a standstill position.
The gearbox offers both fully automatic and manual shift modes. In the auto setting, the gearbox selects and shifts gears without the need for driver intervention, based on prevailing speeds and load conditions.
However, selecting manual mode gives the driver full control over gear shift selection, similar to a conventional manual gearbox, but without the need for a clutch, thus ensuring an engaging driving experience.
The gearbox has already undergone comprehensive testing and is expected to be implemented in the Swift and the Alto ranges.