Suzuki develops advanced auto-shift gearbox
Smoother gearshifts, improved efficiency and a more involving driving experience are the key advantages of a new, advanced gearbox that has been developed by Suzuki.
The new transmission combines the best attributes of manual-shift and automatic gearboxes by integrating an electro-hydraulic actuator with a five-speed manual gearbox. The actuator operates the clutch and the gear shifts, and perfectly synchronises these actions with the engine’s revs to ensure seamless, optimised gear changes.
The innovative gearbox combines the actuator and controller, and mounts it directly onto the manual transmission, ensuring integrated, efficient operation. And since the gearbox remains a manual unit, it doesn’t suffer the efficiency losses usually associated with torque converter-based automatic transmissions.
Suzuki engineers say the automated gearbox offers exceptional ease of use, as it obviates the need for clutch and gearshift operation, while a creep function when pulling off makes for smooth acceleration from rest.
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, just like a conventional manual gearbox, but without the need for a clutch, thus ensuring an engaging driving experience.
The advanced gearbox has already undergone comprehensive testing and is expected to be implemented in some of Suzuki’s compact passenger cars, including the Swift and the Alto, in the future.