AMT equipped Celerio will not be as expensive as the automatic transmission, but driving the Celerio EZ Drive will be as good as driving an automatic car. On top of this, Celerio will return a mileage of 23.1 kmpl, which is unheard of in that segment for automatic cars.
So how does this technology work? Just like an automatic car, Celerio too will feature two pedals, brake and accelerator. It’s gear lever, located between the two front seats, looks similar to that of an automatic car, but without the ‘P’ for Parking. It has ‘R’ for Reverse, ‘D’ for Drive, ‘N’ for Neutral. For normal driving, all you have to do is put the gear stalk in D mode, and drive, that’s all. For the more enthusiastic drivers, Maruti Celerio also features an ‘M’ (manual) option. Once in this mode, you can change gears at your wish by pushing it forward or backwards, depending on if you want to upshift or downshift.
According to Magnetti Marelli, one of the manufacturers of AMT, the system works exactly like a manual transmission, but it has an electric hydraulic kit, which overlooks the gear changes. The electronic kit utilises a robotic arm and a ECU – electronic control unit. This system allows AMT to change gears without the need of a clutch. It is a three point system. The clutch is opened first, then the gear is either upshifted or downshifted (as per the need), and then the clutch is closed. These three jobs are assigned to three different actuators, which in turn are controlled by hydraulic electro-valves (which reads the data of your car and decides upshift or downshift). This isalso the TCU – Transmission Control Unit. So, in an easy to understand manner, one can say that Maruti Celerio EZ Drive features a manual transmission, but with a brain of it’s own.
This entire operation is presented in a sealed kit to the car manufacturer, whose only job remains, is to install. Maruti Celerio’s kit comes with a 10 year or 160,000 kms warranty.
UPDATE: Maruti Celerio launch price Rs 3.90 lakh: Delhi Auto Expo