25 June 2020

New intelligent manual transmission from Kia

A new automated 'declutch and coast' system coming for manual gearboxes in Kia cars will both save fuel and decrease the number of clutch operations a driver makes, writes Brian Byrne.

The iMT intelligent manual transmission works in conjunction with the mild hybrid starter-generator and an electronically-operated clutch. When the driver lifts off to slow to an intersection or corner, the system senses it and automatically disengages the clutch and switched off the engine, allowing the car to coast. If the driver accelerates again, the engine is restarted and the clutch re-engages in whatever gear has been selected, or none if the driver has selected neutral.

The system will also restart if the car goes below the optimum speed for the selected gear, to avoid labouring the engine.

Kia says the new technology will make a 3pc improvement over current CO2 emissions in equivalent cars.

It will be available first in the EcoDynamics+ variant of the Ceed with the 1.6 diesel, and in a Rio with a new 1.0 gasoline direct engine. In Ireland from early next year.