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Kia reveals details on their new intelligent manual transmission which retains driver engagement and enhances efficiency.

28 Jun 2020 | International News : Korea


Kia Motors has revealed new details of its new intelligent Manual Transmission (iMT), which has been designed for a range of the brand's Mild-Hybrid Electric Vehicles (MHEV).

The 'clutch-by-wire' system is engineered to boost fuel efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions by around 3% in real-world driving conditions, while retaining the driver engagement of a conventional manual transmission.

The iMT allows drivers to enjoy the uniquely engaging drive that comes from using a manual transmission
Instead of a mechanical linkage, the iMT's clutch operates electronically, and is integrated seamlessly with a 48V mild-hybrid powertrain. The iMT works with the Mild-Hybrid Starter Generator (MHSG) to switch off the engine earlier than Kia's current Idle Stop & Go start-stop system when coasting to a halt.

With the new iMT, the chosen gear remains engaged even with the engine off. The engine restarts in the same gear as soon as the driver presses either the brake or accelerator pedals thanks to the burst of power provided by the MHSG. The transmission restarts the engine in neutral with an open clutch if the driver pushes the clutch pedal to change gear, or if the vehicle speed is too low for the current engaged gear.

Although the iMT introduces a new clutch-by-wire technology in place of a mechanical link between driver and transmission, the clutch pedal operates in the same manner as a conventional manual, while delivering greater controllability due to the electromechanical control of the clutch and a 'biting point' that enables drivers to change gears smoothly.

The iMT will be fitted to the upgraded Kia Rio EcoDynamics+, due on-sale in Europe during the third quarter of 2020 with a new 1.0-litre T-GDi petrol mild-hybrid powertrain. The new transmission will be adopted across a number of future Kia models, with the brand set to introduce a range of new engines and MHEV powertrains later in 2020.
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