Hyundai Created a Clutch-less Manual Transmission

If you want the purest driving experience possible, there is nothing better than having a car with a manual transmission so that you can run through the gears at whatever rpm you desire. Yes, it can be challenging driving a stick sometimes, especially when driving through heavy traffic, but it’s hard to beat to the feeling of pushing the clutch and rowing gear lever during a spirited drive. But what if you don’t know how to drive stick and still want to row your own gears? Don’t worry, Hyundai has you covered.

The new Hyundai Intelligent Manual Transmission

The hardest part of learning how to drive a manual transmission is having to start in first gear. We’ve all done it. You try and try again, feathering the clutch ever so slightly each time to get the right grab point in the pedal travel while simultaneously inching up on the gas pedal trying to get the car going without over-revving or stalling. It’s a tedious process, but when you finally get it down, it feels like you discovered how to make fire.

And just when you think you’ve mastered learning how to go forward in first gear and backward in reverse, then comes the (easier) process of having to shift into each gear smoothly, without watching your passenger’s heads jolt back and forth like they’re at a metal concert. However, with Hyundai’s new Intelligent Manual Transmission (IMT), the driver will no longer have to worry about the clutch-kicking shenanigans. There will only be two pedals to deal with, along with a proper shifting gear lever. But how does it work?

2020 Hyundai Venue
2020 Hyundai Venue | Hyundai

It uses sensors and computers to do the shifting

Since there’s no clutch pedal to disengage the transmission when shifting, the car’s Transmission Control Unit (TCU) does a lot of the work. In order to tell when you’re shifting, the Lever Intention Sensor (TGS) sends a signal to the TCU. Then the TCU then sends a signal to the hydraulic actuator that in turn sends pressure to the Concentric Slave Cylinder in order to control the clutch and pressure plate. In the most technical of terms, that’s how the driver can change gears without the use of the clutch pedal. The only part we wonder about is how quickly the driver will be able to shift repeatedly without messing anything up over time.

Hyundai's clutch-less manual transmission
Hyundai’s clutch-less manual transmission | Hyundai India

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There’s one catch to all of this clutch-less shifting

We actually kind of like the idea of clutch-less shifting, since it actually makes up for half the fun, half of the stick-shifting sensation. However, Hyundai’s IMT will only be debuting in the latest Venue that being released in the Indian market. Sad news, we know. But the bright side is that there could be a possibility of the IMT eventually making its way stateside, considering one compelling reason is that this new transmission helps with gas mileage, much like a manual transmission. So let’s keep our fingers crossed that Hyundai releases the IMT here so that anyone that ever wanted to learn how to drive a manual transmission, without really learning how to drive it, can do so safely.