Auto-gearshift proves popular; Maruti Suzuki adds it to top-end IGNIS

Maruti Suzuki said it has added the auto-gearshift option to the highest variant of its ‘millenial-focused’ IGNIS small car.

AGS is already available on the cheaper variants, Delta and Zeta, and cars enabled with the technology account for 27% of IGNIS Sales, the company said.

The AGS version of the Alpha trim will be available at Rs 7.01 lakh for petrol and Rs 8.08 lakh for the diesel variant at ex-showroom prices in Delhi, which is roughly Rs 30,000 higher than the manual variant.

Auto-gearshift is one of the several ways to get rid of manual shifting of gears.

The traditional technology is called continuous variable transmission or CVT. Unlike auto-gearshift, CVT does not have any gears to shift, and uses a chain to match the rotation of the wheels to the speed at which the engine is operating.

Auto gearshift does what is says, shifting the gear automatically when the engine rotation or RPM reaches a particular threshold.

While CVT is supposed to increase fuel consumption by about 10%, auto gearshift — already available on models like Celerio — is reputed to be as efficient as manual transmission. It is also much simpler, in technical terms, and therefore cheaper to make and maintain.

“Maruti Suzuki’s acclaimed AGS technology has been a game changer in the Indian automobile industry. AGS technology made twopedal transmission more affordable, offering fuel efficiency at par with manual transmission,” the company said.

Rivals like Kwid also have automatic transmission options. Some automatic gear shifting models offer a ‘manual’ mode as well, in which the driver can press buttons to shift gears without having to use a clutch.

Besides AGS, the Alpha also comes equipped with dual airbags, seatbelts with pre-tensioner force limiter (PTFL) and ABS with EBD as standard fitments.

It also gets ISOFIX Anchorage, a child seat restraint System.

IGNIS comes with two engine options—petrol fitted with the proven VVT engine (1.2L) delivering power of 61kW at 6000rpm with a torque of 113Nm at 4200rpm.

The diesel IGNIS gets the power of the acclaimed DDiS 190 diesel engine (1.3L) delivering power of 55.2 kWG at 4000 rpm with a torque of 190Nm at 2000 rpm.