The manual transmission has endured more than a century of attempts to replace it, but with Hyundai’s recent innovation, things are really getting interesting. The Korean brand’s upcoming intelligent Manual Transmission (iMT), which features a row-it-yourself gear selector but no clutch pedal, will debut with India’s Venue crossover SUV, replacing the traditional pedal with an automated hydraulic clutch release system that takes away most of the burden of working a manual transmission in daily traffic.
Read the full article on Hagerty.com:
This new manual will be even safer once they offer it in paddle shifters. [couldn't resist]
Intriguing oddball development. Not sure if "saves your knees" is enough for North America for it to be relevant? I'd be interested in someone attempting an unbiased pro/con of this vs. other shifter interface + transmission type options (i.e., who best gets use out of minimal gear automatic dial shifter vs 6 speed manual with stick and clutch pedal, etc. --there is a lot of conventional combos out there now without even going to obsolete 3 on the tree and such).
We kind of already know that the daily commuter grind is the reason most vehicles are not of the manual/stick/clutch pedal persuasion?
Based on the limited information in the article, it points toward the same set-up that been in use for years now in the Smart cars. An automated clutch, manual.
I'm sorry but I just have to talk about the elephant in the room. When did people get so soft? Everything I have driven that has been produced with the hydraulic throwout bearing, or a diaphragm clutch, or both, i.e. meaning modern manual transmissions is anything BUT hard to drive. When I compare that to the clutches of yesteryear that were designed to take the punishment of the higher horsepower of the street machines of yesteryear, they are feather light as far as pedal pressure is concerned. This is coming from a guy who jumped around on stages playing metal in his younger years, carried his own equipment after, and for fun played football. Meaning my knees aren't the greatest.
To address the complaints about commuting with a manual. If that's the case, then why buy one in the first place? Your commute is your commute. Surely you would understand that stop and go requires using your left foot on a manual transmission when you are thinking about said purchase.
I probably wouldn't see the appeal until I get to somewhere around 90. My knees may FINALLY be bad enough to not want a clutch with my manual transmission. Then again, maybe not.