Mar 16, 2016
Rüsselsheim. Smaller cars are popular in big cities where traffic is dense and parking spaces tight. However, the enthusiasm of even the biggest small-car fans can wane after spending hours in traffic jams. After all that decoupling and shifting between first and second gears, they frequently wish for the luxury of an automatic transmission.
Automatic transmissions that select the right gear ratio without any driver intervention are very comfortable and very easy to use. However, they are often too expensive for most drivers of smaller cars. The difference in price between cars with manual or automatic transmission can be thousands of euros.
Fortunately, drivers of small cars don’t need to give up completely on a little luxury. An automated manual transmission, based on a manual gearbox with an automated gear-shifting system, is an affordable, efficient alternative to a conventional automatic transmission for small or compact cars.
Although automated manual transmissions cannot reach the highest comfort levels of full automatics, they do offer considerably easier operation than manual gearboxes because of their automatic shift-actuation. Automated manual transmissions also enable lower fuel consumption.
The latest generation of automated manual transmissions, such as the Easytronic 3.0 from the German automobile manufacturer, Opel, are particularly advanced, providing not only enhanced shifting comfort and drivability but also optimized functions such as “creep” and “launch”.
Compared with previous automated manual transmissions, Easytronic 3.0 impresses with smoother gear shifts and reduced reaction times. In addition to automatic mode, Easytronic 3.0 also offers manual gear shifting via simple movement of the gearshift lever.
The wide spread of the five gear ratios reduces engine speeds for pleasant noise levels, especially at higher speeds. “Creep” mode for slow-speed maneuvers is similar to that of an automatic transmission, and the special start/stop function enables rapid starts and acceleration.
For optimum fuel economy Easytronic 3.0 automatically selects the most fuel-efficient gear and is combined with Start/Stop technology that reduces fuel consumption even further especially in urban areas. In combination with Easytronic 3.0 the new Astra 1.0 ecoFLEX is one of the most fuel efficient gasoline cars in its class, consuming just 4.2 liters per 100 km (96 grams CO2/km) in the NEDC combined cycle.
Opel offers the Easytronic 3.0 automated manual transmission in the KARL, ADAM and Corsa family of small cars, as well as the all-new Astra, the 2016 European Car of the Year.
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