Upcoming Kia Sonet To Feature Clutchless Manual Transmission (iMT)

Kia Sonet front angle

Kia Sonet compact SUV will go on sale around October this year in India and is said to have “many segment firsts”

Kia Motors India debuted with the Seltos mid-size SUV in August 2019. It rose to fame in no time as it became the segment leader for consecutive months. Riding on the wave of momentum, the South Korean auto major introduced the Carnival premium MPV in three variants at the 2020 Auto Expo, where the Sonet concept was also showcased.

Despite the health crisis, Kia is committed to launching one new product every six months locally as initially revealed. Thus, the production version of the Sonet will debut later this year. The launch timeline has been confirmed by Manohar Bhat, Head of Sales and Marketing at Kia Motors India. He was quoted saying in a recent interview:

“The last launch that was in February-March so six months down the line that is in September-October is when you can expect our next vehicle launch”

kia sonet suv-1

The Sonet will have plenty in common with the successfully running Hyundai Venue that made its debut last year. Both will have similar underpinnings while sharing powertrains: the 1.0-litre turbocharged petrol, 1.2-litre naturally-aspirated petrol and a 1.4-litre diesel. However, it will distinct itself from the Venue by following Kia’s global design language and features list having “many segment firsts”.

Speaking about the Sonet, Bhat revealed new details regarding its transmission. It will have a clutchless manual gearbox system, thus eliminating the use of clutch and the strain that gets to the left leg. This could come in handy during jammed up traffic situations where you would have to constantly change gears.

Kia Sonet 1

The system according to Bhat will allow for “….an engaging driving experience, high fuel-efficiency and you remove stress“. The Sonet’s competitors like Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza and Tata Nexon already offer AMT transmission but Bhat further explained that the clutchless manual system will be different from the traditional AMT.

Since changing each gear is possible here manually, it is said to appeal for driving enthusiasts as well when they find the need to push further without the lag you could often see in the AMTs. The Sonet will boast of features such as a large touchscreen infotainment system, UVO Connect, automatic climate control and so on.