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Kia Sonet compact-SUV will get CLUTCHLESS manual gearbox

Written by Nizam Shaikh

At the 15th edition of the Auto Expo 2020, KIA Motors revealed the Kia Sonet compact SUV concept which is the brand’s third product offering after the popular Kia Seltos SUV and the recently-launched Kia Carnival MPV. The Kia Sonet is expected to be the most affordable Kia car in India with prices ranging between INR 7 lakh to 11 lakh ex-showroom and rival the likes of Hyundai Venue, Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza, Tata Nexon, Mahindra XUV300 and Ford EcoSport.

The Kia Sonet is expected to be powered by a 1.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine, a 1.2-litre naturally-aspirated petrol engine and a 1.5-litre diesel mated to an iMT (intelligent Manual Transmission) gearbox and according to a media report, the brand is likely to bring a unique clutchless manual transmission system. 

The clutchless system works similar to an AMT (Automated Manual Setup) but features a conventional gear shifter that allows manual shifting without having the need to press the clutch pedal, in fact, the new system does not even have a clutch pedal installed on the vehicle and instead makes use of an electronic system. The gear lever comes with a switch similar to a shift-lock button seen on Automatic transmission that allows changing gears. 

The Kia Sonet features the brand’s signature ‘Tiger Nose’ mesh grille, sleek LED headlamps with built-in LED daytime running lights, a large air dam with chrome elements, and faux air vents that flank the bumper, squared-off wheel arches, sporty alloy wheels, a C-pillar that slopes upwards and back where it merges with the roofline, LEd taillamps and an LED light bar that runs between the stoplights. 

The feature is supposed to give the user best of both the world’s, as the system reduces the stress on the driver while offering more control at the same time. 

The Kia Sonet is expected to be introduced in the Indian market by August 2020.