How does Suzuki’s AGS work?

Published May 27, 2022, 7:29 AM

by Inigo Roces

A closer look at this novel transmission

Chances are, you’ve already heard of Suzuki’s newest model, the Celerio. The all-new Celerio boasts of an eye-catching new curvy look, a surprisingly spacious interior, nimble handling, and astonishing fuel efficiency.

For the first time, the Celerio also gets one of Suzuki’s most impressive transmissions, the Auto Gear Shift (AGS) system. First introduced in the Dzire, the AGS combines the convenience of automatic transmission and the fuel efficiency of a manual transmission. For the more technically inclined, it is an automated manual gearbox. What this means is it uses a manual’s conventional gears and clutch instead of a torque converter and planetary gears like an automatic. By combining these two, it hopes to offer the fun and exhilaration, the lower cost, and efficiency of manual transmission, but with the convenience of an automatic when in traffic.

The transmission works in two modes: D for automatic Drive mode and M for Manual. In D mode, the transmission works like any automatic, shifting the gears for you as needed. It’s designed to shift up as soon as possible to return the highest fuel efficiency. However, when power is needed, simply apply more pressure on the throttle and it will shift down to the next gear. Flooring it will cause the transmission to shift down two gears. Lifting up will cause it to shift to the highest gear and coast.

When in M mode, the transmission will behave like a manual, holding the desired gear until told to shift by an up or down motion on the stick. While there is no clutch pedal, the transmission manages the shifting very well, smoothening out any jolts to return seamless forward motion. The transmission also retains conventional features like the ability to creep forward slowly when there is no pressure on the throttle, without stalling.

There may be no ‘Park’ on the transmission, but the stick shift can be left in ‘D’ when the vehicle is turned off to simulate it. This way, it doesn’t roll down when on an incline. For safety, the car also has a built-in feature that prevents it from starting when in D or R, thus avoiding any sudden moves.

You may be wondering, why install this instead of a conventional automatic. Thanks to advances in technology, it’s become easier to upgrade a conventional manual. This brings the price of automatic variants down, as well as maintenance costs. It also offers the driver the more connected feel of a manual while still retaining the convenience of an automatic. All in all, it’s introduced to offer the customer more value.