The Kia Seltos is presently one of the best-selling cars in its segment in the country. A closely related cousin of the Hyundai Creta, the Seltos is also Kia’s top-selling nameplate in India. One of the key reasons that the Kia Seltos and its Hyundai relative are so successful boils down to the engine & gearbox options that both these cars offer. This means that customers can pick and choose what suits them best, an aspect that only makes these SUVs more popular. However, within the next couple of weeks, Kia might introduce an iMT gearbox option in the Seltos. An iMT (Intelligent Manual Transmission, in Kia lingo) is basically a clutchless manual transmission.
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As the name suggests, a car with a clutchless manual transmission doesn’t come with a clutch pedal. While there still are clutch plates, they are operated by a computer that uses actuators to actually depress and release the clutch in between gear changes. As the one who is driving, all you need to do is change gears using the gear lever. If Kia were to really launch the Seltos iMT, it would become the second model in the brand’s lineup to offer the gearbox – the first being the Sonet. Meanwhile, the Hyundai Venue has had this transmission for a while now.
Kia has confirmed that the it will be launching the all-new Gravity Edition of the Seltos on April 27. The Gravity Edition will be positioned at the top of the Seltos hierarchy, making it probably the most expensive variant. However, it is unlikely that Kia will equip this top-spec variant with the iMT gearbox, as that’s usually reserved for lower variants. Then again, the entry-level variants of the Seltos may or may not get this transmission either. Chances are, that it would be the mid-spec variants that will come with the iMT option. Also, this gearbox will mostly be seen on the two petrol versions of the Kia Seltos.
The Kia Seltos currently comes with three engine options, which also includes a diesel powerplant. It is a 1.5-liter four-cylinder that cranks out 113hp and 250Nm of peak torque. Since Kia is not expected to change the Seltos diesel, it will likely continue with its 6-speed manual and 6-speed automatic gearbox options. As for its petrol powertrains, the Kia Seltos is available with a 1.5-liter naturally-aspirated and 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engines. The former is good for 113hp and 144Nm of torque, while the turbo-petrol puts out 138hp and 242Nm. In terms of the gearboxes, the naturally-aspirated motor comes mated to either a 6-speed manual or a CVT. Meanwhile, the turbo-petrol can be optioned with a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic or the manual tranny.
Aside from the iMT gearbox, Kia is also expected to make some other revisions on the Seltos. These changes would likely result in the introduction of the brand’s latest logo, along with a panoramic sunroof and a new design for the bolder 18-inch alloy wheels. The range-topping variants might also receive a few other cosmetic updates on the outside, though the interior might not be all that different. Even if a few of these updates were to materialize, the popularity of the Kia Seltos will continue to increase. In India, the Kia Seltos competes with the Hyundai Creta, MG Hector, Skoda Kushaq, Tata Harrier, and the upcoming Volkswagen Taigun.