The Burning Question: What is Suzuki’s Auto Gear Shift?

June 7, 2018

Thanks to the worsening traffic conditions in most major cities, the automatic transmission has become the gearbox of choice for most people. Sure, there are still a few who want the control that a manual transmission offers. But overall, it’s the tranny that doesn’t have the third pedal that rules the roost.

And while automatic gearboxes have seen an improvement in terms of performance and fuel economy, the reality is that those equipped with torque converters (which comprises most of what’s out there) do suffer from drawbacks such as power getting lost in transmission, as well as not-so-favorable fuel economy numbers.

There is, however, a new type of transmission that promises the best of both worlds. It’s the Auto Gear Shift that’s being put forward by compact vehicle maker Suzuki Philippines. In a nutshell, AGS promises the convenience of an automatic with the control and fuel efficiency of a manual. How can it do this, you ask?

Instead of the aforementioned torque converter, it instead utilizes a friction clutch—just like a manual tranny. But rather than depressing the clutch pedal and rowing thru the gears in an H pattern, the system employs electronic motors and solenoids to do the shifting. You essentially have a manual transmission underneath but use electronics to go thru the gears.

To use it, you simply put the selector in D and drive off. Use the accelerator to modulate gear changes. Want more speed? Simply floor the throttle and the tranny takes this as its cue to downshift. For even greater control, move the lever to the M position and go thru the gears sequentially via the + and – toggles. It can even hold the revs to maximum, Suzuki says.

What all this promises is better fuel efficiency, increased car control when desired, and of course, convenience. And while Suzuki Philippines allowed a select group of motoring journalists to try out the new tech at the Batangas Racing Circuit in order to fully exploit its capabilities, the real test would be out in the real world.

But that’s another story for another day. For now, you can expect to see the AGS in the all-new Suzuki Dzire that will be available at the end of this month. 

Photos and video by: Paolo Lesaca

About the Author

Mr. Gerard Jude Castillo
Gerard has been a self-confessed car nut ever since he was a little boy. As a grown-up, he indulges in his passion by collecting toy cars (which he started since childhood) and reading up on the latest cars out there.  As Associate Editor, he will ensure that you get your fill of the latest cars in the market, as well as a load of automotive features.