GM is introducing brand new technology to assist drivers new to manual transmissions in perfecting their technique. It’s a hill-hold technology that will be featured in the upcoming Chevrolet Sonic.
Hill-hold technology is a bit of a work around that will help with the more pressing task of heading up hill in a stick shift car by preventing roll back, or rolling forward when going downhill. This will make driving a manual almost as simple as driving an automatic.
It works by using a sensor that detects the pitch the vehicle is on and the tilt that the car stops on, then stabilizes it accordingly. Brakes are electronically controlled and hold the wheels for two seconds, allowing the driver time to move from the break to the clutch.
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John Buttermore, lead development engineer for the Sonic elaborates: “It will retain the breaking force that the driver applied with the chassis control system and hold the vehicle in place…That’s long enough for the driver to safely apply the accelerator and let out the clutch for a smooth start, always heading in the right direction.”
The technology is meant to make the learning process of driving a manual a safer experience for both the driver and others on the road.
Refresher: The 2012 Chevrolet Sonic is available in a sedan and hatchback variant. The standard engine on the 2012 Sonic is a 1.8L DOHC inline 4-cylinder unit making 135-hp and 125 lb-ft of torque, while an optional 138-hp 1.4L turbocharged inline 4-cylinder is also available. Prices start at $14,495 for the 2012 Chevrolet Sonic LS Sedan ($15,395 for the Chevrolet Sonic LS Hatchback), which is powered by a 1.8L Ecotec making 128-hp. Prices top out at $17,295 for the LTZ Sedan and $17,995 for the LTZ Hatchback. Prices start at $14,495.
– By: Alexandra Koken