Manual or automatic? It’s a question that always divided the drivers’ opinion. Each kind of transmission has its own advantages. But is there one gearbox that combines the ease in use of the automatic with the fuel consumption of a manual transmission? Yes, it is. It’s called automated manual transmission, and it’s also in Opel portfolio.

It is best suited for the cities’ crowded traffic, because it eliminates the need of repeatedly clutching and de-clutching. Therefore, Opel propose it from now on as an option for its small cars: Adam, Corsa and Karl. It’s also less expensive than an automatic transmission, a fact that makes it even more appropriate for the small cars. But how does it work? It feels pretty much like an automatic transmission, because of the missing clutch pedal. Instead, it is an actuator that engages the clutch for the driver. But the fuel consumption stays low, because there is no transmission loss typically for the automatic gearboxes. It is also as solid and reliable as the manual transmission. To put it in other words, it’s a simple manual transmission, with the clutch and shifting system electrically powered.

The last iteration from Russelheim is called Easytronic 3.0 and it features smoother gear shifts and more responsiveness compared to the previous variant. It offers either a full automatic mode, when the selector is in D position, or a manual shifting mode, just like the most of the automatic transmissions. It can be combined with start-stop function and the five gears are longer, for a better noise-comfort at high speeds. Because of these two features, it contributes to a remarkably low consumption. For instance, when fitted under the new Astra’s hood, it helps the 1.0 liter engine achieve an excellent combined consumption of 4.2 l/100 km (96g CO2/km).