In Reply to: semi manual gearbox? posted by dand on July 26, 2000 at 14:24:02:
Sequential M Gearbox (SMG), as it was called, featured a computerized, hydraulically controlled clutch, which did away with the need for a clutch pedal and worked with a six-speed manual-based gearbox (ie, unlike most sequential systems, this one was not based on an automatic transmission burdened with power-quelling torgue convertors).
The sequential system allowed for two programmes: fully automatic E (Economy) mode or manual S (Sports) mode. These were arranged in two planes: E on the right-hand side and S on the left, with simple plus and minus signs to indicate up or down changes, all operated by a stubby aluminium-and-leather gear-knob. In S mode, gearchanges were instantaneous -- you did not need to lift your foot from the accelerator. After heavy braking, the gearbox even slected the correct gear for you automatically. A small light under the "M" logo in the dash lit up when the rev-limit was reached.