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CitroŽn C3 SensoDrive gearbox






ERGONOMIC DESIGN AND DRIVING PLEASURE WITH THE NEW SENSODRIVE GEARBOX

THE NEW SENSODRIVE ROBOTISED MANUAL GEARBOX IS MAKING ITS DEBUT IN THE PSA PEUGEOT CITROňN GROUP. COUPLED WITH THE 1.6i 1GV ENGINE, THE SENSODRIVE ENDOWS THE C3 WITH A LEVEL OF PERFORMANCE AND DRIVING PLEASURE RARELY SEEN IN THIS CATEGORY OF VEHICLE.

A NEW DRIVING EXPERIENCE

Coupled with the l.6i 16V 110 bhp engine, the SensoDrive gearbox enhances driving pleasure:
in manual mode, the SensoDrive maintains precision-control of the gear-speed engaged, so that the driver feels in full control of the vehicle,
in automatic mode, it creates a sense of comfort that is both physical and psychological, bringing the driver complete peace of mind on the open road and in the city.
The driver switches easily and naturally from one operating mode to the other, either by using the automatic mode control on the central console or by using one of the two dedicated manual mode controls (paddles under the wheel or a gear lever) to quit automatic mode.


The technology of the SensoDrive gearbox brings improvements in many areas:
Comfort - In automatic mode, the driver does not have to change gears: a major advantage in heavy traffic. In manual mode, the driver no longer has to take a hand off the wheel to select the gear required.
Safety - Eyes on the road and hands on the wheel, the driver concentrates on the road ahead. A dashboard indicator shows the current gear-speed and mode of operation.
Consumption - Automatic mode optimises gear shift management to bring savings of 0.2 l/100 km in a standard combined cycle.




THE SENSODRIVE GEARBOX IN DAY-TO-DAY USE
The SensoDrive features two operating modes:
∑ manual mode,
∑ automatic mode.

In manual mode, the driver maintains full control over gear shifts. Gears are changed using one of the two control functions provided.
∑ Paddles located behind the wheel. The right-hand paddle is used to change up, the left-hand paddle to change down. These paddles give access to the five forward speeds. Their position in relation to the wheel is fixed, so they can be used intuitively by the driver whatever the wheel position, for improved comfort and safety.
∑ A gear lever on the central console. This lever has a stable central position. The driver pushes it forwards (+) to change up, and pulls it back (-J to change down.
For reasons of safety, only the console lever can be used to put the car into neutral or reverse. The driver pushes the lever to the right to put the car into neutral. To put the car into reverse, the driver places a foot on the brake pedal, pushes the lever right and pulls it back.
Even when manual mode is active, the SensoDrive gearbox enhances driving comfort. For example, the driver no longer has to change down on braking, when the car is approaching a stop sign or traffic lights. The gearbox changes down to first gear automatically then disengages the clutch when the car stops. When the driver puts a foot on the accelerator to move off again after a brief stop, the car starts up in first gear.
Moreover, in order to protect the power train, each request to change gears is analysed by a computer, which validates or rejects the driver's actions and can even select the appropriate gear in the event of over or under-revving.
Last, the gearbox control unit makes down-shifting a smooth and gentle process.

In automatic mode, the driver delegates the decision and the selection of gears to the control unit, which applies a number of gearshift patterns managed on an auto-adaptive basis (the active pattern is calculated by a process of interpolation, on the basis of three predefined patterns).
The control unit analyses the driver's behaviour; the type of use and the position of the accelerator in order define the most appropriate gear.
The control unit applies a number of rules in specific situations: maintain the current gear speed or change down to boost engine brake power; refuse change-ups on corners; change down to the lowest gear on kick-down for power acceleration.


In the same way, the gearbox detects tow-grip conditions and adopts a "snow" type programme. This information is displayed on the instrument cluster. An electric control function positioned on the central console behind the lever lets the driver switch to automatic mode. In this case, an "Auto" pictogram is displayed on the instrument cluster, together with the gear engaged. At the same time, an indicator lights up.
To ensure maximum safety, the SensoDrive gearbox includes a number of protective functions:
∑ The engine will only start if the brake pedal is pressed down.
∑ The driver can put the car into reverse only if his foot is on the brake and the car is stationary.
∑ If the car remains stationary over a long period with the engine on and a gear selected, the system returns automatically to neutral.




© 2002 Julian Marsh/Automobiles CitroŽn SA