Antonov: it’s all systems go in Paris

Antonov, the company developing new automatic gearbox technology, said it is on course to unveil a car equipped with its latest transmission system at the Paris Motor Show.

Antonov, the company developing new automatic gearbox technology, said it is on course to unveil a car equipped with its latest transmission system at the Paris Motor Show later this month.

The company’s engineers have spent the last few months in the French capital completing detailed design work on the fifth generation of its AAD technology and building a six-speed prototype that can be fitted to a 1,200cc car.

The demonstration of an Antonov-equipped small car would be the first result of a deal the company signed with an unnamed tier 1 manufacturer that it hopes will result in full-scale production by 2006.Antonov, which has been working on its system since the early 1990s, is stepping up its efforts to commercialise its technology in automotive and other sectors.

It is developing automatic gearboxes for large and small vehicles, claiming its transmission system can help car manufacturers save weight and improve the fuel efficiency of their vehicles.

The group is also working on two and three-speed fully mechanical gearboxes that can also be used in non-automotive applications. Called the Antonov Mechanical Module (AMM) these gearboxes are being developed in conjunction with supercharger specialist Rotrex. The AMM will be manufactured by French transmissions producer Sitma and will also be on display in Paris.

The update on technical progress came as Antonov announced a pre-tax loss of £1.3m for the six months to July, a figure the company said was ‘in line with expectations.’ The company recently completed a successful fund-raising round to raise the cash needed to support further development of its technology.

Chairman Roumen Antonov said automotive transmission remains its core focus ‘but the collaboration with Rotrex demonstrates our ability to adapt our technology to new markets and increase our potential customer base.’