This work demonstrates the efficacy of variable structure controllers with prescribed transient response to control the position of the induction motor drives. Based on the function augmented sliding hyper plane, it can be guarantee that the position tracking error converges within a realistic specified time interval. Better-quality performance for variable structure controllers is exhibited over fixed gain PID-controllers. Robustness of variable structure controller against parameter variations and external disturbances is established. Finally, the control algorithm has been validated by both simulation and experimental testing. © 2007 Springer-Verlag London Limited.