Volkswagen has joined the bandwagon of a growing number of car makers by announcing that they are developing a new 10-speed Direct Shift Gearbox (DSG). This was revealed by Hans-Jakob Neusser, the development chief of Volkswagen Group at the 2014 Vienna motor symposium in Austria.
The new transmission was termed as a key part of Volkswagen’s strategy to boost the efficiency of its future models by up to 15 per cent by 2020. The 10-speed unit will be a replacement for the German manufacturer’s current six-speed gearbox.
The new gearbox will be a result of the company’s quest for obtaining better efficiency and lower emissions while maintaining a respectable performance. The gearbox will be first used in future premium Volkswagen vehicles with a capacity to handle 500Nm of torque in both transverse and longitudinal engine layouts. Neusser refused to comment on when the gearbox will be ready.
Volkswagen also unveiled a new engine at the symposium, a 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel unit. Announced at the last year’s symposium, this new twin-turbocharged engine produces 236bhp and will be first used in the eighth-generation Passat.
Increasing the number of gears in the transmission has become a popular way of boosting efficiency and lowering emissions of an engine, without compromising on performance. Big manufacturers like Lexus, Mercedes-Benz, General Motors and Land Rover have already showcased or announced their plans of introducing nine-speed and 10-speed transmissions.
Currently, the ZF eight-speed automatic gearbox is a popular option used by a number of premium car manufacturers like Audi, BMW, Bentley, Chrysler, Jaguar and Rolls-Royce among others. Though Volkswagen’s seven-speed DSG was first used only in premium cars, it has slowly filtered down to smaller cars like the Polo and the Vento and we can expect the same for the 10-speed unit.