Highlights from the 2015 Geneva Motor Show

Volkswagen reportedly working on new 10-speed gearbox


May 20, 2014

Volkswagen has been working on a new 10 speed dual-clutch autobox (DSG)

Volkswagen has been working on a new 10 speed dual-clutch autobox (DSG)

How many gears are too many for the average commuter vehicle? If you’re pulling a load of cattle across Saskatchewan, then a semi-tractor unit with nine gears should suffice. But if you’re Volkswagen, then the magic number for your upcoming models is in fact 10.

Until recently, nine gears appeared to be the holy grail of transmission options for manufacturers like Chrysler and Land Rover. Up until last year, both Ford and GM were talking about a joint 10 speed gearbox, but as of today, nothing to show.

But now according to Autocar, Volkswagen is set to secure the coveted multi-gear podium with news that the company has been working on a new 10 speed dual-clutch autobox (DSG).

No specifics were given on when the new DSG will go into production or in which vehicles, but the new many-geared transmission will see use in both transverse mounted and longitudinal engine configurations. This indicates the gearbox could make its way into everything from the Golf to Tiguans to other VW sub-brands, like Bentley, Lamborghini or even Bugatti.

Advantages to having 10 available gears could include improved mileage, lower maintenance and (ideally) a tighter shifting transmission with closer ratios between the gears. A tighter gearbox results in reduced RPM loss between shifts, which in turn keeps the engine in the optimal rev range. This gearbox upgrade could provide for a very interesting performance enhancement with the right ratio configuration.

According to Autocar, the new gearbox will help VW meet its 2020 reduction goals with a 15 percent increase in fuel efficiency. The 10 speed gearbox could find its way into 2015 models, but we’ll have to wait and see how things like cost and weight gains affect the finished product.

About the Author
Angus MacKenzie Born on the cold, barren Canadian plains of Calgary, Alberta, Angus MacKenzie couldn’t decide between marketing, automotives or an entrepreneurial path - so he chose all three. When not writing, Angus has for the past six years been Editor-in-Chief for elemente, an internationally recognized architecture/design magazine.   All articles by Angus MacKenzie

I'm assuming that a 10 speed gearbox is 9 forward and reverse. My first thought was maybe it was a triple clutch gearbox allowing three shafts with 1,4 on the first shaft, 2,5 on the second and 3 and 6 on the last shaft. Thereby allowing the transmission to always be in the next higher and lower gear at all times reducing the need for software to predict what gear your going to use next and giving the driver much faster response times...

Sounds like its just a dual clutch gearbox with 5 gears on each shaft.

20th May, 2014 @ 04:54 am PDT

The Koreans ran a study for a few years and Hyundai said 11-speeds would be max - and they're offering a 10. tranny.

20th May, 2014 @ 05:00 am PDT

Keeping the engine closer to the optimal RPM will improve efficiency.

20th May, 2014 @ 04:12 pm PDT

Should make for interesting challenges for the engineers - as engines get smaller, the gearboxes get longer or wider!

RWD might make more of a comeback as the engine bay gets tighter, the 'box could run under the centre console, with virtually no propshaft.

They might end up sounding like a "auto" CCV box with 2 cylinder turbo motor spinning at its 'sweet' speed of 7,000 rpm and a 10-12 speed box, shift, shift, shift etc, etc.

The Skud
20th May, 2014 @ 07:21 pm PDT

Give it a year or two and the increased maintenance and repair costs of these 9/10 speed items will result in a return to 5, possibly 6 speed gearboxes while some other fashion item will be causing the marketing guys to be wetting their knickers in excitement.

Mel Tisdale
21st May, 2014 @ 04:32 am PDT

@Skud, sounds good but I need AWD here in Canada with the snow :)

Rocky Stefano
21st May, 2014 @ 07:52 am PDT

When does the stepped strategy become a CVT which everyone seems to dislike?

21st May, 2014 @ 08:22 am PDT

Yeah, what @rik.warren said

21st May, 2014 @ 03:12 pm PDT

@ Mel Tisdale

Why would a ten gear transmission require more maintenance than a five gear transmission?

@ rik.warren

CVT slip under high torque loads. Spinning the transmission real fast and putting a reduction gear in front of the load solves the problem but is heavy.

Most CVTs have a component that wears out like a tire granted in a well designed vehicle will be removed from service for other reasons first but it is a happily ticking time bomb.

21st May, 2014 @ 03:59 pm PDT

From my ancient knowledge of auto engineering 5 forwards speed gear boxes had 1 which was overdrive which was useful and fuel efficient over long AND unimpeded distances. There is no indication of these being auto or stick shift. If the first good luck getting the thing working properly without making it really heavy. If the latter good luck finding drivers who can manage them well.

21st May, 2014 @ 08:03 pm PDT
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