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.