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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
02 November 2005

DSG Settles the Question of Automatic Vs. Manual?

LAS VEGAS, Nev. – Before the age of DSG, the driving world was divided: Manual or automatic. The DSG transmission changed all that.

Volkswagen’s traditional strength in solving automotive challenges through innovative engineering is clearly demonstrated by DSG, the slickest-shifting transmission on the planet these days.

Let’s start with what DSG isn’t. It isn’t a manual, and it isn’t an automatic transmission. Essentially, it’s the best of both gearboxes. This new Volkswagen transmission offers a genuine alternative to those drivers who up to now have preferred manual gearboxes. First, DSG has no ill effect on the engine’s performance. On the contrary, it delivers identical acceleration while putting the driver in closer contact with the rise and fall of the engine’s power curve. It shifts as smoothly as the best conventionally built automatic gearboxes and it also allows manual shifting using the Tiptronic® shift lever or, when equipped, buttons in the steering wheel. DSG shifting occurs faster and more crisply than was ever possible up to now with either manual or automatic gearboxes and without interrupting tractive power.

When you think DSG you have to think about combining the agility of a manual transmission with the ease of a conventional automatic gearbox. That means two input shafts, two output shafts, two clutches and no torque converter. One clutch serves the odd gears (plus reverse) and the other clutch serves the even ones. It’s like having two parallel gearboxes in one. As a consequence of this elaborate clutch management, there is no interruption of power as occurs with a conventional manual gearbox when the driver depresses the clutch to shift gears.

The clutches and shafts interact in such a way that the next higher gear is always permanently engaged and ready for activation. For example, while the car is being driving in third gear, fourth gear is already engaged but is not yet active. As soon as the ideal shift point is reached, the clutch for third gear disengages while the other engages, activating fourth gear. The engagement and disengagement of the clutches coincide in the process, producing an incredibly smooth shift. The entire shift process is completed in the impressively short time of 3 to 4 hundredths of a second. Try that with a conventional manual transmission.

Parallel to the fully automatic shift programs “D” and “S,” the DSG gearbox has a Tiptronic® function that enables manual shifting, or the driver can manually select gears using shift buttons in the steering wheel. In both cases, the result is a shift feeling marked not only by superior smoothness but also by extreme fun. It’s like having a finger on the pulse of the powertrain. In the even sportier S mode, the engine and gearbox control units activate more aggressive shift logic and a form of rev-matching, which further enhances downshift dynamics. To control unwanted upshifts, such as in the middle of a curve, data from the ABS sensors ensure the gearbox control unit holds the gear for optimum handling balance.

Almost 60 patents were awarded during DSG’s development, and it has earned coveted engineering prizes; but the best part of the system is the ease of using it, whether crawling through town or carving up a favorite canyon road. The enthusiast press has commended the DSG transmission for being quick and accurate. Its three shift modes combine the ease of a full automatic with the crisp command of driver-selected gear shifting, and magazines have heralded it as the best of its type, even those found in the world’s supercars. As with the V6 and 2.0 FSI Turbo engines, the DSG transmission illustrates the kind of original thinking that satisfies both the requirements of basic motoring and the aspirations of driving enthusiasts.

Marcel Horn of HPA, an acknowledged expert on VW models, is an advocate of the special significance of the V6 engine and its transmission mate, the DSG.

“DSG,” Horn says, “is the most brilliant technical advancement in merging the sporting character of a manual transmission with the creature comfort of an automatic. You have a true manual gearbox with electronic sensors that can change gears much quicker than any human. Anyone who has driven VW and Audi models with DSG is blown away by the efficiency and ease of operation. The sheer fun and responsiveness is amazing.”

So whether you’re blasting down your favorite twisty road or merely trundling down the highway in stop-and-go traffic, VW has the ideal solution to your every shifting need: The do-it-all DSG transmission.

Performance enthusiasts in America embraced Volkswagen early on with drag racing Inch Pincher Beetles from EMPI and road racing Formula Vees and Super Vees. The words “Golf” and “GTI” have been synonymous with affordable performance for decades, and who can forget those great VW Sciroccos from the 1980s. Offroading? No manufacturer has a richer history in the dirt. Do the words dune buggy, single-seater and Baja come to mind? With such new technologies as DSG, narrow-angle vee engines and direct fuel injection, VW’s rich history of performance in America seems assured a rich future.

Founded in 1955, Volkswagen of America, Inc. is headquartered in Auburn Hills, Michigan. It is a subsidiary of Volkswagen AG, headquartered in Wolfsburg, Germany. Volkswagen is one of the world’s largest producers of passenger cars and Europe’s largest automaker. Volkswagen of America and its affiliates employ approximately 3,000 people in the United States and are responsible for the sale and service of Audi, Bentley, and Volkswagen products through retail networks comprising in total more than 900 independent U.S. dealers.

"Volkswagen" and "4MOTION" are registered trademarks of Volkswagen AG. "DSG" is a trademark of Volkswagen AG. All other trademarks used in this document are the property of their respective owners.

source: Volkswagen of America press release
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