By on May 13, 2014

2014 Volkswagen Touareg

Volkswagen enthusiasts could soon have a 10-speed transmission to go with their 10-speed bicycles, as the automaker released more details on its 10-speed DSG unit currently in the works during this year’s Vienna Motor Symposium.

Autoblog reports VW brand development chief Hans-Jakob Neusser informed symposium attendees that the transmission would see service in both transverse and longitudinal configurations under the bonnets of VW’s and Audi’s premium offerings, such as the Touareg and A8 according statements made by CEO Martin Winterkorn during last year’s affair.

The 10-speed will be a replacement for the current six-speed DSG, designed for “higher-powered engines” producing over 184 lb-ft of torque, being able to handle 369 lb-ft while helping to lower emissions by as much as 15 percent by 2020.

As for when the new transmission will debut, Neusser did not offer any word on a time of arrival.

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32 Comments on “VW Delivers New Details On 10-Speed DSG, No Set Debut Date...”

  • avatar

    Anything less than 38 speeds unacceptable.

  • avatar

    Given VW’s legendary reliability, this 10 speed gearbox is sure to be a winner. :P

    With the mechanical complexity that this is sure to have, and the dubious value that it offers, wouldn’t it be smarter to invest in a reliable CVT?

    • 0 avatar

      “Wouldn’t it be smarter to invest in a reliable CVT?”

      No but i’d take a hard look at a modern torque converter. cvt’s don’t have much of a learning curve but they still lag far behind both other transmission choices in terms of sporting feel and connectedness.

      No auto is great. That being said a dualclutch or torque converter with aggressive lockout of the hydraulics is by far the least bad of the available choices.

    • 0 avatar

      “wouldn’t it be smarter to invest in a reliable CVT?”

      I guess in theory, such a thing *could* exist.

      • 0 avatar

        Honda, Toyota, and Subaru are all going in the CVT direction, so clearly they think it is possible to make a good one.

        • 0 avatar


          Nisaan gtr dual clutch
          Honda nsx dual clutch
          Brz/FRS torque converter
          Wrx CVT (there’s a quote out there admitting that was budget driven and not the development teams first choice)

          Other examples include the LFA but I think the point is made. CVT is the path of least resistance at this point for the Asian manufacturers in terms of budget realities. Spend gajillions developing a dual clutch or just plug in a jasco CVT and call it done. They are likely further constrained budget wise by their upcoming total drivetrain refresh to incorporate DI and turbocharging across the lineup. A lot of their competitors have already started spreading those costs around (ford, gm, Hyundai, vw., etc…) leaving them playing catch up.

    • 0 avatar

      The answer from the manufactures seems to be that it is easier and more reliable to add extra gear sets than it is to make a CVT robust enough to handle decent sized engines.

      I’m speculating that because of the belt/chain-sliding-between-cone-pulley nature of CVT (there are other designs but they mostly depend on friction while yet sliding around too) that increasing power handling and durability requires progressively much larger and heavier working pieces and that comparable CVTs would either be to large and heavy to be practical and/or the materials to make them work just aren’t there yet.

      They would build them and use them if they could to get the advantage in fuel efficiency and emissions testing – I don’t think they would be sticking 8,9 and 10 speed boxes in everything on four wheels if they didn’t need to squeeze every last ounce out of them.

      • 0 avatar

        The other piece of the equation is owner feedback. With higher power engines appearing mostly in sporty variants and premium cars pairing a CVT runs the risk of drawing criticism from customers who expect some involvement. A mid 100’s HP sentra is a different can of worms entirely from a gtr for instance.

        Every brand that currently uses cvt’s develops a dual clutch for their halo cars when they have the cash to do so. Audi and mini were both publicly raked over the coals by their customers when they tried cvt’s. I’d say the case is made.

    • 0 avatar

      As number of speeds approach infinity, the DSG approach a CVT.

  • avatar

    I don’t own a DSG car so can someone enlighten me?

    They are rough to drive around town, yes? In stop and go traffic and the like?

    So, adding gears theoretically wouldn’t change the low speed behavior. That would be something separate they would need to refine, not affected by the number of ratios?


    • 0 avatar

      The VW DSG was buttery smooth in all the applications I’ve owned. I never thought of it as rough to drive like the early Ford/Getrag DCT boxes.

      • 0 avatar

        I’ve driven a current gen GTI w/DSG, and that thing is very, very easy to trip up. If you’re slowing for a red that then turns green, and gun it, it’s chaos time in the driveline for a bit. Ditto for reacting to animals running across the street when you’re hustling a bit.

        By the time Toyota and Honda, and particularly Lexus, get around to this party, I hope they have developed a triple clutch boxes, simultaneously only a clutch actuation away from both up AND downshift. “Preselection” of next gear, is one of those things that work splendidly, up until is doesn’t.

    • 0 avatar

      There are two main types of DSG transmissions, at least at VW. There’s a wet-clutch design that appeared about a decade ago, and a newer cheaper design with 7 speeds and dry clutches.

      I own a Skoda with a dry-clutch box. When the clutch robot is doing its thing, it feels exactly like when you’re riding along with someone in a manual car. Not as smooth as a torque converter auto, in other words. It can also obviously not anticipate your moves ahead of time (only react to them based on throttle input) so it can get confused and be a bit rough in certain situations, like when you are about to brake to a stop and traffic suddenly starts moving again. It’s also really eager to shift to second when you’re rolling, and then takes off with a lovely pensioner-grade clutch slip when you step on the throttle.

      Once the car is rolling, gears drop in one after the other with no fuss. Works very well, and it always picks the right gear, too.

      A wet-clutch DSG which you get in the 2-liter TDI and TSI engines behaves a bit better and feels a lot more like a torque converter automatic in certain situations, like creeping. The reason obviously is that the wet clutches can withstand a lot more slip. Shifts are also quicker and more seamless. The downside is that it’s more expensive to make and slightly (marginally) less efficient.

      I don’t really see the point of adding even more gears, at least not for my car. I already have second gear after about a car length, and fourth or fifth gear before I’m out of the intersection. There isn’t much reason to exceed 2000rpm in town unless you’re in a hurry and the top gear is plenty tall enough as it is.

    • 0 avatar

      Thanks gents.

    • 0 avatar

      Not quite as smooth as a conventional auto, but close and extremely responsive. The shifts are crazy fast yet predictable, making the paddles very useful on a busy high-speed on-ramp. With the 6-speed, it’s easy to tap down to 4th or even 3rd right before you need the acceleration. So much nicer than just flooring a conventional auto and waiting for the kick down while a semi is bearing down on you.

  • avatar

    It seems to depend on software tuning but yes, in general they aren’t as good as a tc auto in stop start (depends on brand and possibly the amount of gear oil though). OTOH there is also a learning curve. If you’ve never driven a manual then a dual clutch will take an extra day or two to acclimate to. If you are a manual driver generally it’s the most tolerable auto option.

    The one advantage I credit cvts as having is the absence of learning curve for drivers who treat the throttle as an on off switch. The problem after that is the subjective experience severely lacks, familiarity breeds contempt is my experience with cvt’s.

  • avatar

    “Where does the derailleur cable go?”

    Taken from Jalopnik :)

  • avatar

    10 speed bicycle? Is it 1976 again?

    • 0 avatar

      11 speeds is the new hotness in mountain bikes. One chainring up front, 11 on the cassette. You ditch the FD, front shifter, and the weight that comes along with them. My most recent bike, purchased in 2012, is a 2×10 setup. Only 20 gears, but I much prefer it over the 3×8 or 3×9 setups that I had on my older bikes.

      While not terribly practical, I always thought a 2×6 setup would be cool on a sports car. You could have a final drive that was designed for daily driving with longer gears and ratios that make sense in that environment. The multiplier would convert the final drive to a nice, tight ratio. The Mustang V6, for example, has a 2.7 final drive if you don’t get the performance package. That is nice for gas mileage, but awful for performance driving. The performance pack gets a 3.7 or something similar. Great for performance driving, crap for mileage. Having a low range would let you have your cake and eat it too (assuming it didn’t add much additional frictional losses).

      • 0 avatar

        I ride an 80’s vintage Miyata road bike. its a 2×6 setup and I find it has a good ratio spread and is easy to service.

        • 0 avatar

          I have an ’80s vintage Monkey Wards 10 speed, 2×5 setup that I far prefer over my 2005 vintage 21 speed (3×7). I can get in great cadence on the 10 speed that I can’t find on the new bike.

          Same with new cars, I prefer the 4 speed in my 95 Explorer, but the 6 speed in my sisters’ 3 series is downright maddening how sluggish it feels. My 3-speed equipped Chevy wins hands down for quickly it performs, even if its behind a rather anemic 305.

          • 0 avatar

            I’ve said in a few other threads, I find that the older 4 speed 4T60/65E shifts way better and is easier to control than GM’s modern 6 speeds.

            Not programmed for CAFE.

          • 0 avatar

            I would classify most, if not all, of the GM three and four speed automatics of that era as good. They shift to the lowest possible gear the instant you floor it, no matter what else is happening.

            Automatics in general would be a lot more tolerable if they all behaved like that.

  • avatar

    There comes a point where too much is too much, I am skeptical anything over 8 is worth the tiny tradeoff for slightly more efficient ratios. I would rather see bother methods at this point such as positive displacement supercharged diesel which would allow super low rpm shifting and cruising under normal conditions due to increased low end torque.

  • avatar

    I laughed out loud when I read the title of this post, I literately thought it was a joke.

  • avatar

    The new Acura TLX will have an 8 speed DCT combined with a torque converter. This might finally solve the whole DCT low speed creep issues.

    Also, the 7 speed DCT in the new hybrid RLX ditches the torque converter and instead goes with an electric motor.

    For all the BS Honda takes for not being innovative enough, I think they are firing on all cylinders (except for the stupid exterior design of the RLX… I’m an admitted Honda fan boy but I cannot defend that design).

  • avatar

    10-speed DSG? Isn’t it about time VW learnt from their mistakes?

    A pain in the butt
    Not only has their 7-speed DSG been a major failure (i.e. subject of recalls, extended warranties, etc.) across many continents, it’s also a real pain to drive.

    For example, its behaviour when parking and slow manouvering, e.g. when ascending car park ramps and in tight spaces, is often unpredictable. I’ve also read many reports of DSG ‘boxes failing to kick in when you need them most, e.g. at traffic islands, and of randomly disengaging power to the wheels when cruising at speed.

    Never again DSG
    Searching the net reveals that, for various reasons, many owners wouldn’t have another. There may be many owners without problems, but the extraordinary frequency of serious issues with the DSG (and also with Ford’s Powershift by the way) cannot be ignored. VW blame the oil, but such a claim rather opens another can of worms, doesn’t it?

    CVT? Er, no.
    Traditional CVTs (other than Toyota’s eCVT) are a compromise, because the mechanism has to both grip and slide at the same time, so is not ideal and reliability has been an issue. Toyota’s planetary-gear system is a far better CVT system and has such a small number of moving parts that it’s practically bulletproof. But I doubt it can withstand high torque levels in its current form.

    The torque converter is dead — long live the torque converter!
    I suspect that modern torque converters may ultimately hold most potential for the future of transmissions; they tick all the boxes regarding driveability and reliability, and are a well-proven, tried and trusted concept. For example, the current crop of BMW autos (torque converters) aren’t slow shifters by any means, and fuel economy issues are also being overcome, both through transmission design, and advances in fuel and engine technology.

    What I really want…
    … is an economical, swift-shifting, smooth and predictable transmission with better than average economy and bulletproof reliability (that’s not VW’s current DSG, and I doubt it will be their 10-speed version either).

    But wait a moment — I already have one: it’s my BMW F10! :)


  • avatar

    I did a quick search on DSG maintenance and came up with his gem from a group 3 years ago in 2011. First a poor VW owner says:


    Then an Audi mechanic answers:

    Honestly not suprised. Depends on labor rates. Parts and labor would make sense as the full service is probably 4 hours, plus parts. DSG fluid is not cheap and drain/refill usually takes 6-7 quarts, if not more.

    I work for Audi and our 4 cyl/DSG cars get plugs/pollen/oil change/dsg filter/dsg fluid at 35k, which is equivalent to VW’s 40k.

    To those not familiar with the filling process of the DSG – its kinda complicated. Basically you need a special fill adapter, fill the vehicle on a lift then check the DSG fluid level at a specific fluid temp. Not to mention access to the DSG filter housing is limited and removal of the airbox is required to gain access. I’ve always performed a basic settings of the DSG after a fluid change on top of all that.

    Love how everyone is so eager to slam dealership labor rates and labor times, and then ask around on how to do their own maintenance. It’s expensive because its a dealer and the labor rate reflects how long it takes to do the actual service. And since it is a “customer pay” 40k service, a tire rotation should be included as well.

    So I have given precise instructions to my wife that if she ever even suspects I am thinking of buying a 10-speed DSG she is to shoot me immediately. She knows she will not be charged if this occurs as it will be considered a mercy killing.

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