VW May Cut Manual Transmission Option in Europe Over New Emissions Rules

Chris Teague
by Chris Teague

We recently learned that BMW plans to nix the dual-clutch transmission as it transitions to electrification. Now, Volkswagen is changing its gearbox offerings to comply with new Euro 7 emissions regulations. 

Autocar reported that VW would cut the manual transmission offerings from its catalog, including the high-performance Golf GTI. The car reaches its 50th anniversary in 2025 and is widely expected to go electric when it enters its ninth generation, so this move is far from surprising. Manual transmissions used to be more efficient and precise than slushbox automatics, but the tables have turned, as manuals are now usually slower and less fuel efficient.

It's important to note that the rules change only applies to European vehicles. Even so, it could have an impact on models destined for North America, as automakers sometimes consolidate product offerings across the board when a change is required in one global market. That said, the automaker has noted on several occasions that the U.S. market has significant demand for manual transmissions in the Golf GTI and R, making it more than a little possible that we continue seeing the option here, even after it disappears in Europe.

It’s also worth pointing out that the emissions rules in Euro 7 are not yet official. The situation could change if the final version of the regulations shifts from its current language, but either way, VW may move forward to get ahead of the rules. 

[Image: Volkswagen]

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Chris Teague
Chris Teague

Chris grew up in, under, and around cars, but took the long way around to becoming an automotive writer. After a career in technology consulting and a trip through business school, Chris began writing about the automotive industry as a way to reconnect with his passion and get behind the wheel of a new car every week. He focuses on taking complex industry stories and making them digestible by any reader. Just don’t expect him to stay away from high-mileage Porsches.

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5 of 9 comments
  • Stuki Moi Stuki Moi on Jun 16, 2023

    "but the tables have turned, as manuals are now usually slower and less fuel efficient."

    They're not "less fuel efficient" per se. Just harder to get to perform the narrow, specific task of gaming the sort of oversimplistic "mileage tests" that limited-to-oversimplistic-comprehension people these days are told "fuel efficiency" refers to. Same story as for the now ubiquitous turbochargers being hung off every gas engine, ASIDE from commercial ones where the buyer actually cares enough to measure fuel burn and try to minimize it.

  • Old Scold Old Scold on Jun 18, 2023

    Waiting for the automatic that knows which gear I'm going to want to be in when I reach that upcoming corner.

    • Zerofoo Zerofoo on Jun 20, 2023

      The automatic will select the gear the government mandates. The end goal of all environmental regulations is to take away your ability to make a choice that does not align with the sustainable energy industrial complex.

  • Sundance Sundance on Jun 20, 2023

    Just bought 3 cars for the company, 2 Volkswagen, 1 Skoda (here in Germany). None of the drivers wanted a manual and when you have driven a DSG trans connected to a 2 liter turbo diesel you understand why. Same thing we had with BMW (2 liter diesel and Aysin 8 gear auto) a few years ago. Even the hardcore "manualists" among my colleagues changed to auto transmission. It's so much better to drive, when you have to drive a lot.

  • Multicam Multicam on Jun 20, 2023

    Yeesh. The future looks so boring.