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VW 7-Speed DSG gearbox Photo:

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Steane Klose | May, 29 2007 | 1 Comment

The acclaimed Volkswagen DSG (Direct Shift Gearbox) has evolved from a humble 6-speed into a new compact 7-speed and undergone a thorough revision in the process.

The revolutionary DSG gearbox available in various VW models since 2003 does away with a clutch and provides virtually seamless and lightning fast gear changes. It effectively pre-selects the next gear ratio reducing the time it takes to change gears significantly. This is a very ‘simple’ explanation and we will ensure that we write a technical article on this modern wonder in the very near future.

Up until now the DSG has been available in a 6-speed only configuration that uses a pair of ‘wet’ clutches. The new 7-Speed DSG box swaps the oil-soaked wet clutches for more efficient cooler running dry clutches. The new 7-speed DSG as a result is more compact, weighs 7kgs less than the 86kg 6-speed and requires less power to effect each gear selection.

Weight has been saved by reducing the oil capacity of the new 7-speed DSG box from the 7-litres of the 6-speed down to a miserly 1.7-litres. A saving made possible by the use of dry clutches that don’t require oil cooling.


The 7-speed DSG is able to be mounted transversely unlike the 6-speed and total length of the unit is a compact 369mm… So expect to see the new 7-speed DSG start to appear in more Volkswagen models than the current 6-speed.

Making use of an extra (seventh) gear has allowed the VW gearbox boffins to optimize the ratios to achieve maximum fuel efficiency. VW are expected to begin full production of the new 7-speed by the end of this year after which it will be available for fitment to the current Golf 1.4-litre TSI petrol (pictured above) and 1.9-litre TDI diesel engines as well as the Polo range. Being a lightweight compact design the new 7-speed is not suited to high power performance applications and is limited to smaller engines where the focus is on fuel efficiency. So don’t expect to see it in the R32 or GTi.

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