Q) My wife and I love the DSG gearbox fitted to our Skoda Octavia for its quick, smooth changes and good fuel economy. Does any manufacturer outside the VW Group offer this type of gearbox? Vincent Radford
A) The DSG (Direct-Shift Gearbox) is a semi-automatic gearbox available on a number of VW Group cars, including Audi, Seat, Skoda and Volkswagen. Dual-clutch transmissions offer near-instantaneous gearchanges and they’re also more fuel efficient than conventional automatic gearboxes because less energy is wasted transferring the engine’s power to the wheels.
The DSG was the first dual-clutch transmission (where one clutch controls the odd gears and the other the even ones for super-fast changes) in the UK when it was fitted to the Audi TT from 2003. However, many newer VW Group models use a seven-speed version, rather than the six-speed system fitted to early cars.
Plenty of other manufacturers have since developed DSG-style gearboxes, with their own names and acronyms, and fitted them to specific models. These include: BMW (DCT) 3 Series Coupé, M3, Z4 Citroen (DCS) C-Crosser Ferrari California Ford (Powershift) C-Max, Focus, Galaxy, S-Max Mitsubishi (SST) Evo X NissanGT-R Peugeot (DCS) 4007 Porsche (PDK) 911, Boxster, Cayman, Panamera Volvo (Powershift) C30, S40, V50
Soon, Alfa will launch a twin-clutch gearbox called TCT in the Mito, and Mercedes-Benz will offer the SLS with its Speedshift ’box.