VW's Got a New 6-Speed Manual

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Volkswagen has engineered a new six-speed manual that should reduce consumption.

VW might be directing most of its engineering resources at electrification, but it remains committed to providing updated elements for its internal-combustion vehicles too.

Although manual transmissions might be featuring on fewer vehicles than a decade ago, they do reduce the purchasing price point of any model – making them particularly attractive to buyers in the more affordable segments, where a few thousand Rands make a real difference.

The latest transmission advancement from VW carries an internal company codename of MQ281, and it is a six-speed manual transmission with significantly reduced friction. Built around a 2.5 shaft concept, the MQ281 boasts a high gear spread peak of 7.89, which should allow you to short-shift it into higher ratios at cruising speeds - reducing fuel burn. 

VW’s engineers focussed on incorporating smoother running bearings and slicker seals to improve the mechanical meshing and optimise lubrication. This new six-speed manual also requires less oil than any of VW’s previous manual transmission.

Housed in a new casing the MQ281 transmission externalises less vibration too, which should improve the NVH of those VW’s optioned with it. The company has not confirmed an exact production roll-out of the new transmission, beyond that it will debut in the Passat – with Golf8 the next likely candidate.

According to VW’s technical specification for the MQ281 transmission, it is torque output rated for between 200- and 340Nm, which covers a very broad spread of the brand’s current 1- to 2-litre engines.

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