Sticking around, VW redesigns 6-speed manual transmission

July 16, 2019

Volkswagen isn't prepared to say goodbye to the manual transmission and debuted its redesigned 6-speed unit Monday.

The brand said the redesigned manual transmission focuses on efficiency and shaving carbon dioxide production while driving. Total, the gearbox will help save up to 5 grams per kilometer driven, depending on the engine application. For those outside of the metric system, that's about 0.2 ounces of carbon dioxide for every 0.62 miles driven. Over a lifetime of driving, the curbed carbon dioxide production adds up.

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The transmission, coded the MQ281, either completely or at least partially takes over duties from two previous VW units. With a torque spectrum of 147 pound-feet to 250 pound-feet, VW said the transmission is also the perfect addition to crossovers and SUVs that have become more popular around the globe. Don't look for the transmission to feature in a U.S.-spec crossover, however—VW is talking about European buyers, which still purchase new cars with the three-pedal setup. VW noted manual transmissions still hold a major share of the market in numerous countries.

2018 Volkswagen Polo

2018 Volkswagen Polo

VW's redesigned transmission is also somewhat of a quiet commitment to the setup. While mass-market models in the U.S. will not see the transmission, it protects a way of driving many hold near and dear. Even with an upcoming push to equip nearly every vehicle sold in the U.S. with automatic emergency braking, the manual transmission will still see life. The system merely won't work exactly like emergency braking systems for cars with an automatic transmission.

Buyers will first find the new VW transmission in the Passat sedan before the 6-speed unit makes its way to nearly every VW vehicle segment in various markets.

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