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DSG domination

These days, it is not unusual to find a twin clutch gearbox in your everyday car. In fact, they are slowly but surely taking over the reign of the conventional auto box. This is Good News. An automatic gearbox is just a statement to say you are one lazy human being. You have no incentive to do some 'fun' things on the road. To top that off too, automatics make a car heavier, slower, less economical and much less of a pleasure to listen to.
But this is 2013. We cannot let automatic gearboxes let 1.2 engines achieve no more than 30mpg. Enter the clever Germans, who around 10 years ago introduced the twin clutch (or DSG as VW calls it). The idea is that while you are in, say, second gear, another clutch will already have third prepared to you. As a result, the changes become instant because everything is just pre-ordered for you. Cars with DSG these days are a couple of tenths quicker to 60, a few MPG higher and much smoother than their manual counterparts.
So then, it would seem I love a good DSG gearbox. Well, actually, no. I hate them to the fullest degree possible.
Here is the thing. With a manual gearbox, you are responsible for the drive, you determine how smooth you pull away, you decide when to change gear. A twin clutch does not let you do this. For example, a lot of DSG gearboxes have a manual mode, where you can use some paddles or buttons on the steering wheel to change gear yourself. That sounds like fun; the best of both worlds. No clutch, but you have the power of changing gears. Sorry sunshine, you don't. Even in manual mode, the DSG will change gear for you if it senses you are going to hit the red line.
The DSG is even taking over the Golf GTI. Noooo
All of this makes you feel like a really worthless human being. The car does everything and you are just a slab of meat in the middle pressing 'go' and 'stop'. It's like go-karting all over again - minus the fun obviously.
The car industry and clearly many other people disagree with my displeasure here though, as twin clutch automatics are now widely found in many supercars now. Now whilst they may let you give them a bit more abuse in manual mode, they still allow you to drive a lot better than, er, you really are. Nothing feels more satisfying than pulling a quick throw in a manual Ferrari, letting the clutch feather the engine revs.
However, I do understand that if your name is Bill and you do a 20 mile work commute in your diesel Golf every day, a DSG is going to be better. Bill doesn't want to do B-road blasts when he is bored, he doesn't want to take his car up to the 4500rpm red line. DSG's were designed for Bill, they are not to be placed in the precise sports car.
The twin clutch war is happening, and they are winning well. If they have to conquer the world and our cars, please, please, PLEASE keep manual gearboxes an optional extra.
DSG domination DSG domination Reviewed by Jack Cooper on 14:08 Rating: 5

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