A Greener Gearbox From Volkswagen

Volkswagen have announced plans for a new ‘greener’ manual gearbox that could be out by this month – September 2019.

At North West Transmissions, we are the region’s leading gearbox experts – specialising in repairing and replacing gearboxes, clutches and transmission systems. As such, when not getting customers back on the road, we spend much of the time reading up on the latest information in our area of specialism.

What can we tell you about the proposed new VW gearbox?

The new gearbox is labelled the MQ281 gearbox and will initially be fitted to the new Passat, a range set to launch later this year. A successful launch would then see it added to the majority of VW’s vehicles.

New gearboxes are, of course, developed on a regular basis. What makes this one noteworthy?

Eco Friendly VW Gearbox

Volkswagen claim that with the right combination of vehicle and engine, it can save up to five grams of carbon dioxide per kilometre driven, this a claim made by the company’s head of manual gearboxes – Helmut Göbbels.

It is worth noting though that this saving is, VW state, dependent on driving in high gears at low engine speeds.

 This form off driving is, of course, always to be advised but it is interesting that VW are basing their findings on an assumption of optimal driving.

 It would be interesting to see the data on how the gearbox compares when a driver does not always use a high gear for low engine speed. Are relative CO2 reductions still achieved?

The new gearbox, developed at VW’s plants in Barcelona and Cordoba, Argentina, was made with the aid of computer modelling to simulate transmission fluid flow – the aim to snare optimum and consistent lubrication of all key components under all operating conditions.

However, VW admit that they focused largely on situations with low engine speed, justifying this decision by stating that those are “particularly demanding requirements regarding transmission fluid delivery.”

Their findings were that by improving the lubrication the amount of oil required over the entire lifetime of an engine dropped to just 1.5 litres.

Raw Material Reduction

VW also state that further enhancements have been made. The design minimises the materials used in construction – when multiplied by many thousands of gearboxes this leads to a significant reduction is raw material usage.

Drivers and their passengers will also benefit from improved acoustics, the level of noise and vibration reduced through work to develop a new, improved gearbox housing.

This new gearbox certainly sounds one to study with interest though, as with all new gearboxes, a true picture of its performance can only be judged once many thousands of them are out operating in real world settings used by all kinds of drivers in all kinds of conditions.

VW claim they have addressed an industry wide reluctance to develop manual gearboxes in recent years, hinting that manufacturers have been more concerned with enhancing dual-clutch automatics.

However, they suggest that they found that simple enhancements led to notable improvements, especially in the ability to drive at higher speeds at lower RPMs. The gearbox also has an eye on the growing trend of SUVs with large diameter wheels.

Low Maintenance VW Gearbox?

One thing we can say at North West Transmissions is that hopefully, if they have been well built, we shouldn’t be seeing too many of them in need a repair or replacement any time soon. 

Here’s hoping these are gearboxes that have excellent durability, do lead to CO2 reductions and also improve the drive experience. They sound superb all round, but then most products do when judged on the press release (not that we think of ourselves as cynical!)

Whatever your car, gearbox or transmission, if you ever find yourself in need of a repair or potentially a replacement with a high quality refurbished model please do consider our services.

We have 45 years experience in gearbox repairs and replacements across the north west, with free delivery within 45 miles of our location in Kirkdale (L20 2AE).

A family-run business, we also have a truly superb reputation, this shown by our 4.9 out of 5 average rating from dozens of reviews on Google.