Volkswagen Launches New Thrifty Manual Box

The manual gearbox is not dead yet. Volkswagen has just released a new stick that’s set to save CO2 all by itself, while handling plenty of torque.

Volkswagen says that the manual box still has a “significant share of the gearbox market.” Because most of the world still prefers the cost savings that come with doing it yourself. But while the auto has seen dual-clutch and CVT options, the manual hasn’t changed much.

This new box is designed to handle four-wheel drive, plus have a torque range from 200-340 Nm. That’s 148 lb-ft to 251 lb-ft, which means it covers a significant portion of the VW range of vehicles. It’s going to replace two existing boxes.

It’s based on a 2.5 shaft concept, VW says, with a max gear spread of 7.89. That rivals some of the widest CVT options. It allows for plenty of gearing-assisted torque at launch, but very low RPM when cruising.

“Here we employed virtual development methods,” says Helmut Göbbels, head of manuals and four-wheel drive at VW. “This enabled us to design a completely new oil conduction system. Using a variety of oil conduction measures, we are able to achieve a uniform and optimum lubrication of gear wheels and bearings, reducing the amount of lifetime oil required to just 1.5 litres.”

VW says that the new engine will save up to 5g per km of CO2. That’s not insignificant in the age of ever-tightening emissions. The new box will arrive first in the new Passat, but will spread to “almost all vehicle classes of the Volkswagen Group.”