Why I dig DSG

IT all started after I loved a Golf GTI for a weekend.

You know, I mused in the office, I might even go for DSG over manual. GET OUT came the command. Call yourself an enthusiast, and eschew a manly manual?

Yup, and I’ve been thinking why. See, when I change gear, I’m always (forlornly) striving for the perfect gearchange. I like metering clutch precisely, going off and on the throttle with metronomic timing, savour the happy synchromesh, err, thanking me for saving it some work.

Thing is, it becomes an obsession. I tend to concentrate on it unduly; which makes the pain of a joltly 2-3 shift disproportionate. Which, because I’m no Jackie Stewart-like driving God, can ping up a bit too often at times.

With DSG (and other twin-clutch gearboxes), though, you’re guaranteed perfection. The satisfaction of a delay-free shift from a tricky high-revs 1st to a mid-range 2nd is removed. It does it perfectly, every time. Which means the rewards, even though I don’t have anything to do with it, still tangible.

Cheat, some still say. Yup. But while (and stay with me here) hand-writing a letter and maybe, just maybe, getting every letter just so is uber satisfying, usually it’s just a scrawl. Far better to use a word processor, take the effort out, and get the satisfaction all the same. I love technology, embrace it for the rewards it brings. That’s how I view DSG – brilliant, Apple-like tech that, well, just works.

Every gearchange gives me the feeling, the satisfaction of perfection – and, although it’s nothing to do with me, the sensations are enough for it to win through.

Automatics are different, as they’re slurry cop-outs. Clutchless manuals are, by and large, an ugly disaster. But twin-clutch DSG-style units? You know, PDK and their brethren? It’s technology that rewards me. And why I’m in the pro camp.

(Of course, if the manual alternative were a brilliant Ford or Honda-esque gem, rather than VW’s slick but detached equivalent, my decision may be different. Nothing like a motoring journo sitting on the fence, aye…)

(Oh, and on the subject of cheating, I know the Ferrari F430’s gearbox is robotised manual, not twin-clutch. But the image IS cool, isn’t it…)

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