What is the Volkswagen DSG transmission?

By Product Expert | Posted in FAQs, Model Information, Technology, Volkswagen Golf GTI, Volkswagen Golf R, Volkswagen Golf SportWagen, Volkswagen Jetta on Monday, January 27th, 2020 at 4:03 pm
2019 Golf R DSG transmission shifter

The Volkswagen DSG® and How It Works

If you’ve owned a Volkswagen vehicle or are familiar with the auto manufacturer, you might have noticed the term DSG® when it comes to talking about transmissions. Automakers are sometimes known for using jargon and acronyms to describe features in their cars. Often times, it can seem like that kind of language is used to make things sound more impressive than they actually are. Is that the case with the Volkswagen DSG®?

Refreshingly, it’s not the case for the DSG®. It’s a simple and straightforward acronym that is used for efficiency. So…

What is the Volkswagen DSG® transmission?


What does the ULEV acronym mean?


2019 Jetta GLI cockpit showcase

What is the DSG®?

DSG® stands for Direktschaltgetriebe in German, which translates to English as “direct-shift gearbox.” The DSG® is a type of dual-clutch automated manual transmission. It works by assigning specific alternating gears to each clutch, allowing for quick, single-motion shifting. The first clutch handles Reverse, 1st, 3rd, 5th, and 7th gears; the second clutch handles 2nd, 4th, and 6th gears.

Where a normal automatic or manual has to shift out of a gear, navigate to the next gear, then shift into that gear, the DSG® can shift out of one gear straight into the next sequential one with one fluid motion. This reduces shift times substantially, as well as reducing wear and tear on the transmission. It will come as no surprise that this transmission type was originally developed for racing use. The original DSG® was a 6-speed; current DSG® transmissions are 7-speeds.

Does Volkswagen still use the DSG®?

Yes, although sparingly. It is reserved mostly for performance variants of vehicles. Notable in-production (at the time of writing) vehicles with the DSG® are the 2019 Golf GTI, 2019 Golf R, 2019 Golf SportWagen, the 2019 Jetta GLI, and the 2020 Jetta GLI. Most vehicles in the current Volkswagen lineup use either an 8-speed traditional automatic transmission or the classic 6-speed manual transmission.

Interested in a DSG® Vehicle?

Take a look at our DSG® inventory. If you’d like to see what all the hubbub is about, trying taking one for a test drive.

Leave a Reply