What is DSG?

What is DSG?

We summarise what you need to know about the DSG gearbox, including which car brands it’s offered with.

Many of the cars currently sold by Volkswagen and by brands owned by VW are available with a type of gearbox known as DSG.

In this guide, we explain more on what exactly DSG means, how a DSG gearbox works and what cars it is available on.

What does DSG stand for?

DSG is short for Direct Shift Gearbox (or Direkt-Schalt-Getriebe in Germany, where the DSG originates from).

While virtually all Audis use a Direct Shift Gearbox as a standard or optional feature, the VW-owned brand has its own name for this type of gearbox called S Tronic. Porsche also use their own version of the Direct Shift Gearbox which it calls PDK (short for Porsche Doppelkupplung).

What is a DSG gearbox?

A DSG is a form of automatic gearbox that feels like any other conventional automatic gearbox when you use it. It is available in six-speed and seven-speed versions.

The way a DSG is made is very different to other types of automatic transmission. The way it uses a pair of clutches in place of a single unit allows it to change gear faster than a traditional manual or automatic gearbox.

How does a DSG gearbox work?

When it comes to using a DSG gearbox, it is very straightforward for the driver. Like with pretty much any other type of automatic gearbox, the driver can use a gear lever or paddles behind the steering wheel to switch the car between Park, Neutral or Drive settings.

A manual ‘M’ mode also allows drivers to choose when exactly they want gears to be changed and an ‘S’ mode could also possibly feature which holds on to gears for longer for improve acceleration.

Explaining how exactly a DSG gearbox functions without using a great detail of technical jargon is not easy. But to summarise, a DSG comprises of two independent gearboxes which are connected to the engine and each have their own clutch. The ability to use two clutches to switch gears is key to what makes a DSG so fast and smooth when driving.

Cars with DSG gearbox

The DSG gearbox is available on virtually Volkswagens found in the current new car market and it is also present in the product ranges of SEAT and Skoda which are both VW-owned brands.

As mentioned earlier, new Audi and Porsche cars also have their own variant of the DSG gearbox available for numerous cars in their respective line-ups.

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