Volkswagen unveils new ‘state-of-the-art’ manual gearbox

Volkswagen has lifted the wraps off its newly developed, “highly efficient” manual gearbox, dubbed the MQ281, which the Wolfsburg-based automaker says will soon be introduced into a number of its vehicles.

The MQ281 was developed primarily to improve efficiency. The manual cog-swapper has a high gear ratio of 7,89. Volkswagen claims it offers good acceleration and improved fuel-economy, the latter achieved by initiating higher gears with low engine speed. The German firm also claims, depending on the engine-gearbox setup, up to five grams of CO2 per 100 km can be shaved off the vehicle’s emissions rating and NVH has significantly improved. The MQ281 is capable of handling torque outputs of 200 to 340 N.m.

In addition, the transmission housing has been designed with a virtual development tool.

“We employed virtual development methods,” Helmut Göbbels, head of manual gearbox and four-wheel drive development, said. “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.”

Production of the MQ281 is currently underway automaker’s Barcelona- and Argentina-based factories. The Volkswagen Passat will be the first vehicle to be equipped with this unit.

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