Cars That Let Drivers Shift Gears—Without a Clutch

Posted By on September 8, 2011

Having just spent the weekend driving the 2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI with the DSG gearbox, it is wrong to compare it to a manual transmission. As good as the dual clutch gearbox is in quickly up and downshifting gears, it is not the traditional clutch and stick driving pleasure that traditionalist enjoy. I would say that it has more in common with the ‘slushy’ automatic transmission than with the ‘gear-meshing’ coordination of a manual gearbox. It’s clutch time for the clutch pedal. Fewer than 10% of the cars and light trucks sold in the U.S. last year were equipped with traditional manual transmissions and clutch pedals—even though a manual usually provides better fuel economy. New technology offers the fuel efficiency of a stick shift without the hassle of a clutch. Manual transmissions have been on the decline in the U.S. for years. Now, Ford is launching a new clutchless manual transmission in its Fiesta and Focus lines, that offers stick-shift fuel economy without the inconvenience of a clutch pedal. WSJ’s Joe White reports from Detroit. European car makers for several years have been expanding their use of clutchless, or automated, manual transmissions under various names, responding to consumer demand for fuel-saving technology in a market where fuel is expensive. Now, clutchless manuals are crossing the pond. More at

via Cars That Let Drivers Shift Gears—Without a Clutch – RichC’s posterous.


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