Volkswagen has developed a new MQ281 manual gearbox. Yes, we understand the skepticism there but then worldover, more often than not, manual gearboxes are fitted more than automatic ones. This leads to a huge consumption of manual gearboxes. This new Mq281 gearbox developed by VW is claimed to release up to 5gm per kilometre less CO2 than its previous units. In short, less pollution as well as more efficiency. VW says that this will highly depend on the engine that it is used with. Currently, the new Passat has been fitted with this 6-speed unit. While official numbers aren't out yet, VW says that it has conditioned this gearbox to function with various other engine combinations too. So expect more of new age VW models to come with this gearbox in the near future.
The MQ281 can handle engines with torque between 200 to 340Nm. This means, at present, it completely or partially supersedes the current Volkswagen manual gearbox designs. VW engineers say that a 2.5 shaft concept and a higher gear spread of maximum 7.89 are used with this gearbox. For the layman, it means you can drive in a higher gear at lower speeds as well as is suitable for off-road (read SUVs) vehicles. So, the application of this box is going to be wide enough and we can safely expect a hatchback, small SUV as well as a D-segment SUV to use this gearbox. As of now, this gearbox is made in Germany while other locations like Spain as well as Argentina too are in the process of accommodating production.
It is expected that this new manual gearbox might come to India as well. Given that we Indians have only recently started taking a liking to automatic gearboxes, the manual option seems highly viable. Not only this, the India 2.0 project by Skoda and VW India will benefit from an all-new gearbox. After all, it could likely debut in the Skoda Kamiq's Indian adaptation.