Friday, May 24, 2024

Test: VW Golf R32: The car the DSG gearbox was made for

The VW Golf R32 from 2003 was the world's first series-produced car with a double-clutch gearbox – also called DSG. Bil Magasinet has a short trip.

The wipers hum in top gear and try hard to keep the window free of water. There is no one else on the road but me. I press the brake insistently before the turn. Afterwards, I flick a few times with my left index finger while the electronics activate the two clutches in the gearbox, which let me go down a few gears. I turn in, and as I turn the steering wheel back towards the center position, I give more and more gas. I am in no way afraid to let all the horses loose in the rain, because it feels safe. This is mostly due to the four-wheel drive with Haldex coupling, which the VW Golf R32 IV I'm sitting in is equipped with. If the front wheels should lose grip, the power goes to the rear wheels, so I can be shot out of the corners. It works. For the fantastic rumble from the delicious VR6 engine, I slice the messy field in the tachometer north of 6,000 rpm before the gear shifters come into use again. Click 'NEXT PAGE' to read on TURNED 15 IN 2018 In 2003, something important happened that everyone knows deep down, but which no car people really talk about. The VW Golf R32 was indeed presented, and under the classic Golf habit it hid a technical secret that we are all happy about today. However, we will start right away by reviewing the car itself, which had a lot of details to offer. The VW Golf GTI in the fourth generation was almost a mockery of the GTI concept. The car had a turbo, 150 hp and a zero to 100 km/h time of 8.5 seconds. It wasn't exactly something that got people out of their seats. Something more was needed. THE VR6 HAS NEVER BEEN BETTER VW went into the thinking box and came up with a really good idea. They wanted to create an “Über-GTI”. On the shelf they had an old familiar in the form of a V6 engine, where the cylinders are extremely close together. In fact, there are only 15 degrees between the rows. It's the engine we knew as the VR6 in the old days. Onward with the dustpan, and then it should otherwise have some more power. Using larger pistons and a longer stroke, it was transformed into a 3.2-liter engine with 241 hp. Now the problem was that the forces also had to go down into the asphalt. 241 hp was just on the high side for front-wheel drive. Therefore, VW installed four-wheel drive to provide maximum grip on the asphalt. And now we come to the pearl of the technique. Click 'NEXT PAGE' to read on MANUAL PICK Naturally you should be able to get a Golf R32 with a manual gearbox, but there was also a variant called DSG. It stood for dual-clutch gearbox, and it was a bit of an innovation at the time. Porsche had played a bit with the technique in the 80s, but never managed to construct a gearbox that was put into actual series production. VW did that. Until 2003, you could choose a manual gearbox with the advantages and disadvantages of such a gearbox, or an automatic gearbox. The latter has a couple of rather large back pages. A classic automatic transmission uses more fuel, is slower under acceleration and much less sporty to drive. Ferrari tried to crack the code already in 1997, when they launched the F1 gearbox, which was a sequential gear. Roughly speaking, this meant that it was a normal manual gearbox, on which a robot had been mounted, which engaged and disengaged changed gears for the driver. However, it was slow when you don't short at full throttle. Shortly before that, BMW also played with an SMG gearbox in the same style on the then brand new M3 E36 3.2. Click 'NEXT PAGE' to read further VW BID IN WITH DSG VW had the release that many had been waiting for, even if they weren't quite aware of it themselves. The DSG gearbox had a number of advantages: lightning-fast gear changes and a lower fuel economy than an automatic gearbox, and it was pleasant to drive. The VW Golf R32 was presented at the end of 2002, although from the start only the domestic market (Germany) had access to the DSG gearbox, which quickly became popular. Suddenly the VW Golf R32 was 0.2 seconds faster to hit 100 km/h, and that was something that the customers liked. Later, the gearbox began to spread to the VAG group's other brands. The Audi TT 3.2 V6 was launched with the same gearbox and became available worldwide. Already five years after the launch, VW could report that they had produced the one millionth DSG gearbox. And it has only gone one way since.

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