I’ll confess to being less than the world’s biggest fan of dual-clutch gearboxes, but this week’s road test of the Volkswagen Scirocco R has reminded me that they do have their place.
Thus far I’ve only driven a manual Scirocco R (the road test one) but colleagues who have driven both all assure me that the automated DSG system is superior in this case.
I can sort of understand why. This VW’s manual gearbox was on the looser side of things, which makes fast gearchanges in the Scirocco genuine punctuations in the performance; especially because while you’re off the throttle, the turbo has time to wind down, and it takes a pause before it winds itself back up again, turning acceleration into something of a succession of surges.
In the DSG equipped car you get far quicker, crisper shifts – accompanied, I’m told, by a meaty pop through the exhausts (though these I can take or leave if they’re ‘engineered’ in just for effect). And the engine stays on the boil.
Sometimes that’s what I dislike about twin-clutch gearboxes: that it turns driving into little more than a wheel-twiddling, paddle-flapping operation devoid of involvement. It’s all a bit sterile.
But in the Scirocco R’s case I’ll make an exception. Because where the manual Scirocco R tries to offer extra involvement, it falls a bit short. The DSG probably suits it entirely.