Volkswagen's new three-pedal transmission is designed to be a smoother, quieter, more efficient companion than those before it.
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Volkswagen has revealed its next-generation mainstream manual transmission, designed to be more efficient and more SUV-friendly than before.

The MQ281 transmission will serve initially serve in the new Passat, although Volkswagen's updated rival to the Mazda 6 and Toyota Camry won't be offered with three pedals in Australia.

Locally, the new transmission might debut in the Mk8 Golf, but a Volkswagen spokesperson said a manual option is "by no means likely" when the yet-to-be-released hatchback arrives Down Under.

When it launches in Europe, the new transmission will fill the roles currently handled by the MQ250 from the Golf and Passat, and the MQ350 from the Tiguan. It's rated for between 200Nm and 340Nm.

Volkswagen says the new transmission is significantly more efficient than its previous efforts, thanks largely to new bearings and seals cutting friction. It also, according to the company, requires less oil to operate smoothly.

Thanks to a revised gearbox housing, it should also transfer fewer vibrations and unpleasant noises into the cabin.