If there are two things in this wild and crazy industry that keep growing, they are the size of cars and the number of gears in their transmissions. It wasn't ten years ago that cars with six forward gears – either manually or automatically shifted – were a relative rarity. Now, there are a multitude of sub-$30,000 cars with at least a six-speed automatic.

But while eight- and nine-speed automatics are becoming increasingly common, no automaker has delivered a production ten-speed automatic (which may be a good thing, considering the reception to most nine-speed gearboxes). Ford and General Motors were collaborating on one as recently as April 2013, and Hyundai has was allegedly working on one way back in 2011. Most recently, though, Volkswagen announced a ten-speed, dual-clutch automatic in November 2014.

And now, less than two years later, the project has apparently been shelved. That's according to our Vegemite-loving friends at Motoring.com.au, which report that both the cost and complexity of project has proved unfeasible for VW.

"In the end, we had to balance what our priorities were with our transmissions and other things are more important and more urgent," an unnamed source at the Frankfurt Motor Show told the Aussie website.

The ten-speed DSG was slated for a number of three- and four-cylinder models from VAG's entire range of affordable vehicles. It was also, allegedly, to feature in the ultra-high-performance Golf R400, Motoring reports. It's unclear how its cancellation will impact the company's future projects, if VW will look elsewhere for its small-car gearboxes, of if there's another – perhaps conventional – new transmission in the pipeline. Currently, VW's highest gear-count dual-clutch is the seven-speed DSG, shown above with company CEO Martin Winterkorn.


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