Complexity, Simplicity, & Storytelling

VW’s DSG gearbox is a marvel.  It combines twin clutches to provide the direct,  mechanical power flow of a traditional manual gearbox, but with shifting as smooth and seamless as that found in any automatic, fluid-coupled transmission.  If you’re in to driving, it also lends itself to paddle shifting that makes you feel like Fernando Alonso as you flick down through the gears, and you can shift those gears in the middle of a corner without upsetting the balance of the car.  It’s a fantastic piece of engineering. In 2-3 years, every serious performance car will come with a DSG-style gearbox as an option, or even as standard equipment.

But, as you can tell from my sentence above, it’s a hard thing to explain.  Also, very few people care how it works, but they want to know how it feels in use.  It’s the experience that matters.  That’s why the commercial above works so well; it shows rather than tells.

Thanks to Stacey for pointing me to the video.

4 thoughts on “Complexity, Simplicity, & Storytelling

  1. I love this ad! Thank you.
    Oddly enough, it would have worked (more) for a CVT (continuously variable transmission) car. DSGs do require shifting in manual mode. I’m probably just being picky, but if I saw this ad and made Nissans, I would ask “why didn’t we do this three years ago with our CVTs?”

  2. Actually, I had the same thought — it felt more like a CVT the kid was driving than a DSG.
    But a bit of artistic license makes the point a bit stronger.

  3. Cute commercial, I love when they tap into that unbridled love of cars that young ‘carguys’ have, reminds me of the Hummer soapbox race commercial. Has anyone seen the GE ecomagination – Capturing the Wind commercial, it has a similar theme, shows instead of tells. I think the theme of showing and these commercials fit into your earlier blog about design thinking and the beginners mind.
    Accelerate the future at autostox.

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