Volkswagen’s four-door, four-seat coupe, the Passat CC, is now available to order with a seven-speed DSG gearbox, although strangely only on the base model.

The compact and lightweight seven-speed DSG transmission, fitted with a pair of dry clutches, offers a number of benefits over a conventional automatic gearbox. A lower first gear ratio improves acceleration from a standstill to 62 mph to 8.5 seconds (8.6 manual) while the seventh gear has been raised to act as an overdrive function. This, in turn, gives an improved fuel consumption figure on the combined cycle of 38.7 mpg (37.2 manual) and CO2 emissions are reduced to 172 g/km (178 manual).

Strangely, however, the seven-speed DSG gearbox is only available on the base model with the 1.8-litre TSI 160 PS engine.

Standard equipment includes 17-inch ‘Phoenix’ alloy wheels, 2Zone Climatronic air conditioning, touchscreen stereo system with six-disc CD autochanger, driver’s six-way electrically adjustable seat, multi-function leather steering wheel, six airbags and Electronic Stabilisation Programme (ESP).

Available options include Adaptive Chassis Control (ACC) which allows the driver to select from comfort, sport and normal modes to define the desired suspension and steering settings for any particular journey, and Park Assist which makes light work of parallel parking manoeuvres.

The Passat CC 1.8-litre TSI 160 PS with seven-speed DSG gearbox costs £21,865.