Manuals and DCTs disappearing from M cars?

Manuals and DCTs disappearing from M cars?

Of course, this doesn't paint a promising picture for traditional manual transmissions.

One such brand is, surprisingly, BMW. But, apparently, this is set to change as the performance division of the German brand plans to abandon both manuals and DCT autos.

Faster performance and shift speed, greater economy, and a more effortless balance between driving in city traffic and country road or racetrack driving were all cited - as usual - as reasons why manual take-up for the BMW M3 and M4 is running at 2.5 per cent locally. BMW representatives recently indicated that dual-clutch transmissions are on their way out as well.

And M's vice-president of sales and marketing, Peter Quintus, has given both the conventional manual and the double-clutch transmission just a handful of years to live.

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But shift time is not the main argument against DCTs, according the Quintus. "Is the future already automatic?" he said.

"[And] we are now seeing automatic transmissions with nine and even 10 speeds, so there's a lot of technology in modern automatics".

"Now, a lot of that shift-time advantage has disappeared as automatics get better and smarter".

Meanwhile, Quintus gave a equally dismal outlook for the future of BMW vehicles equipped with manual transmissions. Now, this sounds quite odd considering here in America you can get manual gearboxes in cars with up to 707hp.

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In regards manuals, Quintus is of the opinion that around 450 horsepower and 440lb-ft is more or less the limit of manual gearbox durability, and once you hook up manual setups to motors that exceed that mark, longevity can not be guaranteed.

Nevertheless, BMW refuses to utilize the manual transmissions found in many American cars due to their weight and shifting capabilities.

"We looked at U.S. gearboxes".

The executive clarified that he doubts that the upcoming models of those nameplates will be coming with manual trannies and that US-made manuals are too heavy and shift quality is "awful" when it comes to supporting the output of V8 mills.

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