BMW's M Division is discontinuing the use of dual-clutch gearboxes, and manual transmissions will continue for another seven years

According to Dirk Hacker, Head of Development at BMW M, the high-performance offerings from the BMW M division will undergo changes in response to shifting market demands. Automatic transmissions with torque converters will be featured in future models, as revealed in Hacker’s interview with Top Gear.

“The double clutch is no longer favored by BMW M,” stated Hacker. “Moving forward, we will focus on manual transmissions or automatic transmissions, which will be electrified for future models.”

During the development of the next-generation M5, Hacker mentioned that the company had deliberations regarding transmission choices. Ultimately, the team opted for a traditional automatic transmission with a torque converter, as it offered greater comfort for everyday driving purposes.

Hacker further explained that the automatic transmission outperforms the double clutch in terms of performance. In the M4 CSL, it provides faster shifting capabilities. Additionally, the same automatic transmission is utilized in the new M4 GTR race car.

It’s important to note that Hacker’s discussion pertains exclusively to the plans for the M division, and not the entire BMW company. There is a possibility that other BMW models may still incorporate dual-clutch transmissions (DCTs) in the future.

Hacker also provided insights into the future of manual gearboxes within the M division, and it appears to be a limited timespan. He expressed uncertainty about the availability of manual transmissions in the future, as he observed a declining trend among manual gearbox suppliers. However, he mentioned that this potential change might occur within the next six to seven years.

The recent statements regarding the future of manual transmissions in M models align with previous remarks made by Frank van Meel, the head of the division. Van Meel noted that the manual transmission is becoming less common, primarily seen in the M2, M3, and M4 segments. He assured that these specific models will continue to offer the manual option and will remain in production until the end of the current decade, as stated in 2022.

Reports suggest that BMW is contemplating the inclusion of a manual gearbox for the BMW Z4 M40i. This move is inspired by Toyota’s recent introduction of a manual transmission for the mechanically similar Supra. As the two vehicles share similarities, it is expected that adapting the transmission to fit the Z4 M40i should not pose significant engineering challenges.

In a limited production of only 50 units, the M division has recently incorporated a six-speed manual transmission into the 3.0 CSL model. This version serves as a tribute to the original 1970s model bearing the same name, featuring a retro-inspired body design. Underneath the hood, a twin-turbo 3.0-liter inline-six engine generates an impressive output of 553 horsepower and 404 pound-feet of torque.

According to recent reports, the BMW M Division has made the decision to discontinue the use of dual-clutch gearboxes in their high-performance models. Instead, they will focus on offering manual transmissions for the next seven years. This shift in strategy is a response to changing market demands and the division’s commitment to providing a more engaging driving experience.

The move away from dual-clutch gearboxes is significant, as they were once considered cutting-edge technology that offered fast and precise gear shifts. However, the M Division now believes that manual transmissions and automatic transmissions with torque converters can deliver similar performance while providing improved comfort for everyday driving.

The decision to retain manual transmissions for the next seven years demonstrates the division’s dedication to catering to enthusiasts who appreciate the tactile and immersive experience of rowing through the gears themselves. It also acknowledges that manual transmissions still hold a special place in the hearts of many driving enthusiasts.

It’s worth noting that this decision applies specifically to the M Division and its high-performance models. Other BMW models may still incorporate dual-clutch transmissions or other transmission technologies in the future, depending on market demands and technological advancements.

Overall, BMW’s M Division dropping dual-clutch gearboxes and continuing to offer manuals for the next seven years showcases their commitment to providing a range of transmission options that cater to different driving preferences and ensure an engaging driving experience for their customers.



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By Ryan

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