BMW M exec says dual-clutch, manual transmissions on their way out

2018 BMW M4 CS

2018 BMW M4 CS

There was a time when opting for the manual transmission, and later the dual-clutch transmission, over an automatic was a no-brainer for anyone serious about performance driving.

The choice of transmission isn’t so straightforward these days as modern automatics are shifting much quicker than before and are just as fuel-efficient as or even more frugal than the alternatives.

But it seems, at least among the automakers, the winner has already been decided: the conventional torque converter-based automatic.

Speaking with Drive, Peter Quintus, Vice President for Sales and Marketing at BMW M, said he expects manual and dual-clutch transmissions to be phased out in the coming years. He also said that he wasn’t sure if a manual transmission would even be offered on the next-generation M3 and M4 due later this decade.

2018 BMW M4 CS

2018 BMW M4 CS

The issue with manual transmissions, apart from their low take up rate, he explained, is their lack of durability when paired with high-torque engines. He described the current heavy-duty manual transmissions that can handle high torque as being “heavy” and having shift quality that was “awful.”

As for dual-clutch transmissions, Quintus said the advantages they once offered over an automatic, such as their lighter weight and superior shift speed, were no longer apparent. Audi has also determined that dual-clutch transmissions can’t reliability handle high-torque loads and is reverting to automatic transmissions for its own high-performance cars.

There’s also the issue of cars switching to electrified powertrains and adopting self-driving capability, two technologies where automakers tend to favor automatic transmissions over the alternatives.

Read also:
Volkswagen plans to launch one electric car per month starting in 2022

Thankfully, there are some automakers that still #GiveAShift.

Check Also

Aston Martin posts first profit since 2010

Aston Martin's financial turnaround is complete as the company on Tuesday announced its first annual pre-tax profit since 2010 and is poised to grow substantially in the coming years. The British sports car marque's profit for 2017 came in at $121 million, overturning a loss of $226 million reported the previous year. This was on the back of record revenues...

Volvo says it’s done developing gas-powered engines

The current portfolio of Volvo engines will be its last. The Swedish luxury brand confirmed it's finished with gasoline-powered engines as it paves the way for a fully electric future. At the Volvo V60's reveal, the brand's CEO Håkan Samuelsson and other executives told Road & Track, in a report published last Friday, that its current engines are...