The dual-clutch transmission is dead at BMW M.

    At one point, every proper BMW M car featured a dual-clutch – a form of transmission capable of shifting faster than conventional automatics – but better low-speed refinement of a torque converter, combined with rapid improvement in shift speed from supplier ZF, have rendered them redundant.

    That’s according to Dirk Hacker, BMW M head of development. Speaking with Top Gear, Mr Hacker confirmed the DCT is “gone”.

    “It’s now manual or automatic, and automatic electrified for the future,” Mr Hacker told Top Gear.

    The whole BMW M range is now offered with an eight-speed torque converter from ZF, from the M2 to the XM.

    Those who don’t want an automatic currently have the alternative of a good old-fashioned manual in the M2, M3, and M4, but even that is living on borrowed time.

    “If you take a look around, you will see the future for manual gearbox suppliers will decrease,” Mr Hacker said.

    “So I’m not sure we will have the possibility in the future—but in the future means six, seven years in forecast.”

    Based on that, the new M2 is likely to be the last series production manual M car.

    Although BMW is moving away from dual-clutch transmissions, the technology is far from dead.

    Volkswagen uses it across a huge chunk of its range, from the little Polo through to the large Arteon, while the majority of the Porsche range is offered with a dual-clutch transmission.

    Chinese companies have also embraced the technology, including MG and GWM.

    Scott Collie

    Scott Collie is an automotive journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. Scott studied journalism at RMIT University and, after a lifelong obsession with everything automotive, started covering the car industry shortly afterwards. He has a passion for travel, and is an avid Melbourne Demons supporter.

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