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BMW News: BMW's M Division Believes Manual and Dual-Clutch Transmissions Are Coming To An End

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BMW's vice-president of sales and marketing for the M division, Peter Quintus believes that manual and dual-clutch transmissions will be going the way of the dodo bird performance vehicles.

According to Drive, Qunitus has been banging the drum on the demise of manual transmissions for a bit. The reason isn't due to emissions but comes down them not being able to handle engines with loads of torque - saying 600Nm of torque (about 442 lb-ft). When asked about using a manual transmission from the U.S. that is able to handle all of this torque, Qunitus said the company found them to be "heavy and the shift quality was awful."

The admission of Dual-clutch transmissions not long for this world is bit surprising as more manufacturers are beginning to install them into their performance vehicles as they would deliver fast shifts. That is changing with automatics as new technologies help them shift as fast as DCTs.

"We are now seeing automatic transmissions with nine and even 10 speeds, so there's a lot of technology in modern automatics," said Quintus.

"The DCT once had two advantages: it was light and its shift speeds were higher. Now, a lot of that shift-time advantage has disappeared as automatics get better and smarter."

Source: Drive


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Totally agree with what is stated here, I suspect manual will be gone in 5 years from most markets if not all. After market will be the source of parts but most just want to shift and go even in performance.

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Makes sense.. It will be sad to see manuals slowly disappear.

His torque reasoning doesn't really make much sense, imo. We've had 400-600lb-ft engines here for a long-ass time to say it's difficult to make one to handle that much.

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Yeah, I don't get the torque comment either. It's not like we don't already have DSGs running behind engines with 250 lbft to 400 lbft. The physical size of the engine will change, but an X3i X-Drive-E Drive-Blue CrossCoupewagon will still be putting out about that same amount of power even if it's only from a 1.5 liter engine in 2045.

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This is the end
Beautiful friend
This is the end
My only friend, the end

Of our elaborate plans, the end
Of everything that stands, the end
No safety or surprise, the end
I'll never look into your eyes...again

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ive driven manuals a lot and have had my fill.  if automatics deliver better mpg, shift faster, perform as good or better, and i would argue are safer, then manuals are on their death bed.

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Yeah that's really a bizarre quote also the one about the shift speed automatics have always been faster shifting. What they did was built in slippage to allow for reliablity and not breaking parts. The technology and metallurgy have allowed the shift speed to reduce with out incident.

As for the shift quality of American manual transmissions I fear the Euro's might be a little limp in the wrist. Shifting modern transmissionsare far from Muncie rock crushers or BW super T10's

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I loved the way a Manual Corvette shifted, I have to disagree with his comment on the rough bad manuals out of America.

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15 hours ago, dfelt said:

Totally agree with what is stated here, I suspect manual will be gone in 5 years from most markets if not all. After market will be the source of parts but most just want to shift and go even in performance.

This is very correct, I think. 

9 hours ago, dfelt said:

I loved the way a Manual Corvette shifted, I have to disagree with his comment on the rough bad manuals out of America.

The roughness and ruggedness reflected some of the unsettled nature and dynamism of not just American cars but American culture.  America has never been about smooth and silky, it has always been dynamic, exciting, and a little unpredictable...

Take a look at the vintage C2 stingray and the E type Jag, the Jag is smooth as silk and the stingray is a really edgy design.

12 hours ago, regfootball said:

ive driven manuals a lot and have had my fill.  if automatics deliver better mpg, shift faster, perform as good or better, and i would argue are safer, then manuals are on their death bed.

Safer yes, especially pulling into traffic.  I loved the DSG in the TDI Jetta I sold back to Volkswagen a month of so ago...

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2 hours ago, A Horse With No Name said:

This is very correct, I think. 

The roughness and ruggedness reflected some of the unsettled nature and dynamism of not just American cars but American culture.  America has never been about smooth and silky, it has always been dynamic, exciting, and a little unpredictable...

Take a look at the vintage C2 stingray and the E type Jag, the Jag is smooth as silk and the stingray is a really edgy design.

I get the old Manuals, I grew up learning to drive in the mid 70's on a 3 on the tree and those you had to listen to the RPMs and had specific shift points. Later on, once you did have a proper experience in shifting, you could do it clutch free as you speed shift at just the right upper RPM going through the gears. I made sure both my kids knew how to drive manuals so they could drive anything. Now it is no big deal or needed.

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Not only does the manual get beat in about every performance metric by the automatic but consumers aren't buying manuals either, so why spend development dollars on them.  It is like diesel, the take rate gets so low you can't justify designing and producing it.

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Automatics may be better, faster and more efficient than manuals.  However, IMHO any worthwhile enthusiast will enjoy driving a manual car much more than the automatic.

As an engineer, I am all for a new technology that is better than the old one. However, for an enthusiast buying a sporty car shift speed is irrelevant (unless he is a racing pro), the enjoyment from driving a sports car is what he is spending his money on.

Regretfully, today most cars are sold based on numbers and automatics will deliver better numbers.  Also, the fact that less and less people know how to drive the manual is not helping either.

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1 minute ago, ykX said:

Automatics may be better, faster and more efficient than manuals.  However, IMHO any worthwhile enthusiast will enjoy driving a manual car much more than the automatic.

As an engineer, I am all for a new technology that is better than the old one. However, for an enthusiast buying a sporty car shift speed is irrelevant (unless he is a racing pro), the enjoyment from driving a sports car is what he is spending his money on.

Regretfully, today most cars are sold based on numbers and automatics will deliver better numbers.  Also, the fact that less and less people know how to drive the manual is not helping either.

Depends on the car enthusiast, lots of enthusiasts I know like automatics.

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39 minutes ago, ykX said:

Automatics may be better, faster and more efficient than manuals.  However, IMHO any worthwhile enthusiast will enjoy driving a manual car much more than the automatic.

As an engineer, I am all for a new technology that is better than the old one. However, for an enthusiast buying a sporty car shift speed is irrelevant (unless he is a racing pro), the enjoyment from driving a sports car is what he is spending his money on.

Regretfully, today most cars are sold based on numbers and automatics will deliver better numbers.  Also, the fact that less and less people know how to drive the manual is not helping either.

The only cars that need manuals are the true sports cars like Miata, Z4, BRZ, maybe a Mini-Cooper or two, and things like Mustang and Camaro.

A 328ix is best left in automatic mode as everything has been so numbed up, that shifting yourself is the least of your concerns if you want "feel".

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12 minutes ago, Drew Dowdell said:

The only cars that need manuals are the true sports cars like Miata, Z4, BRZ, maybe a Mini-Cooper or two, and things like Mustang and Camaro.

A 328ix is best left in automatic mode as everything has been so numbed up, that shifting yourself is the least of your concerns if you want "feel".

When Buick builds better drivers cars than BMW....

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14 minutes ago, Drew Dowdell said:

The only cars that need manuals are the true sports cars like Miata, Z4, BRZ, maybe a Mini-Cooper or two, and things like Mustang and Camaro.

A 328ix is best left in automatic mode as everything has been so numbed up, that shifting yourself is the least of your concerns if you want "feel".

Absolutely. I was talking about sports cars.

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Just now, A Horse With No Name said:

When Buick builds better drivers cars than BMW....

I'd put the current GS as the only one that'd be in that category.   The Verano T-Type is dead already.... but man that was a fun car to whip around in for not a lot of money.  Most reviewers find the ATS to be a better drivers car than the equivalent BMW also. An ATS Turbo-4 is an incredibly well balance machine with excellent feel.  The ATS-V is a brute when you push it... it doesn't have the balance of the lighter Turbo-4, but it makes up for it with raw power and no-lift manual shifting (which is an amazing thing to do even if you have to retrain your brain to do it properly).

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1 minute ago, ykX said:

Absolutely. I was talking about sports cars.

...and even then, local VW dealers used to keep 40 percent GTI's as manual...and Miatas were mostly manual at the local Mazda store...

Now, local Mazda dealer has tons of automatic Miatas, and less than 10 percent of GTI's stocked locally are manual...

Just now, Drew Dowdell said:

I'd put the current GS as the only one that'd be in that category.   The Verano T-Type is dead already.... but man that was a fun car to whip around in for not a lot of money.  Most reviewers find the ATS to be a better drivers car than the equivalent BMW also. An ATS Turbo-4 is an incredibly well balance machine with excellent feel.  The ATS-V is a brute when you push it... it doesn't have the balance of the lighter Turbo-4, but it makes up for it with raw power and no-lift manual shifting (which is an amazing thing to do even if you have to retrain your brain to do it properly).

Fair enough...every time I drive a newer BMW I think about what once was, and that colors my perception I think.  Bring me an E30 M3 or an E36 M3 please...

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I think in the GTI's case, part of that is the DSG that VW uses.... Aside from its performance in stop-go traffic, which isn't as smooth as a regular automatic, it is faster and better than a manual in nearly all cases. No one... not even the best race car driver can out-shift a DSG. 

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18 minutes ago, Drew Dowdell said:

I think in the GTI's case, part of that is the DSG that VW uses.... Aside from its performance in stop-go traffic, which isn't as smooth as a regular automatic, it is faster and better than a manual in nearly all cases. No one... not even the best race car driver can out-shift a DSG. 

...and the difference becomes even more profound with a less skilled driver, like at our local autocrosses...

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31 minutes ago, Drew Dowdell said:

I think in the GTI's case, part of that is the DSG that VW uses.... Aside from its performance in stop-go traffic, which isn't as smooth as a regular automatic, it is faster and better than a manual in nearly all cases. No one... not even the best race car driver can out-shift a DSG. 

How is the shift speed relevant unless you are racing?

I know GTI has excellent DSG but GTI is also a performance hatch that most people daily drive as well.  Most likely I would buy GTI with DSG as well, but would you buy for example Miata or Vette with auto?  I know plenty of people buy Miata with auto for various reasons, but I think Miata is so much more enjoyable with the manual.

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1 minute ago, ykX said:

How is the shift speed relevant unless you are racing?

I know GTI has excellent DSG but GTI is also a performance hatch that most people daily drive as well.  Most likely I would buy GTI with DSG as well, but would you buy for example Miata or Vette with auto?  I know plenty of people buy Miata with auto for various reasons, but I think Miata is so much more enjoyable with the manual.

Because people buy these cars to actually use in sanctioned competition from time to time...

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5 minutes ago, ykX said:

How is the shift speed relevant unless you are racing?

I know GTI has excellent DSG but GTI is also a performance hatch that most people daily drive as well.  Most likely I would buy GTI with DSG as well, but would you buy for example Miata or Vette with auto?  I know plenty of people buy Miata with auto for various reasons, but I think Miata is so much more enjoyable with the manual.

A Miata automatic I've never driven, so I don't know it's capabilities. I'd most likely go with a manual since few out there get manual transmission feel as good as Mazda does. 

The Corvette with GM's 8-speed auto? Mmm... it's such a great transmission, considered one of the best of the true automatics, that I really wouldn't feel shame about selecting it. It really could go either way for me.

The GTI, I would probably take a manual over a DSG just because I don't like the DSG's slow speed feel. I don't auto-cross, but feel and NVH is important to me.  I say this never having driven a recent GTI with a manual. 

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Corvette with an 8 speed auto would be fantastic IMHO.  Several local autocrossers autocrossed automatic corvettes and did quite well.

Would be an excellent road trip car with the 8 speed auto, i think.

Being a cheapskate, I would buy a manual GTI to avoid the $400 plus DSG transmission flush every 40,000 miles.

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4 minutes ago, A Horse With No Name said:

Corvette with an 8 speed auto would be fantastic IMHO.  Several local autocrossers autocrossed automatic corvettes and did quite well.

Would be an excellent road trip car with the 8 speed auto, i think.

Being a cheapskate, I would buy a manual GTI to avoid the $400 plus DSG transmission flush every 40,000 miles.

The Corvette with an 8-speed is an absolute cuddle puppy when being driven tamely for long distance.   It is really a Jekyl and Hyde car... it can be a comfort cruiser or a nearly track ready race car. 

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