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Old 05-28-2014, 04:19 PM   #1
Mystikal
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BMW sticks to its guns for future gearboxes

BMW is convinced its current transmission policy of eight-speed automatics, seven-speed dual-clutches and six-speed manuals is the perfect combination, according to its small and midsize cars boss, Klaus Frolich.

Speaking to Auto Express at the launch of the new X4 and 4 Series Gran Coupe – both of which offer an eight-speed ‘Sport Auto’ paddleshifter option – Frolich expressed scepticism at the gearbox policies of rivals Jaguar Land Rover, Mercedes and Cadillac, all of whom are working on transmissions offering nine or more forward speeds.

“We ran some tests” explained Frolich. “The [efficiency] difference between an automatic with six speeds and eight speeds is seven or eight per cent, which is a good result. But the benefit for nine speeds [instead of eight] is almost zero per cent. Plus, it adds weight, complexity and cost, and with turbocharged engines you have a good spread of torque, so [drivers] do not want to have the gearbox constantly changing its mind.”

Quizzed over the policy to equip BMW’s M Division cars with a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox (known as M-DCT), Frolich said: “Seven gears is not optimum, it is a compromise. As in a manual gearbox, in a twin-clutch you must arrange all the gears in a line, so for weight and packaging reasons we are limited to seven speeds. But our new turbo M cars have so much torque this is no problem. DCT remains right for M cars because we can’t make a torque-convertor that would be durable up to 8000rpm.

Frolich also confirmed that for the foreseeable future, the manual transmission is safe at BMW, both in M Division cars and regular non-performance models. “Of course, with a manual you are slower, but it is more emotional; it now says ‘I am a serious driver, I am a connoisseur’. So, we will continue [to offer a manual] even if only ten per cent of customers want it. That is why we offer a manual M5 sedan in North America. It is stupid – the development costs are huge – but we will keep doing it as long as the customer wants it.”

Source: http://www.autoexpress.co.uk/bmw/4-s...ture-gearboxes

Awesome news for the 3-pedal crowd. Now, where is this 8000rpm engine BMW M says it needs manual gearboxes for? One can only hope there's something interesting in the pipeline.
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Old 05-28-2014, 09:12 PM   #2
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Wicked! *Ali G voice*
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Old 05-28-2014, 09:47 PM   #3
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I wouldn't bet on it. BMW's foreseeable future is about a week away.
Manuals are going away. BMW offers manual on a handful of models these days. Can't even get a 5 series with a manual anymore.
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Old 05-28-2014, 11:25 PM   #4
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Hell yes. So long as the Ms stay manual, I'm happy.
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Old 05-29-2014, 12:10 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by SickFinga View Post
I wouldn't bet on it. BMW's foreseeable future is about a week away.
Manuals are going away. BMW offers manual on a handful of models these days. Can't even get a 5 series with a manual anymore.
Amen my brotha!!
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Old 05-29-2014, 01:18 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by SickFinga View Post
I wouldn't bet on it. BMW's foreseeable future is about a week away.
Manuals are going away. BMW offers manual on a handful of models these days. Can't even get a 5 series with a manual anymore.
Sad, so sad! Oh well, better market for the classics!!!
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Old 05-29-2014, 09:01 AM   #7
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Next m3/m4 will quite possibly be a 4 cylinder engine. Thats probably where they get the 8000 RPM from. Even the S55 (new m3/m4) engine now has a 7250-7500 RPM, the standard transmission is a 6 speed manual (same one as in the 1M except a bit lighter) and you have to pay an extra ($3500) to get the M-DCT.

At the end of the day people need to understand it is a business. They will only sell what people will buy, not what people hope to buy. Cash is King, as it is with everything else.
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Old 05-30-2014, 09:40 AM   #8
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Next m3/m4 will quite possibly be a 4 cylinder engine.
Not going to happen
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Old 05-30-2014, 12:31 PM   #9
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So, we will continue [to offer a manual] even if only ten per cent of customers want it. That is why we offer a manual M5 sedan in North America. It is stupid – the development costs are huge – but we will keep doing it as long as the customer wants it.”
Good news, but I'm afraid someone will see that claim and use it as a business case to cut out manuals in order to save costs. It's only a matter of time.
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Old 05-30-2014, 07:21 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by SickFinga View Post
I wouldn't bet on it. BMW's foreseeable future is about a week away.
Manuals are going away. BMW offers manual on a handful of models these days. Can't even get a 5 series with a manual anymore.
Even some of the 3 series lineup like the touring can't be bought with a manual anymore.
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