Saturday, January 16, 2021
News BMW Dropping Dual-Clutch For Torque Converter, Even on M Cars

BMW Dropping Dual-Clutch For Torque Converter, Even on M Cars

No more Bavarian dual-clutches

  • All M cars will get eight-speed ZF going forward

  • BMW says it’s as fast as the DCT, allows AWD


If you enjoyed BMW’s dual-clutch transmissions as being the closest you’d get to a manual, while actually managing to be quicker than a three-pedal car, then we’ve got some news you’ll not want to hear. BMW, even in the M cars, is dropping the DCT in favour of an eight-speed auto going forward according to two new reports.

The first hint came from BMWBlog.com, who pointed out earlier this week that the switchover from DCT to eight-speed ZF automatic, which started with the latest M5, would continue to the rest of the cars including the latest BMW M3 and M4. The only one left is the BMW M2.

The Drive reached out to BMW, who confirmed that no, none of the cars in BMW’s upcoming lineup, including M’s, would get a DCT.

However, a six-speed stick will remain an option on some of the key models, so at least we have that.

Why the change? The BMW spokesperson gave some compelling reasons including that the latest ZF eight could match DCT performance while allowing for more closely spaced gears and improved fuel economy. Possibly more importantly for the increasingly powerful cars, the eight-speed allows xDrive all-wheel drive, something the DCT was not designed for.

Not mentioned, but likely in BMW’s mind, is that the ZF automatic is able to have electric motors integrated for hybrid performance and fuel economy boosts. And spending money on a new DCT doesn’t make sense with electrification on the horizon.

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