By on July 24, 2015

The new BMW M5. (09/2011)

If the fight to save manuals is going to continue for much longer, it had better make gains in one of its historically important battlegrounds.

Only around 1 in 4 new BMW M3 models have a manual transmission, according to the manufacturer. That’s a steep drop from the reported 53 percent of buyers who opted to row their own in the last-generation M3 sedan — and the news for the manual M4 doesn’t get much better.

Buyers are opting for a manual transmission in the hardtop M4 only about 17 percent of the time, according to BMW. That’s down from 40 percent of the previous generation’s M3 Coupe buyers, according to reports.

BMW won’t comment specifically on the production numbers and the transmission splits, which have circulated on forums in two different forms. Last year, Road and Track reported that 45 percent of every last-generation M3 was a manual.

Thomas Plucinsky, who is manager of BMW’s corporate communications in the United States, said the production totals “sounded right,” but wouldn’t specify if the transmission splits were correct and added that the automaker wouldn’t correct reports — even if they were wrong.

A BMW spokesman added further that the overall mix for the U.S. for the last-generation M3 was closer to 25 or 30 percent.

The final production mix according to the outside reports is closer to 44 percent before production of the convertible M3 ended.

The purported numbers by other outlets, which come from two different sources, represent a substantial decline for one of the few remaining bastions of manual transmissions: European sportscars.

Earlier this month, head of BMW’s M division Frank van Meel said that the future for manual M cars from BMW “doesn’t look bright.

“The DCT and auto ’boxes are faster and they have better fuel consumption,” he told Autocar.

In the United States, only roughly 1 in 10 M4 Convertibles are fitted with the six-speed manual gearboxes. Toward the end of its lifecycle, nearly half of the last generation of M3 Convertibles were fitted with manual transmissions.

“We have a very enthusiastic following for our brand, the reality of it is we make manual transmissions for this market. We see that our customers want manuals, we’re willing to fight for manuals for this market — as long as there’s a good business case we’ll make them,” Plucinsky said.

When asked if the number of manual transmissions sold today represented a good business case, Plucinsky added: “Today, yes it is.”

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76 Comments on “BMW M Customers Surrender ‘Save The Manuals’ War...”


  • avatar
    Dan R

    At first I read it that in future you would have to download the operation manual. I suppose this too is only a matter of time.
    Those keen, affluent drivers would read the manual on their iPhone.

    • 0 avatar

      Actually, the F01 7-Series (MY2009-present) was the first BMW to feature CIC iDrive, and an owner’s handbook within said iDrive. It’s actually quite nice because it can give you animated explanations and even navigate you to the relevant menus if you’re looking up something related to iDrive itself. I am not sure whether the F01 also came with a physical owner’s handbook. I do know that some of the other F-chassis cars got this digital owner’s handbook, like the F10 (2011-present 5-Series), but I’m not sure whether the E-chassis cars that were upgraded to have CIC iDrive also got the digital manual…such as the E90 3-Series, which got CIC iDrive in MY2009 or the E70 X5, which got CIC iDrive in MY2010.

      Meanwhile, I thought Hyundai’s marketing gimmick upon the debut of the Equus—which was to include a free iPad with the manual uploaded onto it via an app—was quite clever. I don’t think they still include the free iPad. To read the manual, you need to download the Equus app…but the app does come with interactive animations that help you to understand it in a way that no paper manual ever could.

  • avatar
    NoGoYo

    What is a DCT, anyway?

    Does it use flappy paddles?

    • 0 avatar
      mitchw

      The internet trope where themanual versus automatic debate appears in some new form seems to be dying down. People aren’t getting so exercised about it no more. #savethetrope

      Yes, I drive a stick, but car control has many other dimensions than changing gears. Like working on balance and rotation.

      MMMMM

    • 0 avatar
      TW5

      It’s the hermaphrodite of the automotive world.

    • 0 avatar
      InterstateNomad

      I highly recommend a youtube video by Thomas Schwenke about how dual clutch transmissions work. He also made some on automatic transmissions and a torque converter. It helped me to understand why these DCTs are so much faster.

  • avatar
    ...m...

    …a DCT is a dual-clutch transmission, an advanced form of automated manual gearbox as opposed to a more-traditional torque-converter automatic transmission…yes, they often feature paddles or auto-sticks, but they’re not the only type to do so, and the degree of manual control offered thereby varies depending upon control software…

    …DCTs are famously more-responsive than traditional stick-and-clutch manual transmissions, but they’re also much heavier…

  • avatar
    Pch101

    I expect that this will have an ironic outcome: the lower-tier siblings such as the 320i and A4’s will have sticks while the M3’s and RS4’s will not.

    The upper tier models will have more power, so they will need to have transmissions that can handle it. With low volume, it won’t be worth it to pay to develop and build two different versions.

    The DCTs will also deliver faster performance, so automakers will want to use them for the sake of the spec sheet.

    The lower-tier cars will continue to have manuals because Europeans will want them and they’ll be produced in high enough volume to be justified. The US will probably get them, too, since those few customers who do want them tend to brand evangelists who are useful to have around.

    Along those lines, Acura should have offered a 6MT in the TLX in order to try to lure some enthusiasts and tuners. They won’t sell many of them, but those who buy would probably be more willing to spread the gospel.

    • 0 avatar

      Well, to be sure, a manual transmission is generally better-equipped at handling large amounts of raw power than an automatic or DCT ever would be. But I do agree that eventually we’ll hit a day where in the 320i and 328i (soon to be called 330i) offer a manual transmission, but the M3 does not.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        Whether one transmission is “stronger” than the other doesn’t matter. The point is that it is cheaper to have one kind than two kinds.

        • 0 avatar
          319583076

          It’s supposedly easier to quantify and control emissions with automatic transmissions as opposed to manuals because the computer-controlled transmissions are much less variable than the human-controlled versions. Another reason for manufacturers to eliminate the standard transmission.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        The manual trans is tougher, but the clutch can be wasted too easily in the wrong hands. Hot spots on the flywheel and it’s done. Can happen in minutes. The auto trans or DCT will easily survive most kinds of abuse, at least for the warranty period, while easing the shock on the rest of the drivetrain, on back.

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        No a manual trans is not better equipped to handle large amounts of raw power than a traditional planetary automatic or a DCT.

        A DCT is a manual trans, the computer just does the shifting. Because the computer also operates the clutches it will not be subject to frying a clutch than a traditional manual trans where a human operates the clutch and throttle.

        A planetary gear set is easy to make much stronger than a spur gear trans. With a planetary gear set the load is distributed to 6 or 8 sets of teeth and the ring gear counters the force that wants to push the gears apart.

        So a traditional manual trans and human operated clutch is not capable of handling more power.

        • 0 avatar

          You are correct.

          • 0 avatar
            NMGOM

            Scoutdude and Kyree – –

            Actually, it all depends on how robustly either type is made.

            A good test and example is the overland truck business using semi’s (tractor trailers). Here, a manual transmission (MT) has to survive the torque and other forces need to accelerate 80,000 lbs up hills.

            Yes, automatic and DCT transmissions (AT’s) are becoming popular in some of these trucks, but they typically are used for short distances and by local carriers.** Most “Big Rig” guys prefer 10 speed to 18 speed MT’s, which are more durable, survive downshifting better, and are less expensive to maintain.

            Most modern MT’s do not use spur gears any longer: hypoid gears increase the contact “patch” (almost a line) during gear rotation, distribute forces better, and run more quietly as well.

            ——–
            ** One manufacturer (I forgot which) wanted to offer AT’s as its standard configuration, but dropped it to return to MT’s.
            ——–

            ====================

      • 0 avatar
        stuki

        “…we’ll hit a day where in the 320i and 328i (soon to be called 330i) offer a manual transmission, but the M3 does not.”

        Which makes all the sense in the world to me. 500hp turbo cars make sense if the goal is to go as fast as possible. Somthing well conceived autos are better at by now than manuals. While manual trannies OTOH, do better at being entertaining to drive even at less than race pace, which pairs better with an engine that can more often be wrung out. Especially so if the engine also has some semblance of positive subjective characteristics, like those glorious NA I6s a legendary Bavarian firm once saw fit to make, rather than boring for the sake of being boring turboed appliance motors.

    • 0 avatar
      ect

      The manual A4 lists for $900 MORE than the base automatic (admittedly a CVT, but how many buyers know or care?)

      I personally prefer a stick, but the writing has been on the wall for at least a decade that manual transmissions will go the way of the manual choke. When Van Meel says “The DCT and auto ’boxes are faster and they have better fuel consumption”, he’s confirming that the market will kill the stick shift.

  • avatar
    NotFast

    Manuals likely made sense in the years pre-1980, but between more cars (=more traffic) and neverending road construction – manuals are a pain in the butt.

    I drove manuals in some format (primary or secondary car) for 25+ years but I don’t see me buying another one.

    • 0 avatar

      I don’t have to commute, so maybe my perspective is a bit skewed. But I still get into a moderate amount of traffic, and despite that, as well as my 62 years, I love driving a manual, and for the few times I get stuck going into the Holland Tunnel, or on 95 between Boston and DC, it’s still well worth having the stick.

      • 0 avatar
        stuki

        I absolutely agree. Even in traffic, I prefer manuals. They are just so much more predictable to ride in a tight paceline. And being of the bleeding heart, concerned kind, I simply don’t have it in me to join the hordes in playing exaggerated accordion games with every small change in traffic speed.

    • 0 avatar
      FormerFF

      I drove manuals pretty much exclusively for 40 years, save for a period when I drove my tow vehicle as a daily driver, much of it in traffic. I never minded shifting in slow traffic. I probably won’t buy a manual again because at the point we are in drivetrain technology, it makes more sense to let the car select the gear ratios. That, plus I’ve become really enamored of the way an electrified car drives, and I don’t think I’ll go back to a conventional drivetrain, unless I get another motorcycle.

  • avatar
    SnarkyRichard

    BMW = a car for the asses , not the masses.Seriously over 40 years of ugly cars since the 2002 how do they dooze it? It’s become a status symbol seeking chick car , at least that’s all I pretty much see driving them around these days.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      I want to agree with you, except German cars are the only autos that look good now. Even VWs. Everything else, I definitely wouldn’t sign off on. An incredible number go out of their way to be fugly. BMWs are very pleasing to my eye. But BMWs have always been about a decade behind the industry, in terms of looking “modern”. So now it’s finally paying off for me.

  • avatar
    krhodes1

    The business case is there because back in 2011 they made the manual a “no cost option” and jacked MSRP by almost $1000. I snuck my order in three days before that happened and got the old pricing.

    When I can’t buy new cars with manual transmissions I will probably just stop buying new cars. I managed to drive used cars for 20 years, I can do it again. Ultimately, they should just make the manual an extra-cost option. Diehards like me will pay for it. I’ve paid to have a car converted from automatic to manual in the past.

    • 0 avatar
      derekson

      In the end it will be a $1-2k option rather than no cost, when it’s solely available for enthusiasts rather than also being designed for entry-level models in most of the world.

      • 0 avatar
        burgersandbeer

        As long as it’s a good manual, I could live with paying extra for it.

        Unfortunately, many manuals do little to help the cause (most anything in a Subaru or Nissan for example). BMW, Mazda, and Honda are the only companies I trust to do a good job with manuals. Other manufacturers occasionally source good transmissions (the Tremec-6060 in the Challenger and Camaro is generally praised), but there are plenty of manuals that make me wonder why the manufacturer bothered.

  • avatar
    anomaly149

    1. this smells like partly, but not wholly, a byproduct of the dealer being the real customer in the US. Plus the whole bit where US customers want the car now, they don’t want to wait and order. Why waste floorspace on a manual when a lot of manual drivers will take an auto today, rather than a stick in a month.
    2. tangentially related, buddy of mine learned stick from the dealer he bought his car from during the test drive. Seems like a good dealer advertising slogan: buy that manual Vette or ST, and we’ll help teach you stick. (hell, why not run a driving school out of a dealership? Let mom and dad browse while the kid is learning. Steady stream of used cars at low prices for training cars. Does anywhere do this?)

    • 0 avatar
      Chris FOM

      Not in this case. A brief search of cars.com shows only 4 M3s within 500 miles of Austin, TX, and only 31 M4s (15 coupes, 16 convertibles). Nationwide there’s a whopping 60 M3s and a (admittedly far more available) 380 M4s (160 convertibles, 220 coupes). By and large if you’re buying a niche model like the M3/M4 you’re ordering it, so you’re the customer, not the dealer.

  • avatar
    buzzyrpm

    Maybe this has a bit to do with how awful the feel of the shifter is in BMW manual cars. Ive driven several manual transmission BMWs from early Nineties models to a 2010 128i and the feel of the clutch, shifter and engine together is a big reason I have yet to purchase a BMW.

  • avatar
    CJinSD

    There’s no point in having a manual transmission with a turbocharged engine. People that care about the tactile pleasures of driving have moved on from BMW’s compromises.

    • 0 avatar
      Fordson

      I don’t know what kind of thought process leads to a statement like this.

      I have two cars with 6MT – one turbo, one NA. Still seems like there is “a point” to having a manual in both.

      Regardless of how much torque there is at the crank at any given rpm, there is through the magic of gear reduction an increase of power available at the wheels by downshifting, and if you like downshifting manually and do it well, you still get an MT, regardless of what method of ingesting intake air the engine uses.

  • avatar
    Freddie

    From my infancy, the family car was an automatic..(a ’57 Plymouth with push buttons!). I understood you selected D to go forward and R to go backwards but beyond that I had no idea what a “transmission” was. But on the school bus, I was oddly fascinated with that lever sticking out of the floor that the driver was continually moving back and forth. And I was hooked. With one exception, every car I have owned and will own will have three pedals.

    And there is hope. An Autotrader new car search revealed over 2500 stick shift vehicles in stock in a 25 mile radius of my Southern California zip code. To “save the manuals”, put your money where your left foot is and go buy one!

  • avatar
    carguy

    Maybe the headline should be changed to: “Car makers respond to changing customer preferences”. But then you think about it, that isn’t really news.

    • 0 avatar
      TW5

      You think people buy cars that meet their exact preferences, not cars that are bundled, packaged, and optioned to soak them of every penny they’re will to spare?

      Next you’ll be telling us about how cable companies cater to customers’ exact preferences.

      • 0 avatar
        carguy

        The market for cars is actually quite competitive (unlike the market for cable services) and manufacturers have little room for customer coercion when it comes to options. This they offer what the majority wants.

        But let me spell it out for you again:
        The vast majority of customers don’t WANT an automatic transmission. Its not as if there is massive demand and there is some conspiracy not to meet it.

  • avatar
    Master Baiter

    Someone should make a manual with a small, auxiliary torque converter that could be engaged in stop-and-go traffic which would allow the car to creep along at <10 MPH without stalling.

    • 0 avatar
      anomaly149

      In principle there’s no reason you couldn’t make a manual that can be run in an automatic mode. Disconnect the clutch and shift linkages and run it like a normal single clutched automatic manual via a switch. A bit more expensive and complicated, but why not?

    • 0 avatar
      LeMansteve

      Most cars with electronic throttles have this function. My 11-year old BMW has it.

      It’s much cheaper and simpler to program the e-throttle than to design and install a torque converter.

      • 0 avatar
        Master Baiter

        How does managing the throttle alone keep the car from stalling if you stop? You (or the car) would have to depress the clutch, no?

        • 0 avatar
          CJinSD

          Correct. How about a manual with a large electric motor serving as the the flywheel. The engine would shut off as you come to a stop with the clutch engaged. The electric motor would serve to move the car from a stop and it would start the engine simultaneously.

    • 0 avatar
      FormerFF

      I had a Mk I Focus with a 5MT. It had a wide ratio transmission, a heavy flywheel, and the engine was tuned for torque. I could let the clutch out at idle and the car would roll smoothly at walking speed, which was very convenient in traffic, it would idle along at a much slower speed than would cars equipped with an automatic.

      Now I drive a plug in hybrid, it’s even better at slow speed work.

  • avatar
    thx_zetec

    Not just the expensive performance market, also the lower and mid market have dwindling manual choices. Not long ago you could buy a regular camry with a manual. Try doing an auto-trade search for 10-20k$ used cars with manual trannies not many.

    This reminds me of cases where a language is spoken by a tribe but then fewer and fewer speak the language until it is destined for extinction. Driving a manual is not rocket science but it does take some practice to do well.

    Imaging selling 500HP manual tranny car to someone with limited experience on manual. I would expect warranty cost would be high on average.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      Manuals died from Camrys because Camrys are awful, as Im sure the manuals in them were too. Some cars dont deserve manuals, Camries were def on that list.

      You can still get an Accord, 6, Fusion with a stick. The drivers cars of those segments. And I think all of the compact cars are available with stick too.

      • 0 avatar
        FormerFF

        The Fusion is automatic only as of 2015. However, you can get a gasoline engined Passat with a 5 speed in the base and sport models, or a diesel with a 6 speed in the SE trim level.

        If you’re looking for a car in that class with a manual transmission, you’ll find the best selection at your Honda dealer. In the Atlanta metro area, there are 3 Mszda6s, 7 Passats, and 17 Accords listed on Cars.com.

        There is a much better selection of compacts, although this is partially because of the Focus ST and Civic Si.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    This will be part of automotive trivia one day.

    Name:
    1. Last car to use a floor mounted dimmer switch.

    2. Last car to have manual foot operated windshield washer fluid pump.

    3. Last car to offer a traditional three pedal manual transmission.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      The floor mounted things must have gone long ago, those items 1 and 2. I’ve never been in a car with either. I would add:

      4. What was the last passenger vehicle to wear a hood ornament.

      5. Which was the last vehicle made with purely American-made mechanicals.

      6. What’s the oldest Mazda you can buy and not worry about rust perforation.

      7. (Future) Last car powered without a turbocharger.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        6. N/A – always worry

        The 2001-2011 Mazda Tribute or 2002-2013 Mazda6 are probably the best answers though.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          I would go with the Tribute, don’t think I’ve seen a rusty one actually. They seem to hold up better than the equivalent Escape.

          By the way in checking prices recently, can’t believe how much better the Mariner has held value than either the Escape or Tribute. Tributes usually have much more equipment than the Escapes as well, and easier to find a 6-cylinder, or one with leather.

          The 6 being that old, I have seen those in poor body panel shape, so I might avoid that one. Though the styling of those is nice (and we should have got the AWD hatchback like the EU did).

  • avatar
    Dsemaj

    I’m really conflicted. I finally got myself a manual WRX after years of being disappointed by automatics, but after driving a DCT F32 M4 on a track, I honestly don’t believe I’d get the manual. The DCT shifts brutally hard when you need it to, and downshifts are quick and accurate. It’s not like it’s not engaging, or it removes you from the driving experience. It makes you a better driver, and when you consider the power and handling abilities of these cars, I’d be glad to take that potential spanner out of the mix.

    After all your track stupidity, you can put it into soft, lazy slushbox mode and drive home. Sure, you lose the purity of a manual, but do you really want to be the one guy who buys the manual and can’t sell it? The take rate for the manuals (in Australia) is pathetically low, apart from press cars… I remember Wheels Magazine quoting the amount in single digits. Hell, even for E46 M3s here, there’s barely any manuals for sale.

    On the same day, I also had some track time in a 428i Sport with the ubiquitous ZF 8 speed auto, and the shift quality for enthusiastic driving was awesome. Sure, not as brutal as the DCT, but more than more than fine for the occasional twisty country road.

    All said and done, I’d be buying a E39 M5 if I was getting an M-car anyway… so ignore everything I just said. But let’s not shed a tear for the eventual loss of the manual M-car. I’m sure there will still be 218d Active Tourer with a manual available.

  • avatar
    Mackie

    Perhaps BMW’s customer base is becoming more image-oriented than driver-oriented. These people want to be associated with whatever BMW represents as a brand, they’re not all that interested in being truly engaged in the driving experience.

    • 0 avatar
      tjh8402

      @Mackie – I think you’re idea is exactly what I am thinking. I’m a save the manuals sort of guy (including one that drove 200 miles just to buy a manual BMW), and if i had the money, I wouldn’t buy a new BMW M if I had the $. While I appreciate that BMW still offers the manual, it feels like their way of trying to justify everything else they’ve done to tarnish the brand – forget about numb steering, high curb weights, and fake engine noise because we still offer manuals! If I was in the market, I’d probably either stick to used models or go with the competition who, I think, at this point make cars with far more character and that are more fun to drive, even though in some cases they don’t offer manuals (extreme example, but no way you will convince me that a stick shift M4 is more of a drivers car than the paddle shifted Alfa 4c). It doesn’t bother me as much when I buy a Lexus RC-F or a C63 AMG that it has an automatic – I expect that from Mercedes and Lexus and to me, the rest of the car has far more character and, for lack of a better way of putting it, “real car real machine” feel vs the “video game perfection” of the BMW, a far greater deviation from what the car should be, “the ultimate driving machine.”

    • 0 avatar
      carguy

      @Mackie: So by your logic everyone that chooses not buy a manual is now an “image” oriented buyer? That would, of course, include all Ferrari, McLaren, Lamborghini cars as well since they are no longer available with manuals.

      Or maybe automatics have simply become so good that more people are choosing them. They are faster, more efficient and easier to live with.

      I have a manual Porsche but I would never delude myself into thinking that anyone that chooses a different transmission is somehow a lesser car guy or a poser. Driving a manual transmission does not make you (or anyone) a more real, authentic or “engaged” car enthusiast.

  • avatar
    suspekt

    Having read all this.

    Here’s a thought.

    When looking at used M3/Corvette/S4/M5/R8/911, no way on earth I ever consider a DCT. No eff’n way.

    The manual is more enjoyable, easier/cheaper to repair, and probably easier to sell.

    An automatic is a different story. I would consider a 6 or 8 speed auto. GM has really perked my interest with the new Camaro. Now, they just need to do a 4 door Camaro with an 8 speed auto and torque vectoring AWD option. Do it GM!!!!!!!

    So to conclude.

    Please GM, build a 4 door Camaro (not ATS, ewwww) with the 8spd/LT1 combo. Offer AWD and choice of manual.

    I believe they could conquest German sales with this model.

    • 0 avatar
      FormerFF

      I was following a PDK equipped Boxster a few weeks ago, and listening to it snap off lightning fast shifts made me realize that if I were going to get a Porsche, that’s the transmission I’d want.

      Plus, then my wife could drive it too.

  • avatar
    thx_zetec

    Part of the problem is that there is much less chance of learning to drive manual.

    Long time ago you had to learn on a manual when you were young. When I learned to drive in the 70’s our family cars were autos but you always knew someone with a manual beater you could practice on. I remember about 1981 I rented a car with a manual, it was not hard to get a regular rental (in this case cavalier) with a manual. Now now way.

    Imagine you were born in 1980, 35 years old and economically successful, you go looking at BMW’s that go 60k out the door. You’ve never driven a manual, you don’t know anyone with a manual, do you want to try to learn to drive on your brand new car?

    If you’ve never driven a manual, how do you know what the manual BMW is like? How can you test drive it?

    Again I don’t don’t’ want to make this sound like any kind of magic, special skill. But it does have to be learned somehow.

    • 0 avatar
      LeeK

      Exactly. The market for manuals is shrinking and there is no way to stop the trend. When I took Driver’s Ed forty years ago, we were offered to learn on a manual VW Beetle. The generation of new drivers nowadays doesn’t have that option. The take rate on all new cars in the U.S. is less than 5%. Where is one going to learn? Unless you have a relative or friend who owns a manual car and is willing to lend it to you, you don’t have a way to even consider a manual when buying a vehicle.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      Much of the market for European cars is in Europe, where learning and driving a stick is normal. As I noted, the regular trim levels are likely to continue to have manuals for that reason.

  • avatar
    FormerFF

    I looked at the “Save the Manuals” page on Facebook, last official post was in 2014. Looks like even they have given up the fight.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    My opinion on it is this. Once cars hit a certain threshold of speed, DCTs make more sense than manuals. Plus a lot of manuals are awful. I had a 350Z 6MT for about 2 years, and that thing needed a DCT. The whole shifting process was heavy, cumbersome and slow. A DCT would lop off a good second or so in the quarter mile, I think, and be a net boon to the driving experience. My little SOHC Civic on the other hand is a lot more fun with the stick. Every shift is satisfying and not much is lost to a DCT. It’s too slow. I say the threshold is about 14 seconds in the quarter mile. Once you are hovering or below that a DCT can make sense. Key though is it has to be well programmed in auto mode.

  • avatar
    RideHeight

    Flip-flops make it hard to drive a stick.

  • avatar
    thx_zetec

    Google search found interesting article on transmissions in heavy-duty trucks.

    It said with highly experienced driver manuals worked great, good fuel economy and were “bullet proof”. But newer drivers are less skilled and the auto works better with them.

    Apparently older drivers retiring (no surprise) and younger potential drivers less likely to be skilled in manual operation.

  • avatar
    Chan

    Manuals make a lot of sense in cruisers or cars with less than, say, 400 hp.

    How much driving involvement can you gain when you spend as much time shifting as you do accelerating with a 600hp supercar?

    That said, holy clickbait title. All that I got from this article was that the manual take rate on new BMWs is decreasing and will likely continue to decrease, not that BMW will stop offering manual M cars.

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