Pour One Out for BMW's Dual-Clutch Transmissions

Chris Teague
by Chris Teague

In the “old days,” you had two transmission options if you wanted to buy a car. More often than not, a manual transmission was the standard choice, but buyers increasingly had automatic transmission options. Then, ‘ze Germans started using dual-clutch transmissions in racing cars, leading to the array of the gearboxes seen on the market today. That’s about to change for BMW, at least, as the company’s M division head of development told Top Gear that the DCT would die as it shifted to electrification.

DCTs are great alternatives to slushbox automatics, but electric vehicles don’t need traditional transmission setups. BMW plans to cut DCTs in favor of torque converter automatics and manual transmissions, and the company has no desire to slap a manual in its EVs. The current M2 will likely be the last BMW available with the DCT, and after that, it’ll be standard automatic transmissions for all. 

Progress is progress, but it’s hard not to be wistful about BMW dropping the DCT. It’s become a familiar part of the performance formula for so many vehicles, shifting faster than any human could ever hope to. At the same time, modern automatic transmissions are nearly as good, so some buyers may not even be able to tell the difference.

[Image: BMW]

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Chris Teague
Chris Teague

Chris grew up in, under, and around cars, but took the long way around to becoming an automotive writer. After a career in technology consulting and a trip through business school, Chris began writing about the automotive industry as a way to reconnect with his passion and get behind the wheel of a new car every week. He focuses on taking complex industry stories and making them digestible by any reader. Just don’t expect him to stay away from high-mileage Porsches.

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6 of 20 comments
  • Master Baiter Master Baiter on Jun 15, 2023

    I have BMWs with the ZF slush boxes and now have a Porsche with a PDK. The PDK shifts faster, but it's not real happy below 5 MPH.

    • Jim65716105 Jim65716105 on Nov 01, 2023

      Lets hope 51% of your time is travelling above 5 mph. Or else this is over kill for u and no need for extra 250 hp.

  • ToolGuy ToolGuy on Jun 16, 2023

    "Progress is progress"

    • Is it?

  • IBx1 IBx1 on Jun 16, 2023

    Oh no, the automatic car is now automatic

  • Tailpipe Tommy Tailpipe Tommy on Jun 19, 2023

    Current G87 M2 has already gone to the ZF 8-speed slushbox that everything else under the sun uses. DCT died after the F87 M2 Comp.