BMW Might Soon Bid Farewell to Manual Transmissions

BMW Might Soon Bid Farewell to Manual Transmissions

It looks like Mercedes-Benz won’t be alone in ditching the stick shift, with BMW reportedly planning to altogether axe manual transmissions in the near future.

But BMW’s plan to narrow its transmission range isn’t limited to sending manuals to the scrap heap, with an executive from the brand’s performance division predicting dual-clutch automatics will soon head the way of the dodo. Speaking to Australia’s Drive, BMW M vice-president of sales and marketing, Peter Quintas, said when it comes to products in the brand’s pipeline, the future of both types of gearboxes is grim.

According to Quintas, it’s questions about durability that will soon spell the end for manual and dual-clutch transmissions, with both having a hard time standing up to the rigors of modern torquey engines. He pegs the durability limit of modern manual transmissions at about 450 horsepower and 450 lb-ft of torque. The current M3 and M4 twins make 425 horsepower and 406 lb-ft of torque.

Sadly, Quintas said he doesn’t anticipate the next generation of those cars to feature manual gearboxes. He also allegedly took a shot at U.S.-sourced manuals, claiming units built to withstand the output of burly V8 engines are too heavy and the shift quality is “awful.” Ouch.

Making matters worse for dual-clutch units is the rapid evolution of traditional automatics in recent years, according to Quintas.

“”The DCT once had two advantages: It was light and its shift speeds were higher,” Quintas said, according to Drive. “Now, a lot of that shift-time advantage has disappeared as automatics get better and smarter.”

[Source: Drive]

  • David Swanepoel

    That manual gear knob is not from a BMW – could you not find any photo of a BMW manual gear knob?!

  • Jennifer Bechtol

    Doesn’t that drive you NUTS? It takes like 3 seconds to find an accurate photo.

  • Patrick Jackson


  • wcjeep

    I read somewhere else government regulations will likely kill any remaining manual transmission. I think it was vehicle crash avoidance doesn’t work well in a manual transmission.

  • Jonny_Vancouver

    I drive better with a manual transmission, it makes me more aware of the road and what I’m doing as well as helping me feel more in tune with my car, which leads to greater safety imo. It’s too bad that the manual is dying, but it makes sense. Less malicious intent, more natural evolution. Even traditional auto’s and CVT’s will die out because everything will be electric and autonomous.

  • Eric Henry

    That’s a current the 3 series console and gear lever.

  • Eric Henry

    I hate automatics, CVTs and dual clutch transmissions. You can teach a monkey how to mash a gas pedal. Driving a manual takes skill and attentiveness.

  • David Swanepoel

    Yes, it is now a BMW manual (was not BMW yesterday)… after AutoGuide update their photo

  • David Swanepoel

    Thanks, AutoGuide, for updating the photo to an actual BMW manual gear lever

  • Perry F. Bruns

    Autoguide moderated away my response because it had a link in it. There was a BMW print ad that mimicked a five-speed shifter layout (I think from a 2002tii), but the numbers were replaced with


  • Joseph whitton

    Does anyone not realize how little credibility this guy has speaking about the strength of manuals and dual clutch transmissions? He says manuals can’t handle more than 450hp/TQ? Does he forget the f10 m5 comes in a manual and makes close to 600hp? Does he not know the hellcat has a manual with 707 HP? Dual clutches are what are run in Rolex cars with way more HP and beat on hard! The m division needs to check who speaks and tarnishes their image or my garage of 3 BMWs will have to represent a “real” car company not one who lies about why they can’t build or engineer a car any longer. Hire the right engineers!!