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      07-06-2015, 02:02 PM   #1
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BMW M says future bleak for manual transmission, M cars to top out at 600 HP for now

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BMW M boss Frank van Meel says competition between the DCT dual-clutch and automatic gearboxes is good for the brand and both ’boxes have a future.

However, manual gearboxes could become a thing of the past for M cars because of declining sales figures.

Van Meel said: “From a technical standpoint, the future doesn’t look bright for manual gearboxes. The DCT and auto ’boxes are faster and they have better fuel consumption.

"It’s difficult to say we’ll stick to the manual, but we still have a big fan community for manuals and we are not going to take away something the customer wants to have.”

Van Meel also said 600bhp is the current limit of an M car’s capability. “For now, 600bhp is the most you can get in an M car,” he said.

“We’re at the limit. If you go on adding more horsepower and torque, it’d probably be over the limits.”
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      07-06-2015, 03:06 PM   #2
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Agree with the 600 hp Limit. Tough to get traction without awd. They won't kill manual transmission here in U.S. I hope!
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      07-06-2015, 03:10 PM   #3
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Not surprising but also seems pretty wishy washy. Agree about 600bhp, hopefully they keep focusing on weight reduction and driving dynamics.
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      07-06-2015, 03:10 PM   #4
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And I await AWD to push the 600hp barrier
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      07-06-2015, 03:11 PM   #5
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The 6MT hasn't evolved and I can see it leaving BMW's lineup, but the 600hp limit "for now" depends on whether or not they bring in AWD, which would be pointless if they are serious about cutting weight.
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      07-06-2015, 03:11 PM   #6
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Fuck.
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      07-06-2015, 03:15 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peertwelve View Post
Agree with the 600 hp Limit. Tough to get traction without awd. They won't kill manual transmission here in U.S. I hope!
I trust you've "girded your loins" in anticipation of likely having your hopes dashed?

Someone asked me to teach them how to drive a manual tranny car not too long ago. I told them I would teach them but that their learning how to drive one would, by the time they were able to buy a car of their own, it wasn't likely a manual transmission one would even be offered.

Seeing BMW's position on the matter, I suspect that day may come sooner than even I thought it would. It used to be that manuals offered price, performance and fuel economy advantages over their automatic counterparts. Those days are nearly gone, and with them will fade into obscurity manual transmissions.

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      07-06-2015, 03:17 PM   #8
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Realistically, the general population of buyers probably don't need more than 400hp to drive to work and push it on the weekends. Heck, even that might be pushing it. I rather BMW focus on reducing weight and continuing to advance carbon fibre technology.
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      07-06-2015, 03:19 PM   #9
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I'm perfectly happy with the decision to limit output to 600hp with a serious move to reduce weight. I'd like to see a "normal" M car with no compromises in street manners and decent track capability (the current M3/4/5/6 setup) and a competition pack that is much more track oriented with serious weight reduction including very light weight wheels/tires/brakes combo. This would give us all something to choose as well as maintain brand bragging rights. Just my ¢02.
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      07-06-2015, 03:20 PM   #10
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The way I read his comments about the manual transmission is that they will keep offering it as long as there's sufficient demand, but they expect demand to fall to a level where it won't make sense to keep offering it. It's hard to argue with that - can't expect them to keep offering it if they sell too few.
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      07-06-2015, 03:26 PM   #11
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My conspiracy theory here is that automakers make doublespeak comments like this as a trial balloon to gauge customer reaction in order to help inform their decisions. Still, given that Porsche is rumored to be bringing the manual BACK to the GT3 at least as an option and introducing a brand new 911 GT car optimized for driver involvement over raw speed after the reaction to the PDK-only GT3, I'm surprised to see BMW potentially poised to make the same mistake that Porsche is already working to correct.
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      07-06-2015, 03:27 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kwando View Post
Realistically, the general population of buyers probably don't need more than 400hp to drive to work and push it on the weekends. Heck, even that might be pushing it. I rather BMW focus on reducing weight and continuing to advance carbon fibre technology.
This!

Stop increasing the power to levels that are pretty much ridiculous. Let us keep our MT's, and focus on reducing the weight.

Unfortunately, that option does not sell cars to people who buy them strictly on magazine specs.
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      07-06-2015, 03:28 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by visualguy View Post
The way I read his comments about the manual transmission is that they will keep offering it as long as there's sufficient demand, but they expect demand to fall to a level where it won't make sense to keep offering it. It's hard to argue with that - can't expect them to keep offering it if they sell too few.
Except they will loose the die hard manual drivers, like me, to some other brand.

Or I will have to pick up a lifetime supply of 135's. Honestly though, I may be doing that anyways seeing the new stuff coming out.
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      07-06-2015, 03:32 PM   #14
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About time. No point wasting resources to cater for few dinosaurs.
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      07-06-2015, 03:33 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MightyMouseTech View Post
Except they will loose the die hard manual drivers, like me, to some other brand.
Yes, but the question is when they will be able to afford to lose those customers because of the savings they'll realize on the development, engineering, and manufacturing of their cars when they only offer one transmission. It will be a sad day, but I'm sure it's coming (6MT take rate dropped from 50% on the E46 M3 to 25% on the E9x), and at that point it will depend on whether the purists will be able to overpower the bean counters. Porsche has managed thus far, though that was achieved largely by creating the Panamera and Cayenne, though you'd think that BMW's current model range covering every possible niche would allow them to make some decisions that prioritize brand image and purism over frugality.
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      07-06-2015, 03:35 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jphughan View Post
Yes, but the question is when they will be able to afford to lose those customers because of the savings on the development, engineering, and manufacturing on their cars realized by only offering one transmission.
To be followed with their new slogan: BMW, the average driving machine.
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      07-06-2015, 03:39 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MightyMouseTech View Post
Except they will loose the die hard manual drivers, like me, to some other brand.

Or I will have to pick up a lifetime supply of 135's. Honestly though, I may be doing that anyways seeing the new stuff coming out.
And what brand may that be? By the time BMW phases out manuals, i feel almost all the major car manufacturers will be using some sort of Auto transmission.
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      07-06-2015, 03:41 PM   #18
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This was published on yahoo earlier today.
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      07-06-2015, 03:42 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottGregory View Post
And what brand may that be? By the time BMW phases out manuals, i feel almost all the major car manufacturers will be using some sort of Auto transmission.
Who knows. Maybe I will have to drive used cars from now on.

Or just keep the 1'er forever as a weekend classic car, and daily drive a full electric. Going to be one of those guys driving an old classic car all weekend.

I am actually in the process of trying to find a winter car right now, very hard to find a BMW with a stick, much, much easier to find an Audi. Don't really want to do it, but may have to, and their AWD system is much better.

Last edited by MightyMouseTech; 07-06-2015 at 03:49 PM..
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      07-06-2015, 03:45 PM   #20
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      07-06-2015, 03:47 PM   #21
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Glad I have a 6MT on the way
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      07-06-2015, 03:49 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by antych View Post
About time. No point wasting resources to cater for few dinosaurs.
I'll enjoy my 6MT on my way home today.
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