Nick Murray takes his BMW M4 with a dual clutch transmission and compares it against another M4 this time with a manual gearbox. The DCT vs. manual debate has been going on for years now with the purists being the only ones committed to shifting their own gears, and essentially making BMW build the manual boxes.

The newest automated manual gearboxes shift faster and more appropriately than almost any driver can accomplish with a manual gearbox. It rev matches on downshifts and always seems to be in the appropriate gear. And since the automation for the gearbox includes a level of intelligence (without the accompanying ‘red mist’) they won’t destroy themselves in an ill-chosen downshift from sixth to second on the track.


The M dual-clutch transmission with Drivelogic is an innovative 7-gear dual-clutch transmission that is specially designed for the BMW M high-rev engine.

The system boasts a traction-optimized automatic gear selection, Launch Control, Low Speed Assistance, as well as Automatic Start/Stop function. It makes it possible to change gears extremely quickly without an interruption in tractive force.

Two sub-transmissions, each with its own clutch, continuously relay the power of the engine to the rear wheels. The system can be controlled automatically, or manually using the gearshift paddles on the steering wheel, or via the gear lever. Just as with Launch Control, which allows maximum acceleration from a standing start, an extremely dynamic driving experience is the result: Shifting gears at high speed is possible without using the clutch and without any interruption in the transmission of power. Drivelogic can be automatically (D mode) or manually (S mode) controlled, and in each mode three shifting options are available – from extremely sporty to comfortable to efficient.


The six-speed manual transmission is also capable of rev-matched downshifts.

BMW says 0-60 mph will come in 4.1 seconds with the coupe or sedan, while the dual-clutch will need just 3.9 seconds to accelerate from 0-60 mph, thanks to standard launch control.