Not that it comes as a big surprise to BMW enthusiasts, but there will never be another M car with a dual-clutch automatic transmission again. Dirk Hacker, Head of Development at BMW M, told Top Gear magazine the DCT is a thing of the past as the German luxury brand favors ZF’s eight-speed, torque-converter automatic instead. As to why the twin-clutch is gone and won’t be returning, it primarily comes down to costs and comfort:
“Around the M5 [F90] there was a big discussion, not only for the automatic transmission but also for other things. And the decision was not only because of cost, but also because of comfort [to go with automatic], because we got a lot of reactions about maneuvering, parking, no rolling if you leave the pedal, and so on.”
Dirk Hacker says there are no reasons to miss the old DCT because the “automatic [torque-converter] is better performing than the double clutch.” He goes on to say the M4 CSL’s transmission shifts gears quicker than a DCT, so bringing back the dual-clutch gearbox has been ruled out. Bear in mind the dual-clutch is not completely dead at BMW since the latest X1 compact crossover, 1 Series hatchback, and 2 Series Active Tourer have a seven-speed DCT.
When asked about whether it would be possible to electrify the six-speed manual transmission to keep the stick shift alive in the hybrid era, BMW M’s Head of Development said it’s technically doable. However, that doesn’t mean it’s going to happen. Not just because the automaker does not want to do it, but also because suppliers are generally moving away from providing support for a three-pedal setup. Dirk Hacker projects suppliers will gradually retire the 6MT until the end of the decade.
The M2 G87 along with the base M3 and M4 continue to offer a clutch pedal but the future looks grim for that third pedal. The M2 CS rumored to arrive in 2025 is said to be automatic-only, so you only have several years left to row your own gears in a brand-new BMW M car. The current-gen M3 and M4 are expected to last until 2027 or 2028, with the M2 to bow out in the second half of 2029. That still gives you roughly six years to buy a manual M model.
Source: Top Gear