BMW To Bring Double-Clutch transmission To 3 Series Next Year

Last night I had the opportunity to have dinner with both the lead engineer in charge of the M3 project and an BMW Motorsport executive at the M3 press event. One of the more interesting bits of information that we chatted about was the new M DCT transmission that the M3 will offer this summer. It ‘s a Dual Clutch transmission that promises to be all things to all people. Apparently BMW has so much faith in the technology that they will be replacing the automatic in the 3 Series altogether next year for a non-M version of this dual clutch transmission.

Based on their technical similarity, you could expect the transmission to potentially find it ‘s way to both the 1 Series and the X3 in the near future as well.

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  • Jon

    Very very good news

  • JMills

    I really hope these don’t fully replace the manual altogether in the near future. I realize that they are faster, and better for track use, but for real world driving I still want the full involvement of a manual. I have driven a GTI with DSG, and my friend who owns one admits that after the initial appeal wore off, he lets the car shift for itself most of the time.

  • cct1

    Yep, thats what happens with dual clutch setup–for everyday driving, you wind up getting lazy and let the car do the shifting. I wrote something to the effect that DSG/DCT is something gained, something lost (and got bashed a bit for the sentiment), but losing the clutch does take away from the driving experience. On the track, the DSG is great, but you lose something day to day.

  • Chris B.

    This is an agressive move by BMW; their most iconic car will raise the bar just that much higher in the compact luxury sport sedan segement, becoming an even more engaging and innovative product. Audi is still working away ever so slowly on their DSG unit for longitudinal engine configurations (mind you DSG is a VWAG patened invention), which to my understanding won’t be on the market til 2011. Slow pokers.

  • so what exactly is a double clutch? Is it anything like SMG cause I wish they would offer a SMG on the M3’s

  • BMW has offered SMG on M3 since the late 90’s.

  • Michael

    Chris B.- “Audi is still working away ever so slowly on their DSG unit for longitudinal engine configurations (mind you DSG is a VWAG patened invention), which to my understanding won’t be on the market til 2011. Slow pokers” From what I gather DSG is not a VW patent, it is a Borg-Warner product and they hold the patent, VW had a 2-3 year exclusive agreement, you will see others adopting this transmission in the near future.

  • Chris B.

    mpezzullo- I think you get the idea in what I was saying. Thanks for clearing it up for others though.

  • Mark

    I hope the double clutch gearbox (M Double Clutch Gearbox or “M DCG”?) will be smoother than the SMG III. I have an M3 w/SMG II and have driven M5s and M6s w/SMG III, and they’re not as smooth as Audi’s DSG. I’m pretty sure the DCG will be better than the SMG III since the goal of these semiautomatic gearboxes is seamless shifts.

  • fdavid

    Good morning all. Pardon my ignorance, but can any of you explain what does dual clutch means? Feel free to make fun of me but I am lost, but very much curious and interested to learn. Thank you. D

  • Rubber Ducky

    The M-DCT looks to cost about $5000 USD, so this is a wildly pricey gadget. A watered-down version will still almost certainly cost substantially more than the already wonderful Steptronic, so I’m having trouble cheering for this admittedly advanced technology.

  • TMQ

    The current STEP in the 335 is from ZF, which is a new version (since 2007MY), and is already wonderful. I have trouble believing that BMW will replace it this quickly. I think it’s likely the DCT will show up in the new 7 series?

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  • Rubber Ducky

    Correction on my post above regarding price of M-DCT. Posted price at BMWUSA is $2700. That’s a bit more than double price of Step in 3-series, but if the 3-series version is detuned from the M-DCT (fewer levels of auto and manual modes, for example), the price could range towards the current Step.

    Step with paddles exclusively is addictive, very quick, and very very flexible. The DCT would be a technology transplant with a little faster (.1 – .2 sec.) 0-60 time. Remains to be seen if it is lightning fast or a clunker like SMG. If fast as Step, great move to replace Step with DCT.

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  • Scott

    I recent drove a 2008 M3 with DCT – amazing! Can’t wait until DCT makes its way into the 335. DCT blows the steptronic in my 2007 3er away.

  • THANK THE GODS FOR DUAL CLUTCH BMW 3 SERIES! NOW I HAVE A REAL REASON TO BUY IT!

    RWD BEST engines DCT HANDLING

    Muahahahhahahahahaaaaaaa

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