1M Only Available With Manual Transmission

Now that the 1 Series M Coupé has been partially unveiled we can start to tell you a bit more about the details around the car. The most controversial regard the transmission. Based on our understanding the 1M will be available only with a six speed manual transmission – essentially the same unit in the E9X M3.

Why no DCT? We believe the answer lies both on the technical side as well as marketing. First let ‘s start with the technical. The 1M was designed and engineered in record time. It was also done on a strict budget. The project was to be vey focused on creating the best drivers car possible for the money. Because the DCT would have had to come with completely different software we believe it would have been too costly to develop given the number built and the projected take-rate of the DCT worldwide. Yes there are some assumptions in there but we stand behind the reasoning.

Now onto the marketing. This car is meant for the old-school enthusiast (young and old). The 1M is meant look and feel nasty. It ‘s meant to have attitude. For God ‘s sake its internal name was Pyrat. Because of this M wanted to make a statement. You can call is the anti-X5M statement if you want. Whatever you call it the 1M will come with a 100% no apologies manual transmission.

Next up we ‘ll be talking about what we believe the six speed manual actually motivates.

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  • Jon

    If this is true, I absolutely applaud and commend BMW for this buck-the-trend move. It is really refreshing, and encouraging to us enthusiasts who prefer to row our own gears.

  • Barry

    Good BMW! I have no problems with them keeping their DCT for this round.

  • Dylan

    Hopefully this courageous move by BMW will prompt other car-markers to consider similar stands and increase the odds of the MT surviving beyond the 1M. For me, I can enjoy very average cars if they have a manual transmission. It makes the whole drive more engaging and thus more rewarding. This car is sounding fantastic.

  • kit

    let’s hope they leave the sunroof/moonroof off too!

  • JonPD

    I for one think this matches the feeling of the 1M well. The 1M is a throw back to what made ///M what it is today, which to me was not really about technical wizardry as much as much as a drivers car.

  • Mark

    Don’t worry, they’ll make a pink AT convertible 1M in 2014. But then the DCT girls will complain the ride is too hard.

  • Alex S,


  • Ileee

    Oh no! The Americans will have to learn how to drive if they get one!

  • Dylan

    @lleee doesn’t America have the highest uptake of MTs in the world? While Americans in general may prefer automatics (not unlike the rest of the world) I believe that BMW drivers have a leaning toward the MT compared to other territories. Perhaps someone could shed some light on this? In New Zealand, the only brand new BMWs I see in any great number with MT is the M3. In fact, I’ve never seen a MT 135i in NZ, let alone a regular 3 or 5 series etc. Our country is obsessed with automatics…pity.

  • goat

    Great news and glad to see that – for this car at least – there is no need for reviewers to equivocate about the transmission! It comes one way – manual shift – showing a clarity of purpose and consequently attracting only a buyer that is similarly committed to driving involvement. Let the DCT people moan mightily and state how it would be a better track car with DCT, a la Ferrari. I for one am happy to see BMW go against the grain with this car… if the rest of the car matches this kind of attitude, the “joy” campaign will have gained some serious credibility.

    “Pyrat” as the internal program code eh? The story of this car’s development is getting better all the time! Good to see the old BMW (e30-like simplicity and driver focus) returning and with the yuppies (then) / “cocks” (now) largely screened out by the manual shift. 😉

  • Lee L

    As an owner of a 2004 MINI Cooper S, which also only came with a 6MT, I’m fine with this and applaud it. A drivers car with a drivers transmission.

  • Jon


  • Bimmernet

    I’m going to be the contrarian here. I’m the ///M Series Specialist at our BMW Center and I’m a big fan of the DCT and for myself hoped they would offer the DCT as costed option. I was listening to the down shifts by the lucky driver of the 1///M at Ascari and he was chirping the tires on every down shift which was due to being unable to do a descent heel and toe. He was obviously a heavy duty fan or VIP to be driving the pre-production product. Is this to be a car that only a fortunate few can enjoy; a reason to make offensive remarks about those that are “manually” challenged as girlie boys or non-true believers? Too bad; I can still drive a manual stupid fast and heel and toe even with my crapped out 60 year old joints. But for myself I can’t cut out my family members who aren’t so gifted from enjoying when I can “bring work home” or rationalize that I can really do justice to the clutch after my knee replacement or for that matter be able to simply drive to work for a couple months of post operative recovery. I “get it” but I guess I’ll just have to get by with a sorta kinda ///M; 335iS since this economy has put the ///M3 out of my fiscal reach even with Center Employee Lease. This ole ///M salesguy wanted the new 1///M more than any of the previous five Motosports Division products he had before but it’s another hateful sign that maybe there’s an age limit to being a “real enthusiast”.

  • Bimmernet

    BTW: the guy chirping the tires on the downshifts at Ascari was German not American. I thought Germans couldn’t get a driver’s license without demonstrating a mastery of manual transmissions;-) Check it on http://www.m-power.com



  • Unknown

    Nicely said Bimmernet, im with you on this. I’m sick and tired of all the hipokrits saying that DCT is for girls and blah blah… Im just dissapointed with the decision of having a manual only. BMW just let me down on this eventhough im a real fan of bmw’s.

  • Joe

    Sorry for all you guys that wanted DCT in this car. I find it refreshing that there will be another car like the e39 ///M5 that I feel inlove with where you had to know how to clutch and shift to drive it – it was a nice ego thing. Back then I was young and broke; now when I can afford to back an ///M5 they do a hack job on the e60 6speed and are apparently not going to offer it in the upcoming M5/M6 so while you are all sulking about about not DCT welcome to my club of no 6speed for the M5/M6. Refreshing that one car company, Porsche, has the enthusiast’s soul still at heart.

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  • I own a 2005 bmw x5 with a 3.0 and a 6 speed manual trans. No one in town has ever seen a stick. Do you have any idea how many sticks where made in 2005? Thanks Dave