In our recent interview with Dr. Kay Segler we asked about manual transmissions and their future in M cars. Obviously with the 1M it ‘s pretty safe (considering it ‘s the only option). But Dr. Segler said something else that caught our ear. When talking about the choice he made special mention of small cars being different. Here ‘s the specific quote:
For small cars the tendency of it (the manual transmission) is to stay (be available) longer. I remember when we had a manual 7 Series. Now it is no longer.
The point was made even more clear by Martin Birkmann (Head of BMWNA Product Planning and Strategy/BMW Motorsport Manager) when he said they (meaning BMW NA) want to be a defender but only if there is a cause.
Now combine this that we ‘ve been hearing off the record for quite some time that the 1M and the M3 would be the only manual transmission M products in the near future and it ‘s a pretty open and shut case.
In our minds this is the nail in the coffin for the manual transmission in the M5 and M6. With manual take rates low and the new DCT dramatically better than the out-going SMG it would seem like a no brainer for BMW.
Photo courtesy of 5post