If you are a purist, then you are going to hate the latest comments made by Peter Quintus, VP of Marketing and Sales in BMW M, the high-performance division that we all love dearly. During a recent interview, he made clear that manual and double-clutch transmissions will be left behind soon.
The argument behind this belief is that the modern engines, growing in horsepower and torque numbers, are now delivering an amount of power that manual gearboxes cannot handle properly, compromising the parts’ integrity and proper functioning.
A Less Exciting Future?
If Mr. Quintus is right in his thesis, how will the future look like? With more powerful engines, it seems like the car industry will move towards automatic transmissions, which are more reliable and durable.
Now, in the past, manual transmission allowed drivers to make more efficient shifts in comparison with old, imprecise automatic gearboxes. Technology advancements allowed the creation of highly powerful computers and sensors alongside with complex algorithms. The results? Lightning-fast, exact shifts without the man’s direct intervention.
With time, the manual transmission lost its leverage over the boring automatic ones. And without that leverage, while becoming a liability for overall durability of the vehicle, the easiest move for the whole industry is leaving manuals aside.
The First Victims
But this isn’t a surprise for anyone. BMW already announced that the upcoming M5 and M6 models will not feature manual transmissions; a dramatic change that tells us plenty.
With these first in-house victims, we could see the beginning of a new era for the car industry, one without the beloved manual transmission we all like to experience, at least once in a while.