It appears that BMW will not follow other carmakers and build nine-speed or more and will focus on smaller three-cylinder power. Klaus Frolich a.k.a. BMW’s small and midsize cars boss said that the current eight-speed automatic transmission, seven-speed dual-clutch gearboxes and six-speed manual transmissions are the perfect combination.
According to Frolich who spoke with AutoExpress during the UK launch of the X4 and 4-Series Gran Coupe, BMW ran some tests and the difference between the six-speeds and eight speeds is seven or eight percent.
As a result, the benefit for nine-speed transmission instead of eight is almost 0 percent. In addition, the 9-speed transmission also adds weight and costs.
Regarding the seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox found on the M cars also known as M-DCT, Frolich says that this is not optimum and it is a compromise.
The DCT will remain the best choice for M cars due to the fact that BMW can’t make a torque-converter that would be durable at up to 8,000 rpm. He also added that BMW will continue to offer a six-speed transmission on its M cars even if only 10 percent of customers want it. [source: AutoExpress]