Although a third pedal option is currently offered on (most) BMW M cars, the manual transmission’s days could be numbered, according to a new report. Frank van Meel, head of BMW M, told Autocar that the manual transmission could be on its way out.
“From a technical standpoint, the future doesn’t look bright for manual gearboxes,” van Meel said. “The DCT and auto ’boxes are faster and they have better fuel consumption.” Declining sales may eventually force manuals out of the M lineup.
“It’s difficult to say we’ll stick to the manual, but we still have a big fan community for manuals and we are not going to take away something the customer wants to have,” he added, giving us a bit of hope.
The trend doesn’t just apply to BMW. More and more often, automakers have been offering automatic transmissions on cars that were traditionally manual-only. Some of these include M-competitors like the Porsche 911 GT3, Aston Martin V12 Vantage S, and Chevrolet Corvette Z06. Other cars, like the new Cadillac CTS-V sedan, no longer offer a manual option at all.
Additionally, van Meel also suggested power will be capped at 600 hp for the time being. “For now, 600bhp is the most you can get in an M car…We’re at the limit,” he said.