BMW Develops DCT For Its FWD Cars
BMW is new to the front-wheel drive segment, but the most recent rumor circulating the web is that the Germans are in the process of developing their own dual-clutch transmission for FWD based vehicles. While BMW hasn’t said anything on the matter, it wouldn’t be a big surprise given the downside to the current eight-speed transmission it currently sources from Aisin.
Now that the 2-Series Active Tourer and the X1 are on the road, it has become clear that the current eight-speed transmission just doesn’t offer the performance that is expected from BMW. The transmission works fine for the most part, but performance-wise, it just takes too long to downshift from seventh or eighth gear into a gear suitable for passing.
If BMW is developing a DCT, it is likely we’ll see it first in the upcoming BMW X2 in the next couple years, but I suspect we will also see it show up on the order form for the next generation 2-Series and the X1. The rumor, if it does turn out to be true, could also mean the BMW is looking to develop its own line of FWD performance vehicles that will need the benefits of a dual-clutch transmission over what an old-fashioned automatic can offer. Even if BMW isn’t planning a whole line of FWD vehicles, MINI and it’s new line of vehicles could certainly benefit from a DCT as well.
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Why it matters
BMW already has the FWD platform that underpins the 2-series and the X1, so it only makes sense that it would want to bring more FWD vehicles to its lineup. Of course, I would always opt for the six-speed manual, but if I had to go with an automatic, a dual-clutch trans would certainly beat the wait that comes from the Aisin, especially when attempting to pass another vehicle quickly. Either way, if BMW is going to keep producing FWD cars (especially any performance based models,) it needs to have a better transmission than the Aisin unit.
Read more about the BMW X1 here.
Source: BMW Blog