Is BMW Preparing to Move Even Further Away From the Manual Transmission?
What are you going to do with that free hand? Eat chips?by Sidd Dhimaan, on
If you are a stick-shift lover, proceed with caution. We heard some news that is not yet official and we sincerely hope it is just a baseless rumor. Blame the reduced demand for this, but according to Bimmertoday, BMW is planning to eradicate manual transmissions from even more of its models. Is there any reason to live in this world anymore?
The BMW 3 Series and 4 Series May Go Auto-Only
The manual gearbox is becoming an exotic feature in the BMW line up and if the demand continues to fall, the third pedal might only be seen in pictures in the future. The cars that are losing the stick-shift privileges and are set to go fully automatic are the 420d Coupé F32, 420d Cabrio F33, and 318d and 320d Gran Coupe F36. These models will come with the same eight-speed automatic transmission that had earlier replaced the manual gearbox from the latest 3 Series that was launched at the Paris Motor Show last year.
This news can be quite upsetting for purists who want all their limbs moving around at the same time.
Just imagine the ultimate satisfaction of driving a manual transmission F32 Coupé on the winding roads of the Stelvio Pass. You cannot get the same joy of sprinting and slowing down and again sprinting with an automatic transmission. I hope folks at BMW read this and decide to keep the tradition alive, unlike the Audi.
BMW Is Following Audi’s Footsteps
Although Audi is offering a manual transmission for some of its cars in some countries, it recently decided to kill it in the U.S.
The German company announced that it will no longer offer any manual-transmission vehicles in the U.S. beginning with the 2019 model year.
Even though this news put off the enthusiasts, it looks like Audi was willing to let go that small number of people and free up the assembly line that ‘wasted’ the company’s time and resources. According to IHS Markit, only an estimated 3.5-percent of the U.S. vehicle sales constituted of manual-transmission vehicles in 2018. Sucks, doesn’t it? But we can’t blame the automakers for retiring the clutch pedal. Customers prefer the comfort of automatics to manuals, which serve as a boon in the ever-increasing traffic jams and congestions.
Shi(f)t Is About To Get Real
Manuals were once deemed to be the only option that give you complete control of the car and let you slot into the right gear by yourself.
But thanks to smarter technology these days, automatic transmission shift faster and are more efficient.
This is convincing many to opt for the auto gearbox even if they once prefered three pedals and a stick. Not to mention, many automakers now have dual clutch transmissions, like Volkswagen with DSG and Ford with DCT, which make the auto gearbox ridiculously smooth and flawless. Manuals are also losing their plot because of stricter emission norms these days. Automatic transmissions consume less fuel and consequently lower CO2 emissions in the cycle measurements. Even some powerful assistance systems can only develop their full potential in combination with automatic transmissions. Don’t get too happy, auto gearbox; you will eventually get replaced once EVs come to power.
This Will Keep The Purists Happy For A Few Years
With this news, the Bavarian automaker now has the manual gearbox available only in entry-level models and a few sporty models.
The entry-level diesels models through the lineup were the last diesel engines that could be ordered with a manual gearbox.
Now that the manual will not be available, the base trims of the models will get dearer by about $2000. However, BMW still offers the manual transmission on two of its most competent offerings currently – the M2 Competition and the M4. Some news also suggested that the next generation of M3 and M4 will be offered again with the stick shift. So, enjoy it now before these models also get converted to automatic-only. Which side are you on? Getting the shifts done, or shifting the gears yourself? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.
Read our full review on the 2018 BMW 4 Series Coupe.
Read our full review on the 2018 BMW 4 Series Convertible.
Read our full review on the 2017 BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo.
Read our full review on the 2019 BMW 3 Series.
Source: Bimmer Today