BMW Exec confirms DCT Transmissions days are numbered

by Bernie McGroarty on April 25, 2017, 11:01 am


BMW has been slowly phasing out manual gearboxes over the past few years. Now, according to a BMW exec, the DCTs (Dual Clutch Transmissions) are being shown the door as well.

Oh yes, soon the Ultimate Driving Machine will come with no transmission at all. Not true. However, according to Peter Quintus, M vice president of sales and marketing, even though BMW has spent a ton of time developing its DCT, they, as well as the manual boxes, still aren't completely capable of handling the power output of their highly-tuned engines. This weak link in the system needs to be addressed and Quintus believes torque converter autos, like those from AMG, are the way to go. They have proven to be as quick shifting as the DCT, are able to handle big power, and they are much more reliable.

Peter Quintus quoted from a Drive interview:

Quote:
"The DCT once had two advantages: it was light and its shift speeds were higher."

"Now, a lot of that shift-time advantage has disappeared as automatics get better and smarter."

"[I'm] not even sure the next generation of M3 and M4 models from BMW will have the option of a manual gearbox."
As far as the DCT goes, if the converter auto works better, go for it, but M3/M4s without a manual option...hope that doesn't happen.

Source TheDRIVE



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6 responses to BMW Exec confirms DCT Transmissions days are numbered

Autoputzer commented:
April 25, 2017, 2:18 pm

The BMW executive didn't say DCT's were going away. The author of the article said that. The BMW executive did say that automatics are getting better (true), and manuals are likely going away (true).

A lot of manufacturers are putting DCT's in mundane cars (VW GDI's, Hyundai Tucson compact SUV's, etc.) A DCT eliminates the torque converter and the inherent losses they have. DCT's aren't great for stop and go traffic. The start off is a little jerky.

The torque multiplication of a torque converter is great for towing... and drag racing. The amount of energy transferred by a shaft is torque x rotation speed. Torque converters translate slip into torque multiplication:

Output Torque = (eta) x (Input Torque) x (Input RPM) / (Output RPM)

(eta) is the efficiency of a torque converter, usually above 0.9 now. But, if the output RPM is half the input RPM, the output torque is almost twice the input torque. That's awesome when you're pulling a trailered, 27- foot Grady White up a boat ramp. But, I'm not going to be towing with an M2 or a 911, or even a Hyundai Tucson.

I was at a BMW event a few years ago where an M product manager gave a presentation. He said that "the horsepower wars are over," that future M development will focus on lighter weight and better vehicle dynamics (read that as xDrive for at least the big M cars). But, the big M cars aren't really sports cars in the classic sense. They're more muscle cars, but really good ones. Admittedly, an AWD muscle car could take advantage of torque multiplication.

I've been to a bunch of Advanced M Schools. When a M car ends up on the side of the track, it's usually due to a DCT failure, and it's usually a big M car (M5/6). I broke a DCT on an M5, or more accurately it broke while I was driving it. The second most common for retirement was brakes (solved by CCB's on the M3/4/5/6's used at the school), followed by tires. M2's were having brake issues in heavy track use, rotor warping and pad material deposits on the rotors.
gkr778 commented:
April 25, 2017, 4:04 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Autoputzer View Post
The BMW executive didn't say DCT's were going away. The author of the article said that. The BMW executive did say that automatics are getting better (true), and manuals are likely going away (true).
Thank you Autoputzer. You are correct on all counts! Magna-Getrag, the supplier of DCT to BMW, offers a 7-speed version that's capable of handling 750 Nm of torque reliably (7DCL750).

In addition to incorrectly attributing the assertion "[DCT] still aren't completely capable of handling the power output of their highly-tuned engines" to Mr. Quintus, this article by Caleb Jacobs also used the nonsensical phrase "single clutch automatics".

If Jacobs' writing is representative of The Drive, this publication should not be taken seriously.
Autoputzer commented:
April 25, 2017, 10:15 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by gkr778 View Post
Thank you Autoputzer. You are correct on all counts! Magna-Getrag, the supplier of DCT to BMW, offers a 7-speed version that's capable of handling 750 Nm of torque reliably (7DCL750).

In addition to incorrectly attributing the assertion "[DCT] still aren't completely capable of handling the power output of their highly-tuned engines" to Mr. Quintus, this article by Caleb Jacobs also used the nonsensical phrase "single clutch automatics".

If Jacobs' writing is representative of The Drive, this publication should not be taken seriously.
Good catch on the "single clutch automatics." Yeah, the writer is clueless as well as being a BS artist.
gkr778 commented:
April 26, 2017, 11:35 pm

Since The Drive article is BS, perhaps a Bimmerfest admin article can correct the inaccurate title of the OP?
namelessman commented:
May 3, 2017, 2:42 am

My recollection is that Honda did put a TC on DCT to smooth out the jerky startup. Is that TC + DCT setup used in Acura TLX?
gkr778 commented:
May 3, 2017, 7:26 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by namelessman View Post
My recollection is that Honda did put a TC on DCT to smooth out the jerky startup. Is that TC + DCT setup used in Acura TLX?
You got it! In addition to TLX, Acura ILX also the same 8-speed DCT with torque converter.

The unit was designed and engineered in-house by Honda Motor Co.; the torque converter is supplied by Cardington Yutaka Technologies, Inc.