Go Back   Team-BHP > BHP Worldwide > The International Automotive Scene


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 8th July 2015, 17:06   #1
Senior - BHPian
 
dark.knight's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: India
Posts: 1,115
Thanked: 2,963 Times
Default BMW M Chief: Future of manual gearbox isn't bright

After the ex-chief of BMW M Division Albert Biermann left for Hyundai, BMW recruited Frank van Meel from Audi Quattro division to replace him. The first news coming from the new chief in terms of the direction which they want to take doesn't seem all that "great" where he favours the dual-clutch transmission/Steptronics as more economical, faster way to shift through the gears. As quoted he believes "From a technical standpoint, the future doesn’t look bright for manual gearboxes".



This is in many ways, correct. Although automatics were sort of a joke in the early days where the correct gears would never engage as per the needs of the driver, in todays time the 7-speed M Double Clutch or 8 Speed Steptronics are finely tuned to keep on par or even ahead of the driver's pedal inputs, precisely and smoothly transitioning between gears so that adequate boost is available uniformly across all speeds. This also increases fuel economy as the engine is mostly not under strain as the gears engage seamlessly (unless of course the Sport-mode is engaged).

Automatics have evolved quickly so there never was any doubt about their potential to give more distance per litre than if the driver changed gears, this is because it is in perfect sync electronically with what changes the car is going through every half a second, a driver can never match that even if he precisely matches rev-count. Some things though are not about speed, perfect shifting or marginal gains.. they are about emotions, the driver feeling in control by the haptic feedback, the driver himself mechanically going through the gears, a rhythmic dance of the left hand and left foot (RHD setup) & that feeling can never be replaced by an automatic.

http://www.digitaltrends.com/cars/bm...transmissions/
dark.knight is offline   (7) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 8th July 2015, 17:16   #2
Senior - BHPian
 
1100D's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Calcutta
Posts: 4,179
Thanked: 2,360 Times
Default re: BMW M Chief: Future of manual gearbox isn't bright

We are looking forward to future Hyundai/Genesis Rear drive cars!
1100D is offline   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 8th July 2015, 17:26   #3
BHPian
 
avira_tk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 671
Thanked: 643 Times
Default re: BMW M Chief: Future of manual gearbox isn't bright

BMW manuals may be over rated, the carbuyer uk reviews mentions springy shifts and cramped footwells with offset pedals in RHD cars. BMW would abandon manual eventually because the newer automatics are capable of giving total control with a safety over ride in case the driver's lack of skill were to compromise the mechanicals/traction.

I think automatics are in the phase where the majority want it, although a small minority complain its not the real thing, power steering was once descibed like that, how many want zero assist steering today?
avira_tk is online now   (5) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 9th July 2015, 12:58   #4
GTO
Team-BHP Support
 
GTO's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Bombay
Posts: 47,739
Thanked: 89,320 Times
Default Re: BMW M Chief: Future of manual gearbox isn't bright

AMG, Porsche, Ferrari, Lamborghini and many other sports car manufacturers have abandoned (or are in the process of) the manual gearbox. It's not affected their sales at all.

There's a reason for that - The diehard enthusiasts who love manuals are in the minority. Plus, it would seem that no uber rich customer really wants a manual gearbox from this statement:

Quote:
“Close to zero percent Gallardos were ordered in manual,” Lamborghini CEO.

In fact, orders for a manual transmission were so few and far between admits Winkelman that every time one came in they had to go back and re-check the order form, confirming with the dealership that a mistake hadn’t been made.
Source

It's a business decision. We saw a similar trend in India where Mercedes stopped selling MT cars altogether (despite having them in the international line-up).

Sucks for us enthusiasts. But hey, at least for another couple of years, sub-20 lakh cars will continue offering slick 5 / 6 speed manuals, due to the price sensitive nature of our market.
GTO is offline   (7) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 10th July 2015, 09:09   #5
BHPian
 
sarathlal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Trivandrum
Posts: 976
Thanked: 2,024 Times
Default Re: BMW M Chief: Future of manual gearbox isn't bright

The efficiency factor plays a huge role as well, with automatics matching or even beating the manual boxes, the favor is more towards the automatic.
sarathlal is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 10th July 2015, 09:21   #6
Senior - BHPian
 
F150's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: PUNE
Posts: 1,557
Thanked: 646 Times
Default Re: BMW M Chief: Future of manual gearbox isn't bright

Quote:
Originally Posted by avira_tk View Post
I think automatics are in the phase where the majority want it, although a small minority complain its not the real thing, power steering was once described like that, how many want zero assist steering today?
Apt comparison, but I wasn't aware of cars during the no power steering days, so I dont know if people were against power steering.

I drive a Skoda Rapid DSG and Swift D. After driving the Rapid DSG for few weeks, I drove the swift and felt that the entire manual gear shift is pointless when automatic transmissions can do it for us.

I think we are headed in the right direction.

Last edited by GTO : 10th July 2015 at 15:26. Reason: Typo
F150 is offline   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 10th July 2015, 09:51   #7
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 3,717
Thanked: 425 Times
Default Re: BMW M Chief: Future of manual gearbox isn't bright

After having owned a A/T Honda City since 2010 & sampled the fabulous DSG on VW cars many times, I have to say I have started seeing the advantages of manual's over A/T's now. Plus cars like BMW's come with absolutely fabulous auto's so I doubt any one would actually miss a M/T.

What however, we should be worried about is Google & auto maker's saying that they are committed to launching driverless cars by 2020. Of course, we are safe in India but still that's something I will never end up liking!
amit is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 10th July 2015, 10:21   #8
BHPian
 
avira_tk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 671
Thanked: 643 Times
Default Re: BMW M Chief: Future of manual gearbox isn't bright

Quote:
Originally Posted by F150 View Post
Apt comparison, but I wasn't aware of cars during the no power steering days, so I dont know if people were against power steering.

I drive a Skoda Rapid DSG and Swift D. After driving the Rapid DSG for few weeks, I drove the swift and felt that the entire manual gear shift is pointless when we automatic transmissions can do it for us.

I think we are headed in the right direction.
That was in the mid 90s when power steering became mainstream along with radial tyres, I am talking about places outside the metros. The difference between the two was stark because newer versions designed for power steering lacked the mechanical advantage that the older versions had. Another complaint was the risk of an accident because the driver turned the steering like you would on a non assisted car. An mm540 with non radial tyres wasn't difficult to steer, but cars with the then new radial tyres would be a real workout.

Anyone who is looking to buy a new car considers the automatic version first, horrible traffic in the cities and even small towns has made sure of that. I won't buy a manual transmission car again.
avira_tk is online now   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Hyundai hires BMW M Performance chief engineer Tushar The International Automotive Scene 26 7th July 2017 07:00
Sports car fad fading away says BMW sales chief Tushar The International Automotive Scene 3 14th November 2014 18:24
Manual transmission isn't dead yet Jeroen Technical Stuff 50 13th August 2014 14:50
BREAKING: BMW design chief Chris Bangle quits job and leaves auto industry sidindica The International Automotive Scene 29 6th February 2009 11:07


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 10:40.

Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks