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      09-27-2020, 08:59 AM   #1
brianeck
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How to kill the manual transmission once and for all

Am I missing something, or has BMW very craftilly dealt the final blow to the manual that they've inevitably wanted to for some time?

For years we have heard about how the marketing and sales projections point to low use of manuals before they are actually ever sold, meaning that cars shouldn't ever be offered in this format in the first place.

Now we have an enthusiasts car, where things like performance, peak power, and acceleration really do matter. We have a platform from the F80 year where people openly said they would take a DCT over a 6MT because it was 2/10ths faster in the quarter mile. .

From here, with the G80 model lineup, BMW decides to launch the 6MT m3 once again, but only with significantly less power than the competition model, and not in the AWD variant.

It's inconceivable to think that 6MT sales won't be affected by people who want the fastest, most powerful version of the car, or people like me who need a daily that can comfortably handle rough winter commutes (currently in a b8.5 s4 6mt).

I don't see any reason for launching a manual version of this car in a crippled, less exciting format other than to forcibly generate market data that fraudulently shows that people prefer the automatic transmission due to take rates. In my humble opinion, this car is the culmination of everything the auto industry has been pushing the market towards for the last 10 years. . . .

When you launch a dumbed down version of an "enthusiasts" car for the enthusiasts, you all but force them to take the car you prefer that they buy in the first place.

It's like a shitty transparent psychological experiment.

Now inevitably the aftermarket will help with leveling the playing field on the crippled output of the 6mt. . . . While that may be enough for me, I do not think it will be enough for most potential 6mt buyers. I also really want an M-AWD car! There are effectively no performance oriented awd manual 4wd cars offered anymore. Every time a used b8.5 5mt goes on the market it sells within a day, so I have a really hard time believing that nobody else wants this type of vehicle.

With the above stated - I haven't read enough yet to understand how exactly the competition delivers it's additional power. . . If it's just a tune or something then so be it. If it's more, then the 6mt is still considerably more hindered for after market modding as well.

From what I can tell, this competition package is absurdly cheap. . . <$3000. That's less than the delta to get a DCT car in the F80 variant. It's a no brainer for all but the most loyal diehard 6mt club, who live in a winter less region or who can afford a winter beater/daily or a garage queen.

Am I missing something, or has BMW really stabbed the 6MT in the back with a poisoned dagger right in front of our eyes while pretending to cater to our desires?
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      09-27-2020, 09:17 AM   #2
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Ok so you make some valid points.

But it's 2020, and BMW is still making the M3 in 6MT. I, for one, am not going to look a gift horse in the mouth. That is a tremendous fact that, over the past 4-5 years, is something that should not be taken for granted given all the rumors we heard to the contrary. This is a huge positive...I would say this is a glass "half full" scenario.

Hp/Torque are only a concern for me for the first 1,200 miles before break in service, at which point I will tune.

The biggest relief to me is that the suspension for the Base and Comp is the same. I would hate to be forced to drive a "lesser car" in other ways.

My dealership is a high volume dealership on Long Island, NY. They have 8 orders in for manuals, 3 for Competition Packages. I find that shocking...

BMW isn't trying to kill the 6MT. But the future is electric so it has a very short shelf life.
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      09-27-2020, 09:31 AM   #3
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I'm more surprised they killed the DCT to be honest. Far superior in this type of car to the auto slush box as the only alternative to the MT
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      09-27-2020, 09:41 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LSM View Post
I'm more surprised they killed the DCT to be honest. Far superior in this type of car to the auto slush box as the only alternative to the MT
I get it that the ZF 8 spd is a good autobox. . . But how is there no variation whatsoever in offerings across the performance (and economy) car market? I understand it's versatile and what not and can be tuned different ways, it's just amazing to me how unbelievably how well dispersed they've gotten into a wide range of car offerings.

I am with you totally on your sentiment, and they killed the DCT without any market research whatsoever out of what I assume is a pure cost analysis.

10 years ago when Mercedes killed their manual transmission I said I wouldn't ever go that route. . . Now they offer their wet clutch DCT variant which is somehow the most exciting automatic transmission offered by the German manufacturers at this point. It's amazing how the offerings ebb and flow, and now the "most comfortable" brand of the big 3 offers the more engaging transmission for the every day driver (since Audi also killed it's DSG).
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      09-27-2020, 09:52 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brianeck View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by LSM View Post
I'm more surprised they killed the DCT to be honest. Far superior in this type of car to the auto slush box as the only alternative to the MT
I get it that the ZF 8 spd is a good autobox. . . But how is there no variation whatsoever in offerings across the performance (and economy) car market? I understand it's versatile and what not and can be tuned different ways, it's just amazing to me how unbelievably how well dispersed they've gotten into a wide range of car offerings.

I am with you totally on your sentiment, and they killed the DCT without any market research whatsoever out of what I assume is a pure cost analysis.

10 years ago when Mercedes killed their manual transmission I said I wouldn't ever go that route. . . Now they offer their wet clutch DCT variant which is somehow the most exciting automatic transmission offered by the German manufacturers at this point. It's amazing how the offerings ebb and flow, and now the "most comfortable" brand of the big 3 offers the more engaging transmission for the every day driver (since Audi also killed it's DSG).
There's always PDK still best of the best tranny! I liked BMW's DCT and to your point was only offered on M cars. Made the car more exclusive and more engaging.

Save the 8 speed auto for the more pedestrian models

Truthfully I am absolutely shocked they didn't keep for M3/M4. The M5/M8 I don't like that they went auto but at least can understand the rationale.

Now they made the M3/M4 weigh as much as a M5 and have it an auto gear box instead of offering a DCT:

I had a F90 M5 I didn't like it to be honest. You really feel the weight and although everything on paper is great was not fun to drive

I preferred my M4 Comp bc it was toss-able and engaging and felt like a go cart. With awd and 4100+ lbs I guess the days of a nimble M3/M4 are over
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      09-27-2020, 11:15 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frankiebones View Post
Ok so you make some valid points.

But it's 2020, and BMW is still making the M3 in 6MT. I, for one, am not going to look a gift horse in the mouth. That is a tremendous fact that, over the past 4-5 years, is something that should not be taken for granted given all the rumors we heard to the contrary. This is a huge positive...I would say this is a glass "half full" scenario.

Hp/Torque are only a concern for me for the first 1,200 miles before break in service, at which point I will tune.

The biggest relief to me is that the suspension for the Base and Comp is the same. I would hate to be forced to drive a "lesser car" in other ways.

My dealership is a high volume dealership on Long Island, NY. They have 8 orders in for manuals, 3 for Competition Packages. I find that shocking...

BMW isn't trying to kill the 6MT. But the future is electric so it has a very short shelf life.
Depends where you like though. No U.K. manuals, small market for them and prior sales feedback I bet was that they were hard to shift here.

It's a little sad but for me, M2/3/4 I had were all DCT as this car has to do it all and U.K. is the most densely populated country in Europe with roads to match!

I'm delighted for the current M2 and future M3/4 owners it's still possible but not in the U.K. unless the CS might be possible.
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      09-27-2020, 11:23 AM   #7
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I wonder which future model will have BMW's last manual? I suspect it will be the next M2 and it will hold its value very well.
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      09-27-2020, 11:27 AM   #8
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Quote:
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I wonder which future model will have BMW's last manual? I suspect it will be the next M2 and it will hold its value very well.
Agreed
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      09-27-2020, 11:45 AM   #9
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Depends where you like though. No U.K. manuals, small market for them and prior sales feedback I bet was that they were hard to shift here.

It's a little sad but for me, M2/3/4 I had were all DCT as this car has to do it all and U.K. is the most densely populated country in Europe with roads to match!

I'm delighted for the current M2 and future M3/4 owners it's still possible but not in the U.K. unless the CS might be possible.
I do actually feel horrible for people in markets that didn't get a 6MT (especially those of us that LIVE for them). However, I recall seeing the manual take rate in the UK was ~2% so I understand why they aren't offering them.
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      09-27-2020, 12:03 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crossmen00 View Post
I wonder which future model will have BMW's last manual? I suspect it will be the next M2 and it will hold its value very well.
My plan is to get 2 G80's over the life cycle of the model, and then get a G87 M2 to hold onto forever (or until they outlaw gasoline sales).
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      09-27-2020, 12:16 PM   #11
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BMW: no manual for upcoming M3.
Enthusiasts: Are you kidding me?! This is the death of the M3!
BMW: Ok ok ok. Next M3 will come with manual transmission.
Enthusiast: No AWD and Manual? Are you kidding me?! This is the death of the Manual M3!

What gives? :

The manual transmission has never been about having the fastest car out there. It's about the driving experience. That is something that 30hp will not give you. Hardcore 6MT enthusiasts will not care about a slightly slower car if in return they get the thrill of pressing that clutch.

I'm prepared to order a 6MT Core M3. The hp/tq difference is nothing a mild tune can't fix.

Alternatively, you can get a manual C63, RS4/RS5, or a manual GT-R instead.
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      09-27-2020, 12:33 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Penguino View Post
The manual transmission has never been about having the fastest car out there. It's about the driving experience. That is something that 30hp will not give you. Hardcore 6MT enthusiasts will not care about a slightly slower car if in return they get the thrill of pressing that clutch.
This is what I tell people who can't make up their mind when deciding on an automatic or a manual. Quicker 0-60/quarter mile times = automatic; driver engagement and just having fun while driving = manual. It's that simple.
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      09-27-2020, 12:41 PM   #13
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Pay attention. BMW are not trying to kill the MT, they are keeping it alive.
If they wanted to kill it they just would have. All others in the segment did. It makes absolutely no sense to make the effort to bring it if they don’t want to.

However, now having monopoly on it in the segment they don’t need to create possible complications by providing it across the lineup. Not even Porsche do it.

If you want to cast blame or theories that make sense glare at Audi, Benz and Alfa not the brand that still give you an MT.
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      09-27-2020, 12:54 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by solstice View Post
Pay attention. BMW are not trying to kill the MT, they are keeping it alive.
If they wanted to kill it they just would have. All others in the segment did. It makes absolutely no sense to make the effort to bring it if they don’t want to.

However, now having monopoly on it in the segment they don’t need to create possible complications by providing it across the lineup. Not even Porsche do it.

If you want to cast blame or theories that make sense glare at Audi, Benz and Alfa not the brand that still give you an MT.
Agreed. Not sure why the OP feels persecuted by BMW when they're offering his transmission of choice.
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      09-27-2020, 04:08 PM   #15
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I dont think this is a kill shot to manipulate sales numbers. That decision is made by delivering 100 auto cars for every 10 manual, and they saying "WOw look at how many more autos we sold"

Anyways, I am glad they offer 6 MT and RWD. I dont expect to even consider getting a G80 anytime soon. I hope that in ~2-3 years when I am ready they are -still- offering them, and it doesnt drop off the option list after the first year.
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      09-27-2020, 05:36 PM   #16
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Quote:
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I'm more surprised they killed the DCT to be honest. Far superior in this type of car to the auto slush box as the only alternative to the MT
Bingo

And, as mentioned above, a new car in 2020 with a stick is still a gift, even if not perfect. It's not going to get any better than this, sadly. Let's take it and run!

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      09-27-2020, 07:02 PM   #17
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If you want to blame anyone, blame the 80% of people who respond in this forum.
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      09-27-2020, 07:10 PM   #18
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Quote:
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I'm more surprised they killed the DCT to be honest. Far superior in this type of car to the auto slush box as the only alternative to the MT
If I have the choice of an MT or DCT, I'd probably take the DCT these days.

If I have the choice between an MT and a regular auto box I'll take the MT every time.

I don't really care whether the clutch is operated with my hands or my feet, so long as the gear shifts are initiated by me at a time of my choosing.

So, yes, I agree that this sorry state of affairs is partly the market demands, but partly the offered choices. An M car deserves a driver-focussed transmission that sets it apart it from its competitors. It doesn't need a bunch of stick-on overpriced carbon fiber parts and under-floor neon lighting.

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      09-27-2020, 07:24 PM   #19
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Lol. To hell in a hand basket!

You can just tune it if you're worried about the HP gap that much. Pretty cool they're offering 6MT at all, and with 475 hp or whatever too. BTW the ZF8 tuning is great. I have it in X3M and no it's not as crispy as M-DCT but it drives better 90% of the time.
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      09-27-2020, 07:32 PM   #20
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Quote:
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Lol. To hell in a hand basket!

You can just tune it if you're worried about the HP gap that much. Pretty cool they're offering 6MT at all, and with 475 hp or whatever too. BTW the ZF8 tuning is great. I have it in X3M and no it's not as crispy as M-DCT but it drives better 90% of the time.
It's a good enough gearbox. I had F90 M5 and can def say it doesn't belong in any M Model. *Maybe at most the M SUV's but M3/M4 should absolutely have the DCT option with MT avail.
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      09-27-2020, 08:13 PM   #21
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I am a die-hard manual enthusiast. My previous F30 335i and current 340i were/is manual. My next car likely G80 M3 will also be manual. I was stoked to hear BMW was keeping the manual 4 door ///M cars alive after they got rid of it in the non ///M.

I'm actually not concerned about the HP figure, it's the 406 lb/ft of torque which is the same as last gen and 73 lb/ft less than comp. When they made the new car roughly 300lbs heavier the "torquiness" will def feel less. However, they state it's 50lbs lighter than auto and has better weight distribution so that's a win.

At this point beggars can't be choosers as BMW is the only manufacturer to offer a 4 door high powered luxury sports sedan in a manual. I for one, am grateful for that. As others have said, it's not about being the most powerful but the driving experience.

#savethemanuals
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      09-27-2020, 08:23 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brianeck View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by LSM View Post
I'm more surprised they killed the DCT to be honest. Far superior in this type of car to the auto slush box as the only alternative to the MT
I get it that the ZF 8 spd is a good autobox. . . But how is there no variation whatsoever in offerings across the performance (and economy) car market? I understand it's versatile and what not and can be tuned different ways, it's just amazing to me how unbelievably how well dispersed they've gotten into a wide range of car offerings.

I am with you totally on your sentiment, and they killed the DCT without any market research whatsoever out of what I assume is a pure cost analysis.

10 years ago when Mercedes killed their manual transmission I said I wouldn't ever go that route. . . Now they offer their wet clutch DCT variant which is somehow the most exciting automatic transmission offered by the German manufacturers at this point. It's amazing how the offerings ebb and flow, and now the "most comfortable" brand of the big 3 offers the more engaging transmission for the every day driver (since Audi also killed it's DSG).
Killed off the DSG? Audi has the DSG on their most exciting car - the RS3. Also, the R8 is still DSG too. The RS5 is an anomaly since it's just a 'soft' car so the ZF fits.
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