Future for manual BMW M cars 'not bright'

New BMW M boss Frank van Meel says automatic transmissions and power outputs capped at 600bhp are the future of the performance brand

BMW M boss Frank van Meel says competition between the DCT dual-clutch and automatic gearboxes is good for the brand and both ’boxes have a future.

However, manual gearboxes could become a thing of the past for M cars because of declining sales figures.

Van Meel said: “From a technical standpoint, the future doesn’t look bright for manual gearboxes. The DCT and auto ’boxes are faster and they have better fuel consumption.

"It’s difficult to say we’ll stick to the manual, but we still have a big fan community for manuals and we are not going to take away something the customer wants to have.”

Van Meel also said 600bhp is the current limit of an M car’s capability. “For now, 600bhp is the most you can get in an M car,” he said.

“We’re at the limit. If you go on adding more horsepower and torque, it’d probably be over the limits.”

Auto Car | by Doug Revolta

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