BMW to use automatic over dual-clutch transmissions, 8-speed coming this year

BMW’s development chief Klaus Draeger says that the German automaker is turning way from dual-clutch and more towards automatic transmissions for its high-volume models.

“The eight-speed automatic that we developed with ZF can compete with dual-clutch transmissions on shifting times, but it”s lighter and more efficient and has cost advantages,” he told Automotive News Europe. “The incompatibility with high engine-speed designs is a disadvantage, however.”

BMW currently offers dual-clutch transmissions in its sporty versions of the 3-Series coupes and Z4 Roadsters. Draeger says that dual-clutch is complex, costly and heavy.

The 8-gear automatic that BMW co-developed with ZF Friedrichshafen is for cars with rear-wheel and all-wheel-drive. The transmission will go into BMW and Audi vehicles later this year along with an optional fuel-saving start/stop feature.