It had a good run.
A war has been raging in the motoring world for what feels like ages, fought between those who believe sports cars should have manual transmissions, versus those who believe that auto transmissions are the way forward. In recent years a delicate truce was achieved with the dual-clutch transmission (DCT) which allows cars such as the Volkswagen Golf GTI and BMW M2 to replicate the engagement of a manual transmission in an auto box. BMW, in particular, has been using these rapid-fire transmissions in a lot of its M Performance cars to great success, but a recent shift to traditional torque-converter transmissions have some fans crying foul, and now there is even more bad news: it seems that BMW will be canning the DCT for good.
The first BMW to make use of the DCT transmission was the E90/E92 BMW M3. Its snarling 4.0-liter V8 engine was perfectly complimented by the seven-speed Getrag "M-DCT" box. Many were sorely disappointed when the F90 BMW M5 reared its head sans DCT. In its place, we found a ZF automatic transmission, widely lauded as being one of the best true automatics out there. This might be true, but fans of the DCT still miss the rapid and oftentimes violent shifts of the dual-clutch system. The current BMW M2 is the only M car on sale today that still retains the DCT and it will most likely be the last. The reason why the ZF will take its place is most likely due to its ease of calibration and the fact that it improves fuel efficiency.
Looking into the future, BMW will be making the inevitable move to electrification, which will be the final nail in the coffin for the DCT, so it is safe to say that it is dead. But let us never forget the few golden years in which two pedals did not mean boring, but represented something new, something that brought a ceasefire to the war of transmissions. It will be sorely missed.