M Performance

Why Doesn't BMW's Dual-Clutch Gearbox Have A Park Position?

A manual doesn't have one either.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with BMW’s highly regarded dual-clutch transmission, there’s something you need to know: it doesn’t offer a park position. That could certainly make things a bit difficult when parking the car and shutting off the ignition; wouldn’t the car roll away? No way. Come on, these are German engineers we’re talking about here, so of course that won’t happen. This latest video from BMW M explains fairly simply how the DCT works and why there’s no park position.

But before you watch, think about this: a manual transmission, often favored by BMW fans (especially in the US), doesn’t have a park position either, unlike conventional automatic transmissions. BMW wanted to replicate, if you will, the manual’s characteristics with its DCT.

This gearbox, according to BMW, “combines the best of two worlds: auto-switching and manual switching.” Another interesting thing is that also like a manual, the DCT does not have a torque converter. When you go to release the brake, the car won’t role. Drivers also simply accelerate like they would with a manual and just gently apply pressure to the gas pedal. One tap is sufficient enough to activate Low Speed Assistant. But what happens when you actually go to park and exit the vehicle? If there’s no park position, what gear do you leave it in? The answer is: it doesn’t matter. The moment the vehicle is turned off it’ll automatically go into park. Told you those Germans were a clever bunch.

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