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      02-19-2013, 10:56 AM   #1
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Lightbulb BMW M Boss Talks AWD vs RWD, Manaul Transmission and Turbocharging for the Future

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BMW M Boss Talks AWD vs RWD, Manaul Transmission and Turbocharging for the Future
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BMW M CEO Friedrich Nitschke gave some insight into certain aspects of future M models when speaking recently to Autocar.

AWD vs RWD

While current non-SUV M models all remain RWD, as horsepower numbers climb for each successive generation of models, the question has arisen whether future models would benefit from AWD xDrive offerings, to help with traction and getting all that power down to the ground effectively; especially considering the AWD offerings from competitors - such as the E63/CLS63 AMG 4Matic and upcoming RS6/RS7 Quattro models.

To this, Nitschke reaffirms M's stance on RWD: "Our philosophy in regards to steering feel and precision is that rear-wheel drive is the best solution," ... "xDrive brings an 80-90kg weight penalty and the M differential is the industry's best rear-drive set-up."

Manual Transmission

The M traditionalists/purists/self-rowers' fear is that as BMW M's dual clutch M-DCT transmission gets better by each generation, and as manual transmission take rates decrease, manual transmission will be eliminated as an option altogether. It hasn't happened yet, as the current M5, M6, M6 Gran Coupe, as well as the upcoming F80 M3 and F82 M4 all offer (or will offer) manual transmissions.

To this, Nitschke basically says it's on us (as customers). "From a production aspect, it would be much better to only offer the dual-clutch gearbox," said Nitschke. "But as long as there is demand, we'll offer the manual."

This does however, somewhat contradict with a report last year in which BMW M's head of engineering, Albert Biermann let on that there are no plans to fit the next generation M5 or M6 with a manual transmission.

Turbocharging

Finally, regarding the move away from naturally aspirated engines, Nitschke said: "It's not a change in philosophy, it's a change in technology. Turbocharging is better for fuel savings and CO2."

The F80 M3 / F82 M4 has been confirmed to be powered by an inline 6 cylinder multi-turbo engine, which looks to output 415hp.

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      02-19-2013, 11:15 AM   #2
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I'll take a F80 M3 xDrive with MT... please BMW.
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      02-19-2013, 11:17 AM   #3
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Nice. Cant wait for the M4
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      02-19-2013, 11:20 AM   #4
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AWD vs. RWD.

Maybe not for the M3 and M4 but it's not going to be surprising when the M5, M6 (and it's variants) get both a RWD/AWD or just an AWD option. While the F10 M5 does a pretty good job (0-60 in 3.7 seconds in some tests) at handling all that power, eventually BMW will have to move to an AWD setup when they start approaching 600HP+. When that time comes, the forum is going to get a hell of a lot interesting with the RWD vs. AWD debate.

MT vs. AT/DCT.

BMW says it's all about the rate at which MT sold. That pretty much means the MT will end on all models other than the M3/M4. Shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone.

Turbocharging.

Nothing to be said. Naturally aspirated engines are pretty much gone from the BMW lineup with the exception of the E82 1-Series with the N52(?).
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      02-19-2013, 11:20 AM   #5
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"But as long as there is demand, we'll offer the manual."

Ominous-sounding... The reviews of the M5 manual have been pretty crappy - good way to reduce demand. Also, dual-clutch gearboxes seem to hide some of the downsides of forced induction. Comes down to the point that those of us that love driving manuals need to keep buying them.
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      02-19-2013, 11:21 AM   #6
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RWD + M/T for life
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      02-19-2013, 11:21 AM   #7
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Mercedes Benz already got the new E63 AMG S with over 550hp and tq with AWD lol.
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      02-19-2013, 11:23 AM   #8
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As long as BMW ///M stays with RWD, I will stay with BMW ///M. I'm considering the next generatoin BMW ///M4 with a manual transmission for my next ///M. Can't wait to see what they deliver!
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      02-19-2013, 11:25 AM   #9
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I could definitely see the MT disappearing...but not until next generation. Nitschke basically gives himself an out with the "demand" comment. Who knows how they quantify "demand".
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      02-19-2013, 11:29 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yodaime View Post
Mercedes Benz already got the new E63 AMG S with over 550hp and tq with AWD lol.
AMG always had a "problem" with wheel spin so it's not surprising to see them switching to an AWD setup with the new E63 AMG now. But the fact that Mercedes is switching to 4Matic (as the only setup) just shows that in this segment, AWD is going to be a requirement.
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      02-19-2013, 11:33 AM   #11
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"It's not a change in philosophy, it's a change in technology. Turbocharging is better for fuel savings and CO2."

Forced induction has been around since the late 19th century. M cars have always had the opportunity to utilize FI, but they didn't. I would argue that this is a philosophical change fuel savings and CO2 emissions now take precedent over the driving experience. Whether this is good or bad can only be left to debate.
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      02-19-2013, 11:37 AM   #12
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Anyone have sales numbers for the E9x M3 showing what % were sold with the manual? Would be interesting to see the difference in Europe vs. North America as well.
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      02-19-2013, 11:41 AM   #13
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At least they are planning on sticking with RWD, at least in the short term.
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      02-19-2013, 11:45 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eMvy View Post
"It's not a change in philosophy, it's a change in technology. Turbocharging is better for fuel savings and CO2."

Forced induction has been around since the late 19th century. M cars have always had the opportunity to utilize FI, but they didn't. I would argue that this is a philosophical change fuel savings and CO2 emissions now take precedent over the driving experience. Whether this is good or bad can only be left to debate.
Glad to get the last NA V8.
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      02-19-2013, 11:51 AM   #15
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Finding a manual E92 M3 is extremely difficult as is finding an E46. Ever since the steptronic, smg, and dct came about, finding a car of the like is near impossible unless specifically ordered from factory. It's so sad.
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      02-19-2013, 11:55 AM   #16
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I think they are just pandering to the public in regards to the manual. With most automakers shifting (no pun intended) to the automatic/dct type transmissions, my guess is that the manual will become a thing of the past.

My guess is that dct to manual sales are probably in the 4:1 area or more.
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      02-19-2013, 11:58 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 7 4 7
RWD + M/T for life
+1.

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      02-19-2013, 11:59 AM   #18
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Audi S3/RS3 Sedan = AWD
Mercedes CLA AMG = AWD
Audi RS4/5 = AWD
Mercedes E/CLS AMG = AWD
Mercedes C63 next gen = ???
Porsche baby panamera (future) = AWD option

All the Germans are doing it, come on BMW, give me a M2GC or M4GC with AWD option.

I had a C63 for 3 years, and got by just fine in the winter with winter tires, but switched to a 335 xdrive this year and LOVE it (also with winter tires), so much more fun to drive in the winter than the C63 was because of the increased traction when accelerating and in turns.

I think BMW is going to be suprised to see how many potential buyers go to Mercedes because of their AWD offering. Audi has been stealing customers for years because of it. AMG, M, S/RS all make amazing vehichles, can't say the same for all their "normal" cars though.
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      02-19-2013, 12:02 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by THE TECH View Post
I think they are just pandering to the public in regards to the manual. With most automakers shifting (no pun intended) to the automatic/dct type transmissions, my guess is that the manual will become a thing of the past.

My guess is that dct to manual sales are probably in the 4:1 area or more.
really? when shopping around in the tri-state 80% of the M3's were manual. I had to look very hard to find a DCT. I really hope the manual lives on forever.
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      02-19-2013, 12:04 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1sikbmr View Post
really? when shopping around in the tri-state 80% of the M3's were manual. I had to look very hard to find a DCT. I really hope the manual lives on forever.
Are you talking new or used?
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      02-19-2013, 12:06 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by THE TECH View Post
Are you talking new or used?
both. what was on the showroom floor as new and what came back from lease.
this was in 2010 though.
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      02-19-2013, 12:07 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1sikbmr View Post
both. what was on the showroom floor as new and what came back from lease.
this was in 2010 though.
Well cars sitting on the showroom floor unsold would mean that their counterparts were the desired models likely.
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