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      10-28-2017, 04:16 PM   #1
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Autocar: Dirk Hacker hints next generation M3/M4 may not get manual transmission

https://www.autocar.co.uk/car-news/i...and-csl-models

To this end, Hacker confirmed the M2 is likely to be the last M car offered with a manual gearbox, saying: “I like manual very much, but the take up rate from customers on cars other than the M2 is just going down. The fact is that a double clutch gearbox delivers better performance and efficiency.”

Quote:
More hardcore versions of the BMW M2 are under development, with company bosses weighing up what they believe could be a growing market for a suite of increasingly driver-focused CSL or GTS versions of their cars.

Recent spy pictures suggest that BMW is already testing an M2 CSL on the road. Insiders suggest BMW will use a detuned version of the S55 turbocharged 3.0-litre straight-six petrol engine from the M3 and M4 rather than a highly strung version of the M2’s older N55 unit, due to the increased reliability and improved responses the newer technology enables.

Drive will still be sent exclusively to the rear wheels through a six-speed manual or seven-speed DCT dual-clutch automatic gearbox. Despite the performance benefits offered by the latter, BMW M vice president Dirk Hacker confirmed to Autocar that market demand for driver-focused cars will ensure the manual remains an option.

“The M2 is tracking at 40-50% above our expectation in terms of sales, with almost half of buyers specifying a manual,” he told Autocar. “Demand for cars like the M2, which is probably our purest M product today, has surprised us, and that opens opportunities for building more extreme cars, in the vein of GTS and CSL heritage models.

“Any car that has true heritage to motorsport is an opportunity for us. New markets are always opening for those cars and that will increase, so long as we keep building cars that are sufficiently special.”

Sources suggest that the M2 CSL will arrive after the standard model’s facelift, which is due to go on sale next year. Instead, it is likely to go on sale 12 to 18 months later, as the M2 approaches runout.

The choice of the CSL moniker is also relevant. It was first used on a homologation special version of the CS, the 3.0 CSL, in 1972. The L was added to designate the car's lighter weight. It suggests that the GTS name, which is currently in use on the M4, will be reserved for faster but potentially bulkier versions of larger, more powerful cars.

The development of more enthusiast focused cars is believed to be being driven by increasing customer demand among traditional M car buyers; while M sales continue to grow significantly, much of the increased demand is coming from new markets or from widening the appeal of the cars with, for instance, broader dynamic capabilities.

To this end, Hacker confirmed the M2 is likely to be the last M car offered with a manual gearbox, saying: “I like manual very much, but the take up rate from customers on cars other than the M2 is just going down. The fact is that a double clutch gearbox delivers better performance and efficiency.”

However, he did hint that the next generation M3 and M4 may not have to follow the M5 in using a four-wheel-drive system. “We will increase the power of these cars, but we don’t want to increase the weight,” he said. “We’ll use four-wheel drive where we need it.”

Hacker also ruled out ever making a front-wheel drive M car, saying: “You have to be able to feel the car with through the steering and the throttle. Today, there is no solution for front-wheel-drive.”
This dog is dead to enthusiast drivers like me.

Reminds me of the bad old 1970s / 1980s GM and Roger Smith, selling Cadillac Cimarons as BMW M-fighters. Cars like those were in such poor taste that one could be excused for swearing "never American, only German" when it came to car ownership.

Sadly, today BMW sells Prius-fighters and 1970s Cadillac-clones and then in an ironic and Orwellian-twist, insists that the target market for these abominations is driving enthusiasts.

Today, M = automatic transmissions, xDrive, low-revving, turbocharged powerplants installed in obese, huge, chrome-clad platforms slathered in M decals. To my eye there's more in common here with a 1975 Pontiac Trans Am and the Smokey Bandit crowd than Euro performance motoring.

As anyone who remembers BMW's M pre-Millennial history knows, a good, classic M car is compact, lightweight, quick (but probably not bone-crushingly fast), athletic, agile, and understated in appearance and styling. All of these attributes in toto made BMWs of that era "authentic". Hard to define, but easy to know. Just compare pics of an E30 M3 and Cadillac Cimarron, or a ZL1 1LE and M4 GTS. One is authentic, one isn't.

Prediction: BMW under current corporate governance will become a case study at HBS / Kellogg / Wharton as an example of long-term value destruction in pursuit of near-term growth. The BMW brand once represented a legitimate 4-door alternative to Porsche and was the unchallenged ruler of the sport sedan segment. They discarded that crown to compete with Prius.

BMW management appears to view M Division as a minor annoyance rather than a halo sub-brand.

Screw BMW. I'll take my next performance car from GM, Ford, or Porsche please.

Pathetic.
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      10-28-2017, 04:22 PM   #2
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Why is BMW pathetic? They are only reacting to consumer demand. Stop buying those junk dct transmissions and they will stop producing them.

I just bought a manual and will continue to as long as it's offered. My next car will most likely be a manual Porsche.
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      10-28-2017, 04:27 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Parabolica View Post
Why is BMW pathetic? They are only reacting to consumer demand.
Perhaps. But this captures the dilemma of a market leader / shaper.

IME, product portfolios shaped by demand work satisfactorily with commodities. And if BMW has evolved strategy to compete in the automotive commodity segment, then this might be reasonable.

But I thought this company competes in the premium segment? And segment leaders are defined by innovation and delivering product in an iconoclastic manner, i.e. Apple, Amazon, etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Parabolica View Post
I just bought a manual and will continue to as long as it's offered. My next car will most likely be a manual Porsche.
I understand. My early cars were Porsches. I had to move heaven and earth to find a 6MT BMW wagon. In fact the sales agent was so adamant that I try a new SUV and could not understand why I needed a wagon. When I told her it's about the driving dynamics, her facial expression simply looked confused.
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      10-28-2017, 04:29 PM   #4
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This is the generation to buy.
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      10-28-2017, 04:32 PM   #5
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At least it sounds like DCT is still going to be an option rather than ZF auto..
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      10-28-2017, 04:34 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tetsuo111 View Post
But I thought this company competes in the premium segment? And segment leaders are defined by innovation and delivering product in an iconoclastic manner, i.e. Apple, Amazon, etc.
Thats news to me. As far as Im concerned I grew hearing that BMW created the "ultimate driving machine". Cars for enthusiast and people who enjoyed driving.

Most people dont fit that profile, and if you want to sell to most people then you give up on the things the enthusiasts love. BMW is becoming like Ford or GM.

I consider myself lucky to have owned an E46, and F80. Sadly, by the time I decide to replace my F80 i doubt anyone will make manuals anymore. The next owner of my F80 will be a scrap yard, because ill drive it until there is nothing left to drive.
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      10-28-2017, 04:51 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Sassicaia View Post
Thats news to me. As far as Im concerned I grew hearing that BMW created the "ultimate driving machine". Cars for enthusiast and people who enjoyed driving.

Most people dont fit that profile, and if you want to sell to most people then you give up on the things the enthusiasts love. BMW is becoming like Ford or GM.
Agreed, except for the Ford / GM part. Those auto giants are taking pages from the German play book, while the Germans aspire to be the next Toyota. There's an inverse relationship between focused product and mass market adoption.

Companies are simply an extension of the Board's and executive management interests and priorities. In the case of BMW, the managers and strategy that made the company relevant and interesting were cast aside in exchange for pursuing very fast growth.

There's no such thing as a free lunch.

And bottom line - I don't care how many times BMW tells us that M cars are better cars with autos. These aren't the people I consider driving enthusiasts nor would I waste time talking cars and sharing a beverage with them.
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      10-28-2017, 04:59 PM   #8
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There are also a few other articles that suggest the manual will remain...


Speculation
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      10-28-2017, 05:05 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vectors2final View Post
There are also a few other articles that suggest the manual will remain...


Speculation
Nope. Courtesy of Autocar, here’s the quote:

To this end, Hacker confirmed the M2 is likely to be the last M car offered with a manual gearbox, saying: “I like manual very much, but the take up rate from customers on cars other than the M2 is just going down. The fact is that a double clutch gearbox delivers better performance and efficiency.”

However, he did hint that the next generation M3 and M4 may not have to follow the M5 in using a four-wheel-drive system. “We will increase the power of these cars, but we don’t want to increase the weight,” he said. “We’ll use four-wheel drive where we need it.”
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      10-28-2017, 05:15 PM   #10
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I knew it was the beginning of the end for BMW when they went to the electric starter and abandoned the hand crank in the 1950s.
      10-28-2017, 05:16 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vectors2final View Post
There are also a few other articles that suggest the manual will remain...


Speculation
As far as my sources go, no manual. The future will bring us a new generation of drivers.

Here people bitch and moan endlessly about this, but in 5 years we all will feel the consequences. A manual might not be lightning fast but it teaches one a lot about driving. This will become a safety issue with the new drivers.
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      10-28-2017, 05:20 PM   #12
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I knew it was the beginning of the end for BMW when they went to the electric starter and abandoned the hand crank in the 1950s.
First post - congrats.
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      10-28-2017, 05:25 PM   #13
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First post but 3rd M car. Many folks on this forum have that ratio skewed the other way.
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      10-28-2017, 05:37 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tetsuo111 View Post
Nope. Courtesy of Autocar, here’s the quote:

To this end, Hacker confirmed the M2 is likely to be the last M car offered with a manual gearbox, saying: “I like manual very much, but the take up rate from customers on cars other than the M2 is just going down. The fact is that a double clutch gearbox delivers better performance and efficiency.”

However, he did hint that the next generation M3 and M4 may not have to follow the M5 in using a four-wheel-drive system. “We will increase the power of these cars, but we don’t want to increase the weight,” he said. “We’ll use four-wheel drive where we need it.”

I'm not saying you're wrong or right, but that article is hearsay. The title is sensational, and that particular article is meant to be "polarizing". Especially the part leading up to the quotation.

You cannot say with certainty that this is true. You just cannot infer that is truth based off that quote.


This is the same logic people use when reading articles about technology and science. Throwing around the names of prestigious universities is not a citation. More often than not, the citation is not posted because their data is cherry picked to reinforce the writer's point.
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      10-28-2017, 06:55 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vectors2final View Post
I'm not saying you're wrong or right, but that article is hearsay. The title is sensational, and that particular article is meant to be "polarizing". Especially the part leading up to the quotation.

You cannot say with certainty that this is true. You just cannot infer that is truth based off that quote.
I'm not claiming that Hacker is stating truth or not, nor am in a position to make pronouncements one way or the other about the M product pipeline. Dirk Hacker, VP M Division, is. The article reports Hacker's musings about the near-term future of BMW M technology implementation.

Anything can change at anytime. But come on, even in an academic peer-review environment, the head of an institution is considered a credible source. Furthermore, dilution of the M brand is consistent with the corporate strategy of the past decade.

Sadly I agree with you about the sensational headline. It seems to be the status quo today.
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      10-28-2017, 07:20 PM   #16
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lol.

The G80 is like... 4 Years off. It is so early too tell and knee jerk reactions online doesn't help. You can honestly continue to complain but car enthusiasts are a dime a dozen now. Not to mention the continuing whining doesn't help BMW want to cater if all we do is complain. No one gives BMW/Benz constructive criticism anymore. Just more whining.

MTs are taken less and less. That sadly won't change either. BMW won't lose money if a few people go away from the M brand. This isn't what their money comes from.

Corporation is driven by sales. MT doesn't give it to them anymore. That is the bottom line. (Not gonna quote Stone Cold Steve Austin~)
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      10-28-2017, 07:29 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tetsuo111 View Post
I'm not claiming that Hacker is stating truth or not, nor am in a position to make pronouncements one way or the other about the M product pipeline. Dirk Hacker, VP M Division, is. The article reports Hacker's musings about the near-term future of BMW M technology implementation.

Anything can change at anytime. But come on, even in an academic peer-review environment, the head of an institution is considered a credible source. Furthermore, dilution of the M brand is consistent with the corporate strategy of the past decade.

Sadly I agree with you about the sensational headline. It seems to be the status quo today.

It would have been believable in a Q&A format, but that wasn't the case.

I guess we'll see come product release.
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      10-28-2017, 08:36 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Parabolica View Post
Why is BMW pathetic? They are only reacting to consumer demand. Stop buying those junk dct transmissions and they will stop producing them.

I just bought a manual and will continue to as long as it's offered. My next car will most likely be a manual Porsche.
LONG LIVE THE DCT
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      10-28-2017, 08:39 PM   #19
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You all make sure that you yell at the kids to get off the lawn while you finish reading the newspaper before you go to your 3pm dinner at Denny's
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      10-28-2017, 09:43 PM   #20
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lol.

Perks on your car names. ;-)
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      10-28-2017, 09:47 PM   #21
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First post but 3rd M car. Many folks on this forum have that ratio skewed the other way.
Better limit your posts. Too many and you'll lose an M. Maybe two. ;-)
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      10-28-2017, 09:55 PM   #22
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I guess some people can't see the big picture in all this.

In 20 years there will be no ICE cars, let alone manuels. These are the glory days, enjoy them and one day we'll all look back and say remember when....

This has little to do with BMW specifically, I guess some people just can't read between the lines yet.

If you were in a leadership role at BMW, would you invest your stakeholders money in R&D or technology that roughly 10% of your target buyers wanted or would shell out their own money for? Ok then.
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