BMW Blog: Is 600 hp enough for a BMW?

Manual transmissions have fallen out of favor with mainstream buyers, but hardcore enthusiasts aren’t giving up on them.

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By no means is the move a surprise – it’s long been shown automatic transmissions offer superior performance, but BMW M chief Frank van Meel says dual-clutch gearboxes could become the only option across the M lineup.

Van Meel noted that manuals still have a strong fan base, and said the company would not take away something the customer wants to have.

That comes as somewhat inevitable news for the dedicated self-shifter.

Sales data shows that manual transmissions make up about 5 per cent of BMW’s total M vehicle sales – as many purists convert over to the latest self-shifting technology.

We may also now be looking at the cooling of at least one front in the power war, with van Meel confirming that the 447kW produced by the special M5 Jahre is the most we’ll see for a while. He confirmed that BMW M cars will go forward with a cap on overall horsepower, though it isn’t exactly a small figure.

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He didn’t give the most informative of answers, simply stating “We’re at the limit”. It’s expected to use an upgraded version of the 4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V-8 from the current M5, and arrive in calendar-year 2017 as a 2018 model.

BMW's Frank van Meel doesn't see a stickshift in BMW's M cars much longer