BMW has been using the dual-clutch transmission (DCT) in a lot of its M Performance cars to great success but we have seen a recent shift to traditional torque-converter transmissions.
Owners of DCT-equipped M cars absolutely loved it for its rapid-fire shifts, ease of use in traffic and added theatre over a traditional automatic. When the F90 M5 jumped ship to a conventional, torque-converter eight-speed automatic from ZF, fans were a bit disappointed.
Yes the ZF eight-speed is a sublime piece of engineering with lightning-fast and silky smooth shifts so fitting it to the super sedan known as the M5 makes perfect sense.
BMW M has slowly phased out the much-loved DCT and it is now entirely gone and it will never make a return.
For the foreseeable future, all self-shifting transmission will be traditional torque-converter automatics of some kind; be it the current ZF eight-speed or an updated unit.
While there are whispers about the decision being made due to torque, with some rumours that modern DCTs can’t handle the torque of new M cars, they are not accurate. The real reason is that the ZF eight-speed is more efficient and easier to calibrate for ultimate efficiency. That is the world we live in today folks. Efficiency is more important than almost all else in today’s automotive climate and the DCT is a casualty of the times.