MUNICH -- Klaus Draeger, BMWs development chief, is turning to automatic transmissions and away from dual-clutch assemblies for the automakers high-volume model lines.
The eight-speed automatic that we developed with ZF can compete with dual-clutch transmissions on shifting times, but its lighter and more efficient and has cost advantages, he said. The incompatibility with high engine-speed designs is a disadvantage, however.
Draeger said dual-clutch transmissions are complex, expensive and heavy, especially for cars with longitudinally mounted engines and rear-wheel drive.
BMW offers dual clutch transmissions in sporty versions of its 3 Series coupes and the Z4 Roadster.
ZF Friedrichshafen designed the eight-gear automatic for cars with rear- and all-wheel-drive.
Later this year, the transmission will go into BMW and Audi vehicles. It also features an optional start-stop system.