BMW To Drop Manual Transmission From U.S.-spec 2 Series Coupe

Here’s something that has been apparent for some time now: an increasing number of automakers are falling out of love with the stick shift. Not only does it cost a lot of money to develop two transmission options for a car, but the manual is Victorian technology in the age of high-tech automatics.
BMW 2 Series Coupe 11 photos
Photo: BMW
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McLaren, for example, started out with manual transmissions for its road-going cars (i.e. F1), then changed its mind by 180 degrees with the advent of the 12C. Ferrari abandoned the good ol’ stick shift altogether, and now, BMW is planning on streamlining its development costs by cutting down on models offered with manuals. The 2 Series Coupe for the U.S. market is one of the models that will soon have to make do with an auto.

According to chief financial officer Nicolas Peter, the move will help the Bavarian automaker focus its development money in other departments and for other interests. One of the latter comes in the form of hybridization and electrification, a push for eco-friendly models BMW is getting really serious about. In fact, The Truth About Cars reports that 12 percent of the manufacturer’s fleet by 2020 is going electric, a tall order by all accounts.

China is an important market for BMW’s ambitions in the hybrid and electric realms, a market where the company has seen double-digit growth as sales in the U.S. stagnate. What’s more, the People’s Republic is interested in such vehicles because of the Asian country’s ever-growing environmental problems. The worsening air quality is a tell-tale case in point.

It should be mentioned that the most extreme variant of the 5 Series has also ditched the manual in favor of a ZF-developed eight-speed automatic. Changes brought forth by the F90 M5 also include a performance-oriented derivative of the xDrive system, which can change to rear-wheel-drive at the touch of a button if the driver intends to pull off some serious drifts.
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About the author: Mircea Panait
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After a 1:43 scale model of a Ferrari 250 GTO sparked Mircea's interest for cars when he was a kid, an early internship at Top Gear sealed his career path. He's most interested in muscle cars and American trucks, but he takes a passing interest in quirky kei cars as well.
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