Dual Clutch Automatic Transmission

The dual clutch transmission uses two separate clutches with no clutch pedal. Since there is no clutch pedal, the clutches are controlled through hydraulics and advanced computer electronics. This is the same technology that you’d find in some of today’s newer automatic transmission vehicles.

Dual Clutch Automatic Transmission

The dual-clutch automatic is a development of the sequential manual transmission (SMT), which is essentially a fully automated manual transmission with a computer-controlled clutch, intended to deliver stick-shift performance with automatic convenience. A dual-clutch transmission (DCT) (sometimes referred to as a twin-clutch transmission) is a type of multi-speed vehicle transmission system, that uses two separate clutches for odd and even gear sets. The design is often similar to two separate manual transmissions with their respective clutches contained within one housing, and working as one.

Do you remember when BMW was self-described as the Ultimate Driving Machine? Those days are long gone but BMW still cranks out a few hits.

It's nevertheless clear that BMW's core demographic has changed, and thus the automaker has to put out a video explaining how to use its own dual-clutch transmission. While you have the likes of Honda instilling a love of the manual transmission, BMW needs to show you how to put one of its M cars in park.


The problem here, is that there is no 'Park' labeled anywhere near the gear selector. Instead, to engage Park you simply need to shut off the car. The transmission and computers will take care of the rest, and the notification in the gauge cluster will confirm that the BMW is indeed now shifted into Park.

Once you're back up and ready to move though, you may need help figuring out how to get going. Simply use the accelerator and drive away. The Ultimate Driving Machine has a gearbox that, despite occasionally behaving like a manual, is still very much an automatic at the same time. We should warn you that a DCT can occasionally deliver a chunky, uncomfortable experience as you pull away in first gear. It's not a BMW issue, but something associated with pretty much every dual-clutch transmission on the market. To solve this, you either roll away slowly until you're moving smoothly or floor it. There's no smoothness to be found with half stepping.

Finally, BMW has a system called Drivelogic. This allows you to select the ferocity and speed with which the gears are shifted. There's an easy to find button and each press increases the aggressiveness of the Drivelogic system. Archiveempty spaces the blog. There are four settings and a simple press of the aforementioned button brings you through each one on to the next.

Dual Clutch Transmission Explained

So if you're a fortunate car buyer with enough cash to acquire a BMW M car, you may also need some insight into how its transmission operates. To recap, you put it in Drive and use the throttle to move along. To put it in Park, just shut the car off. To truly reward yourself with a dynamic driving experience, turn the car back on, put it in Drive, then head over to your dealership and request a car with a manual gearbox.