BMW DCT Transmission: The Advantages and Benefits of Double Clutch Transmission

BMWUX > BMW Performance and Technology > BMW Performance > BMW 7-Speed M Double-Clutch Transmission (DCT) with DriveLogic – The Complete Guide

What is the 7-speed M Double-Clutch Transmission (DCT)?

The 7-Speed M  BMW Double-Clutch Transmission (DCT) was first introduced on November 1st, 2008 by BMW M Gmbh. BMW was the world’s first car maker to propose the 7-Speed DCT gearbox for the M division. It ensures optimal gearshift, provides more dynamic acceleration and reduces fuel consumption.

The Complete Guide to the BMW 7-Speed M Double-Clutch Transmission with DriveLogic Engine
BMW 7 Speed M Double Clutch Transmission DCT with Drivelogic

The 7-speed M Double-Clutch Transmission (DCT) in a Glance

  • History of the 7-speed M Double-Clutch Transmission (DCT)
  • BMW DriveLogic
  • BMW Drivetrain
  • BMW Dry Sump Lubrication
  • BMW 7-Speed M DCT’s Extra M Functions
  • 7-Speed Sport Automatic DCT for Non-M Models

History of the 7-speed M Double-Clutch Transmission (DCT)

DCT comes from BMW’s Motorsports, where on the race track, every tenth of a second is critical for the win.

Debuted first in the M3 Coupe, Sedan, and Convertible, the Performance Option 7-Speed Double-Clutch Transmission is currently priced at $2,900 and is available for the new M models like the M3 and M4.

The 7-speed M DCT is the BMW transmission system that allows for fast gear change. It is capable of reaching 9,000 RPM without interference to the tractive forces like power and traction.

The Complete Guide to the BMW 7-Speed M Double-Clutch Transmission with DriveLogic
The Complete Guide to the BMW 7-Speed M Double-Clutch Transmission with DriveLogic

BMW DriveLogic

The BMW 7-speed M DCT system has a built-in feature called DriveLogic. It allows the driver to choose and customize between different automatic or manual shift modes.

BMW DriveLogic’s Customizable Automatic and Manual Modes

There are three options for gear change with the 7-speed M DCT with DriveLogic. It allows the driver to shift manually or automatically:

  • Paddle Shifters on the steering wheel
  • The Shift Lever
  • Automatic Mode for dynamic comfort (when you are in Drive (D) mode)

BMW M DCT DriveLogic’s 11 Drive Setting

With 11 drive settings available on the M DCT with DriveLogic, you can choose either the Drive Mode or the Sequential Mode. Settings can vary depending on the driving and the rev speed when each gear is activated.

Examples of the M DCT with DriveLogic drive settings:

  • D1 setting: The driver can pull off in second gear, and the clutch becomes very light
  • D5 setting: Allows the driver to achieve the highest acceleration. The vehicle only changes to a higher gear just before the engine reaches the maximum numbers of revolution
  • S mode: The sportiest setting. The dynamic clutch control creates a direct traction with the manual transmission for dynamic driving styles
  • S6 mode: This is the Launch Control function in the manual transmission under the DriveLogic setting. It allows the vehicle to pull off at maximum speed from a standing stop while adjusting the starting rotary speed when the driver presses on the gas

BMW Drivetrain

The drivetrain is a collection of parts including the transmission, the driveshaft, the axels, and the wheels. It was originally developed in Motorsports where two separate drivetrains, each with its own clutch, continuously transfer engine power to the rear wheels.

Drivetrain Gear Change

In the BMW drivetrain system, one of the drivetrains is set for the even gears (2,4,6) while the other drivetrain is set for the odd gears (1,3,5,7).

For example, when changing gears from the second to the third gear, the third gear would first be engaged in the inactive drivetrain. So, when disengaged from the second gear by switching up, the third gear is already next in position. By overlapping the clutch and declutch, the transmission of power remains uninterrupted.

The entire gear changing process happens within a matter of milliseconds where each upshift in gear increases the speed at a steady rate.

Drivetrain Cooling

High thermal heat loads typically develop in the drivetrain in a high-performance sports car. The engine oil is kept within the optimum temperature range. It is not just cooled via the engine’s cooling water circuit. Instead, an additional oil and air cooler are installed to help avoid excessively high temperatures inside the M Double-Clutch Transmission.

The Complete Guide to the BMW 7-Speed M Double-Clutch Transmission with DriveLogic drivetrain
The Complete Guide to the BMW 7-Speed M Double-Clutch Transmission with DriveLogic Dry Sump

BMW Dry Sump Lubrication

The drivetrain clutches are controlled by an integrated hydraulic module. Dry sump lubrication guarantees reliability and maintenance-free function throughout the life of the car.

Dry sump lubrication is the lubricating motor oil management method that increases oil capacity located in a remote reservoir. Basically, the oil is stored off of the engine and not in the oil pan. It helps to increase the engine reliability from the consistent oil pressure.

The dry sump allows the engine to be positioned much lower in the chassis, thus increasing the horsepower and cooler oil.

BMW 7-Speed M DCT’s Extra M Functions

Based on the regulated Launch Control setting, the M DCT provides two additional functions to aid in the safety of the vehicle. They are the Stability Clutch Control and the Low Speed Assistant.

  • Stability Clutch Control: When the car is understeering, the Stability Clutch Control will open the clutch and transfer weight to bring the car back in line
  • Low Speed Assistant: The M DCT allows the car to accelerate at a slow, snail speed when the driver taps on the gas pedal. This is useful when the driver needs to slowly park the car

How does the M DCT work with other BMW M settings to increase performance? Refer to our Complete Guide to the BMW M Button.

The Complete Guide to the BMW 7-Speed M Double-Clutch Transmission with DriveLogic
The Complete Guide to the BMW 7-Speed M Double-Clutch Transmission with DriveLogic

7-Speed Sport Automatic DCT for Non-M Models

The non-M models also have a similar version of transmission to the M DCT – the Sport Automatic Dual Clutch Transmission.

This automatic DCT includes two drivetrains, one for the even gears and the other for the odd gears. Just like how the M DCT works, the switching of gears happens in a matter of milliseconds when the driver needs fast acceleration.

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