Many of our members know that I love manual transmissions.
Yes, DCT is faster and technically superior, but everytime BMW hints at a future with fewer manual offerings (due to low take rates), it makes me cringe.
For manual BMW fans, there may be hope yet! A knock against manual transmissions now is fuel consumption (compared to the latest autos). With 7, 8 or even 9 gears, automatic and automated transmissions have an efficiency advantage as the extra gears allow for more economical gear ratios (think of really long 7th and 8th gears to improve MPG figures). A manual transmission cannot match this as the spacing of the gears for the shifter become too close to each other. But, we've now discovered a patent filed by BMW last year which shows that the company is exploring a manual transmission with 7 or more gears which solves these issues. Porsche by the way, also recently released a 7 speed manual in the new 911 (991).