19 September 2007

M3 saloon to get flappy paddles?

Five-door version of BMW's V8 superstar will debut dual-clutch gearbox


The BMW M3 may be sold out in the UK for 2007, but next year will see the super-coupe continue its world assault at pace, with a whole stack of new technologies and variants on the way.

Chief among these will be a new dual-clutch gearbox similar to VW's DSG system. Featuring seven forward gears and controlled by either a shift lever or - more enticingly - flappy paddles on the steering wheel, the gearbox will likely be called the M DCT and should roll out to other models in BMW's line-up throughout the year.

Those of you with an itchy left foot, worry not - the M3 will still be available with the standard six-speed manual.

The dual-clutch 'box is likely to debut in the five-door M3 saloon. That's expected to make its motor show bow early next year in Detroit, but the much-rumoured convertible version could still be a little way away.

But even the Cabrio should arrive before the CSL version of the M3. There's no firm word from BMW that a lightweight version is in the pipeline, but insiders say that it could be on the roads by early 2009.


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