Most cars are offering an automatic gearbox as standard in the premium segment. There is not even an option for the manual gearbox for enthusiasts or purists. In the case of higher performance offerings from brands like BMW’s M division, Mercedes-Benz’s AMG, etc., only automatic gearboxes are offered.
BMW M2, M3 & M4 to continue offering manual box
BMW is bucking this trend, and as per Frank van Meel, Head of BMW M, BMW will continue to offer a manual gearbox as an option on future M cars. Currently, M2, M3 and M4 performance cars do offer a manual gearbox option. This is likely to continue as long as customer demand is present.
According to Timo Resch, VP for customer, brand and sales, BMW M, convincing the engineering team to retain the manual gearbox was tricky. But, in the end, the carmaker listened to its customers. Fans of the manual gearbox conducted a “Save the manual” campaign across the globe with voting and petitions to keep the manual gearbox.
BMW M engine downsizing
BMW M cars will also not go for smaller-sized engines – namely the 3 and 4-cylinder options in a bid to stick to emission norms. Frank van Meel has said that performance division cars will continue to be offered with inline-six and V8 engine options.
Given the life cycle of these cars, the current-generation M2 is expected to be on sale till the end of 2030, while the M3 and M4 could be looking at an end-of-product cycle by 2028. This means that, at least till the next iteration of these models, the manual gearbox will be continued to be offered.
The current generation M2 is also the last of the M division cars to be available without hybrid assistance of any sort.