The head of BMW’s M division has confirmed the upcoming M3 sedan and M4 coupé will each be available with a manual gearbox.
Speaking to BMWBlog, BMW M CEO Markus Flasch said although it was “a bit early to disclose all the details”, he could confirm manual and automatic transmissions would be offered.
“Something I want to highlight is that we will have a manual stick shift. We have already disclosed we will have the option of four-wheel drive,” he said.
“We’ve not decided which variant, which system, but everything that’s on our current line-up – think of the M5 – can be made available. The M3 and M4, I’ve driven the pre-production cars already and they’re fantastic,” Flasch added.
Of course, back in early 2017, BMW South Africa stopped bringing in the three-pedal versions of its M3 and M4. Whether the upcoming models will be offered in manual locally remains to be seen.
According to this latest report, the G80-generation M3 will be revealed towards the middle of 2020. There will reportedly be a rear-wheel-drive model (offered in manual or automatic) and an all-wheel-drive variant (available exclusively in auto), plus a flagship Competition version of the latter.
Flasch went on to say the manual gearbox “is very important”.
“The manual stick shift is not a performance-bringer, because an automatic transmission is just faster … you can ask any race driver. But it gives the vehicle character and I kind of compare it to people who love mechanical watches; it isn’t more precise and it doesn’t have any advantage at all but it’s a character feature. So is a stick shift,” he said.
According to an earlier Autocar report, the twin-turbocharged 3,0-litre six-cylinder set to be used in the M3 and M4 will offer “more than” 375 kW (the figure managed by the flagship X3 M Competition and X4 M Competition variants).
Ryan has spent most of his career in online media, writing about everything from sport to politics and other forms of crime. But his true passion – reignited by a 1971 Austin Mini Mk3 still tucked lifeless in a dark corner of his garage – is of the automotive variety.