BMW will not follow its adversaries in dropping manuals from its most hardcore models, for however long there are petrol engines to mate them to.
While Mercedes-AMG no longer offers manuals, its arch-rival – BMW’s M division – will keep on offering them until the end of the decade, provided demand remains.
“You don’t need to be afraid of the manual going away,” BMW M boss Frank van Meel told.
“The manual is, unfortunately, not so widespread anymore. It’s more in the segments of the M2 and M3, and the M4. And for those cars, we continue offering the manual, and those cars will run for a long time until the end of this decade.”
The new M2 has just barely been uncovered and will allegedly live until 2030, while the current M3 and M4 will apparently live until around 2028.
BMW says if demand for three-pedal versions of each proceeds, it’ll keep producing them.
Timo Resch, VP of customer, brand sales for BMW M, said the division’s engineers have stood up against its proceeded with availability, contending manual Ms aren’t quite as quick as their auto counterparts, yet there’s actually demand from clients.
“We said that’s what our customers asked for. And we really actively listened to our customers, to our fan base. The fans asked for it. They got it,” said Mr Resch.
The new M2 will be the last non-electrified product launch for BMW M as it enters a new electrified era, proclaimed by the plug-in hybrid V8-powered XM. The next M5 is expected to share this powertrain.
The division is likewise expected to launch its first electric vehicles, with a prototype of an electric M3/M4 counterpart having been seen.
Mr van Meel precluded plug-in hybrid powertrains for more modest BMW M vehicles, in any case, proposing the next M2 is probably going to be full-electric.
“A plug-in hybrid in a small car might be a difficult issue because plug-in hybrids need to have sufficient power, even if the electric part is not available,” said Mr van Meel.
“If your base engine is not strong enough, then a plug-in hybrid makes no sense.”
The recently uncovered M2 will keep on offering a decision of manual or automatic transmissions: a six-speed for the former, and an eight-speed torque-converter for the latter.
The M3 and M4 offer a six-speed manual, however just with a lower-output version of their twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder engine.
This engine produces 353kW of power and 550Nm of torque, while the automatic Competition models bump these figures to 375kW and 650Nm.