If BMW M2 is last M Division manual, get one now

BMW M2, News | October 20th, 2017 by 48
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We’ve recently learned that the BMW M2 may very well be the last BMW M Division product to have a manual transmission. The lack of …

We’ve recently learned that the BMW M2 may very well be the last BMW M Division product to have a manual transmission. The lack of customer demand and the increase in both performance and efficiency of automatic transmissions have made the manual gearbox obsolete. The only argument to keep the manual is an emotional one. Enthusiasts simply enjoy driving with three pedals, rather than two. The problem is that automakers can’t justify the manual ‘box on just sentiment alone. So it seems that BMW M could be looking to rid itself of manuals after this current-gen M2 is gone.

If that’s the case, we’ll be disappointed but understanding, as the drop of manuals does make business sense. However, it does raise a question — will manual BMW M2s become collectors items in the future?

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Just like the E92 M3’s naturally-aspirated engine, a last for the M3, makes it highly desirable among enthusiasts, it’s certainly possible that the BMW M2 could rise in second-hand demand in future, as it will be the last BMW M product enthusiasts can get with a manual. That could very realistically drive values up and, if that’s the case, it might make sense to get your M2 now.

Buying a BMW M2 now might be a great way to own a sports car for a few years with virtually no cost and might actually turn a profit. If you buy an M2 now, drive it relatively lightly over the next couple of years, its value might increase past its original MSRP but it’s almost certainly going to hover around its original cost. A good example of that is the BMW 1 Series M. That car is worth quite a bit more than its original price, at the moment. So buyers who got in brand-new have been able to own one of BMW’s finest modern sports cars and have been able to make a profit from those few years of joy. At very worst, they sell it and break-even, meaning that those few years of brilliant 1M ownership cost those owners nothing, in terms of value. The only thing they’ve lost is in insurance, gas and maintenance.

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So if you’re thinking about buying a BMW M2, do it. If you’re debating on whether or not to get a manual or DCT, it’s no question — buy the manual.

48 responses to “If BMW M2 is last M Division manual, get one now”

  1. Ask says:

    I don’t know how to drive a manual car, should i still buy one?

    • Horatiu B. says:

      You can always learn, right?

    • As Horatiu said, learn and buy one. The fun of driving a manual is well worth it.

    • FoggyAgave says:

      Yes, yes you should ^^

    • expat says:

      Sport cars should be driven in a sporty manner. That means, the driver should, as much as possible, be involved in the operation of a car. And that includes the operation of the clutch pedal and the gear shift. Period!

      • disqus_d4cEcykOJC says:

        Not according to Ferrari.

      • David Karpf says:

        I agree completely with expat. I have only owned manual transmission cars, from my first 1971 2002 (that I bought used in 1973) to my 98 E36 M3 sedan (bought new in 12/1997) that was my daily commute (up to 53 miles each way for 7 years) for 20 years. Now I’m driving a 2010 6-speed E63 M6, purchased 3 months ago with 61K miles, but only 8000 on a new engine (normally aspirated V10, 507 bhp), transmission & clutch. Hopefully, I will never own a DTC car (the M6 may be my last, assuming it lasts as long as my M3, which has 188K miles and is still a blast to drive with original clutch, engine and transmission).

    • Arunabh says:

      Get a Honda car with manual gearbox to learn.

      You will be grinning ear to ear once you get hold of it.

  2. Vind Rama says:

    Didn’t they just announce last month that they will offer a manual transmission on the M series for the foreseeable future?


  3. ZeroCold says:

    I pick up my new 2018 M2 tomorrow. I ordered DCT. I have no desire to rack through the gears having to use a clutch each time with all of the traffic I sometimes drive in. I will drive the DCT in manual mode though. Best of both worlds as far as I’m concerned.

    • Vind Rama says:

      I don’t know. The DCT in manual mode is good but it’s just not the same to me. Also when I drive a DCT in manual mode people ask me why bother, just put it in drive. I drive a manual in stop and go traffic daily during my 35 mile commute but it never bothered me, but I guess that’s me. Maybe it’s just individual taste.

    • Jaysebas says:

      i have an m235 in auto and i hate it. i have 7 months on the lease and cannoy wait to turn this car in.

      theres no better feeling than to have a manual gear box and be part of driving the car. This is a feeling i lost with the m235 auto. if yoy still have a chance get it in manual. the whole driving in traffic is a BS excuse. i live in the tri state area and when i go thru down nyc with my evo, s2000 or forester it does not bother me at all.

    • expat says:

      You´re just kidding yourself. With A/T you get lazy very quickly and you soon forget about the manual mode. Guaranteed! You are making mistake!

      • bmw driver says:

        After 1 year of daily driving my DCT M2 in manual mode (except for highway cruising, and while the car is warming up) I’d say you have no idea what you’re talking about but thanks for your opinion. As soon as my car warms up, it’s in sport+ and manual.

  4. Beamerdaddy says:

    I don’t do the dishes manual anymore, nor the laundry and I have a 4K HD TV. I don’t get it. Even as an european driver I switched to automatic a long time ago. Currently driving M4 F82 Convertible with DCS. Innovation drives a true BMW.

    • Edward says:

      Why should anyone do the “manual” chore of steering the wheel and pressing on the brake/gas too? Let the robocar sort it all out. It knows the best driving line and also optimal throttle/brake inputs.

      Sit back and enjoy the ride.

    • Vind Rama says:

      Nothing wrong with the DCT. Some people prefer it, but some of us prefer manuals. There is no wrong choice but it can’t really be compared to doing dishes or laundry manually. By that logic, as Edward said, we should have robocars since they can do steering, braking, and throttling better. That’ll be even better innovation.

      • Yes, we should. Because not all parts of driving are fun. You automate the boring parts and choose to take over manually for the parts that are actually fun. And to do that you car needs to be automatic to start with and have manual control as an option, which exactly describes the situation with automatic transmissions right now.

        • Vind Rama says:

          Yes. That’s true, but for some of us the manual control in automatics is not good enough and we find an actual manual transmission to be more fun, which is why manual transmission is still offered as an option in some sports cars.

          • The problem is that the time comes where there is simply not enough money in the market to be able to develop a new manual transmission to fit the rest of changes in the drivetrain, so offering a manual option would actually mean losing money for the company. And this is an indicator that they think that this is coming pretty close to that.

          • Vind Rama says:

            Sure. But if the take rate is high might as well. The take rate on the M2 seems high. They could make it a no cost option too if money is really a problem. Right now I think the manual is $2,900 less than the DCT in the US for the M2, M3, and M4.

          • You have to look at the whole company. There are two versions of automatic gearbox with some variations and basically one manual gearbox. The automatics drive the vast majority of the cars.

            If there are 10 000 people buying a BMW car every year that would go away just because of the manual no longer being available and development of a new manual costs 10 million over 10 years, then manual must be priced at at least 1000 – 2000 $ *more* than automatic for it to be remotely viable. At some point the lost sales get compensated by the simplification of the manufacturing process and of the supply chain.

          • Vind Rama says:

            I wouldn’t mind paying even $3,000 more for a good manual transmission. I’ve also noticed most European luxury car companies still offer many models with a manual transmission, which I’m assuming is due to the popularity of manual transmission in Europe. When I went there last year an automatic was much more expensive to rent.

    • Julien says:

      It’s a very personal choice… no point in debating it … I like red and u like blue …
      The practical choice is auto so the industry is going auto…

  5. Jonh Smith says:

    why we can have both manual and dct, i know dct has its advantages but you can not force anyone to accept what they do not like, i like manuals but I do not force anyone to drive a manual if they do not like it

    ps: I know why they want to kill manual is because of costs

    • Max says:

      Because of costs?! A manual isn’t more expensive. But yes it makes no sense (costs more) to develop both if only 5% of the customers buy it. But that is not about being greedy – it is just an economic decision which is necessary to stay competitive as a company..

      • Vind Rama says:

        But the previous article mentioned the take rate was 50%, not 5%.

      • expat says:

        As I indicated elsewhere….first you stop developing the manual gearbox untill people stop buing it and then blame it on poor sales…….how clever….

        • Max says:

          Don’t see where they did this? And the world is not we rare enthusiasts, it’s many many people that will never track their cars nor drive very sporty at all. They just focus on other things. And also, a lot of the enthusiast don’t even buy a new car because they can’t afford it and so they don’t do anything to keep the take rates high. Heck many people don’t even own any car at all they just use car sharing. The world is changing. We have to accept that…unfortunately. I love my old E30 325i, that’s pure driving but I know that this will be gone.

          • Vind Rama says:

            I’m an enthusiast and so far I’ve bought only new manual transmission cars. I wouldn’t buy used unless I really had to (ie new model didn’t offer a manual transmission.)

        • Vind Rama says:

          What’s worse is that some cars offer manual transmission only on the lowest end stripped down models. Wanna add any options? You need to get an automatic. Those models have poor sales and then they discontinue them saying oh look no one wants a manual transmission.

          • To develop a manual transmission that can handle high loads takes many millions of dollars. If there is not enough demand for specifically that option, then it is a loss to make such an option. And a lot of new options are simply impossible on manual, such as adaptive cruise control and parking assist.

          • Vind Rama says:

            The funny thing is I’ve seen both features on manual transmission vehicles. For example Chevy SS manual transmission also has parking assist. My friend’s Golf has adaptive cruise control and a manual transmission. My new car which is manual transmission has autonomous emergency braking and auto start stop. Could have even got adaptive cruise control if I paid extra.

          • Parking assist drives your car into the parkings spot alternating between forward and reverse gears. Without automatic such feature is impossible.

            Adaptive cruise has to be able to slow the car down to a stop and start moving again without intervention. Impossible on manual.

            How does the emergency braking not kill your engine if it does not have the ability do disengage the gear? This feature activates roughly 2-3 times per month on my car. Would be a real engine killer without automatic.

          • Vind Rama says:

            It controls steering but yea you need to change gear yourself. It tells you when to though. I saw the YouTube video. Ok yes full parking assist isn’t there. Adaptive cruise control on manual transmissions works above 15-25 mph depending on car. Yes it doesn’t work with stop and go. But not all cars (even automatics) that have adaptive cruise control have full start and stop feature. And if my car stalls during aeb I just press the clutch and it restarts itself.

            Anyways someone who wants a manual transmission probably wouldn’t really care as much about having the full versions of those features.

      • Dennis m2 says:

        Well, in the Netherlands the manual is €7000 more expensive then a dct.
        Dct is standard and manual an option.

  6. Max says:

    Yes! Will do so! Let’s see if I can get one next year.
    And I strongly believe this will keep its value forever! At least as long as we are allowed to drive petrol cars…

  7. expat says:

    The problem with the BMW manual is a poor design of the gear change mechanism and the gearbox itself. That in turn gives a poor gear change feel.
    I´m absolutely certain, that if BMW had a gear change feel as good as Honda or Mazda, they would sell a lot more manuals.
    Trouble is, that BMW has given up on development and improvement of the manual transmission a long time ago and hence it´s no surprise that a manual doesn´t sell. In the age of advanced electronics they had a numerous options to make the manual gearbox a user friendly. They choose not to. Pity!

    • bmw driver says:

      LOL you are absolutely right, but you’re wasting your time. Manual purists are the vegans of the car world. Insisting that a rubbery, long shifter, that can’t even match a basic spec Honda from any generation, is somehow the key to driving nirvana and that if you don’t want a frustrating, sloppy experience (or the fun of paying to modify your shifter) somehow you are the problem. The sad truth is BMW manuals have been meh at best since the E36.

      • Vind Rama says:

        I agree. BMW should improve. I’ve driven Audi manual transmission cars and it’s very smooth. I think Toyota just patented an improvement for the manual gearbox.

    • Developing a new manual costs a LOT of money, especially a sports manual that can handle 500+ hp. And if there only a few people buying them, it is simply not worth the money. Better invest the effort im making automatics work better for everyone.

  8. disqus_d4cEcykOJC says:

    BMW spent over $3 billion in advertising in 2016, apparently rwd. stick is good p.r. @ a fraction of the cost.

  9. disqus_d4cEcykOJC says:

    “If…”, “…may very well be…”, “…could be…”, “…could…”, “…could…”, “…might…”, “…might…”, “…might…”, “…might…”.

  10. Manual is an obsolete antique that is a detriment to actually enjoying driving the car. Avoid at all costs. If you actually think that you know better than a computer how to manage dozens of dynamically changing non-linear parameters involved in the gear shift decision – get automatic with paddles and you will be able to manually shift gears at any time. No modern race car has a clutch pedal, why should your M?

    • Robert Lee says:

      Fine maybe it’s faster but it’s not as rewarding. I find manuals a lot more fun than paddle shifters. How about this, I’ll keep my manuals. You keep your paddle shifting automatics. No point in arguing. Get what makes you happy.

  11. Evan Finch says:

    Why bother buying a rear-wheel-drive BMW M car. It’s a frivolous item that hurts our environment far more than necessary, will cost far more to run over time than other dishwashers and has traction issues in winter climates without special, expensive tires.

    Oh wait. It’s because you want one. Well, I want a manual. So shut your mouth, lazy hypocrites who’ve probably never had a car sideways. I had my manual BMW sideways five times on the way home in the rain today.

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