BMW M2 likely to be the last M car offered with a manual gearbox

BMW M2 | October 20th, 2017 by 16
BMW M2 M Performance 61 830x553

BMW M vice president Dirk Hacker told Autocar that market demand for driver-focused cars will ensure the manual remains an option. “The M2 is tracking …

BMW M vice president Dirk Hacker told Autocar that market demand for driver-focused cars will ensure the manual remains an option.

“The M2 is tracking at 40-50% above our expectation in terms of sales, with almost half of buyers specifying a manual,” he told Autocar. “Demand for cars like the M2, which is probably our purest M product today, has surprised us, and that opens opportunities for building more extreme cars, in the vein of GTS and CSL heritage models.”

bmw manual transmission 750x500

But at the same time, Hacker confirmed the M2 is likely to be the last M car offered with a manual gearbox.

“I like manual very much, but the take up rate from customers on cars other than the M2 is just going down. The fact is that a double clutch gearbox delivers better performance and efficiency.”

In our conversation with BMW M CEO Frank Van Meel also stated that the future of manuals is based upon the take rate, and so far, that’s only high within the M2 customer base and mostly in the US. If the rate continues to decline, which seems to be the trend across M products, the future of no-manual M cars is finally upon us.

16 responses to “BMW M2 likely to be the last M car offered with a manual gearbox”

  1. Kaisuke971 says:

    Here we go again. People are crying all over the place “Oh why no more manuals” but when the car comes out with both options they’re like “nice but i’ll get the auto”… When the manufacturer drops it because there is basically no point in offering it though back to crying

    Same thing happened to the Lancer Evo, when Mitsubishi was begging for help no one bought it talking about “I’d rather have x car” but as soon as they stopped making it then everyone complained. Shit the Viper was kinda like that too, “too raw” for the same folks complaining that newer cars are disconnected and too soft lmao

    • Joe Dababnih says:

      You’re right. But the article said 40-50% of M2’s are ordered in manual. I’m sure they will always have specialty/niche cars that come out with manuals for at least next 5-10 years…after that, there probably won’t be too many more people that still no how to drive manuals, at least in the US.

  2. Marcus Canada says:

    BMW is really going the route of Mercedes Benz and leaving the true car enthusiasts to companies like Porsche> It’s a shame really but you can’t change their new business model that it’s all about Marketing and market share needed to survive.

    This is what Porsche states about manuals in 2016 :

    That’s not going to be the case at Porsche, however, with the company acknowledging that manual gearboxes still have an emotional appeal that far outweighs their technical limitations. Erhard Mössle, Porsche’s engineering boss for the 911 Turbo, Carrera 4, and Targa, was happy to reassure us that we’ll be seeing manual-equipped 911s for the foreseeable future.

    “It’s a unique selling proposition for Porsche to have a manual in the 911 range, and I think we will fight for that as long as possible,” he told us. “Even if it’s only 10 percent of the market, it’s important for some customers and for some markets, especially the U.S., to have that kind of gearbox.”

    • disqus_d4cEcykOJC says:

      So true car enthusiasts are demanding corporate sedan platforms & rebadged VW SUVs, are they? And 4 cyls. rather than 6? Stopped following them when they killed the 928 for the decades old 911.

      • Marcus Canada says:

        Wow, its pretty obvious you have never driven, owned or even been within stepping distance of a new Panamera, 911, Cayenne or Macan, LOL!

        • disqus_d4cEcykOJC says:

          Wrong! Have never owned one ($$$) but used to work @ a volume dealer – new dealership, couldn’t handle their volume as brand expanded beyond sports cars. Like I said, gave up after 928. Haven’t trusted VAG in general for a while. Aside from BMW, Germans bore me. Tried to road test most recent new Golf, introductory promo. model was never available due to factory recall. If it even existed outside of p.r…

  3. Joshua Stein says:

    Sad to see this, i wonder how many people actually buy the manual in new M cars even more, but i guess it makes sense in the US, less than 3% of cars sold are stick shift

    • Vind Rama says:

      3% overall yes. But it’s higher in these kind of cars. I live in the US. 6 of my coworkers drive a newer BMW M series car. 5 of them are manual, including a BMW M4. This article says 50% of the sales are manual.

  4. jason bourne says:

    Every BMW that I’ve driven for the past 30 years has had a manual tranny… If BMW drops them from their line, I’ll be looking somewhere else for my next car.

  5. Distiller says:

    It’s complex. (1) — especially the M Division should always offer a manual option on their smaller cars. (2) — BUT the move to automatic gearboxes is understandable. Aside from the simply comfort question downsizing of engines has resulted in relatively small and highly charged engines which have a problematic characteristic when driven in average traffic, and the heavier the car and the smaller displacement the engine has the worse. Now manufacturers start supporting these engines with e-motors, and integrating all that in a manual gearbox setup is not easy. Manuals will most likely survive in light sporty vehicles of the upper market segment, since even there dual-clutches with e-motor support will be standard for consumption/CO2 test cyle reasons. Manuals in heavy vehicles with powerful engines are not a total pleasure to drive in every day driving, so no loss there.

    Back to BMW: I hope the new Z4 will have a manual option.

  6. tom says:

    Numerous articles mention the demise of the manual transmission, but there is rarely any discussion of the real advantages of old-fashioned manual transmissions with a manual, foot-operated clutch. Most articles that discuss the subject at all are written by people who learned to drive on an automatic, who are impressed by he control afforded by manu-matics, but who have never actually learned to drive a car with a clutch. They assume that it’s all about the 0-60 time, or else just some silly nostalgia thing. It isn’t either. It is not about nostalgia, and it certainly is not about the 0-60 time. Occasionally I will ask someone whether they realize that when they apply hard braking to slow a car down quickly but do so with disengaging the engine from the transmission, that they are using the vehicle brakes to force the engine to slow down, unnecessarily, and that this increases brake temperature and fade, increases brake wear, diminishes breaking ability and even increases tire wear. Usually, I get just a blank look from a person who has never considered this and who doesn’t quite know what I’m saying. When the clutch is engaged (and the transmission is not in neutral) the angular momentum of the spinning engine effectively adds to the momentum of the car, the net effect being that the car your trying to slow down is in effect several hundred pounds heavier than the car actually is. The ability to put the transmission in neutral helps potentially, but not so much in reality, because it does not become a part of routine driving habit the same way that occurs with a manually-operated clutch. Dual-clutch transmissions actually have one fewer clutch than they ought to have.

  7. Sidney Highfield says:

    I will stick to older BMW’s then. I won’t buy an automatic. Anyone who has been in the market for a used E46 or E36 knows that the used market is filled with broken auto trans cars and people trying to unload SMG equipped cars on a poor sucker who will be stuck with an expensive heavy paperweight. Better to get a used E36 or E46 M3 or 330 and spend the money to restore and rebuild it. It won’t be worth what you have in it, but if you did it because that’s what you want to drive, it doesn’t matter. Auto front wheel drives… makes me sick.

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