Next year will see the introduction of a couple of very interesting models. Apart from the 8 Series, which is being tracked every day on the Ring, we’ll also get to see the introduction of the BMW M2 Competition model. Known otherwise as the CS version of the M2, the new, enhanced model is bound to be launched in late 2018 with a market introduction happening in 2019 and it shows a lot of promise already. But will it be available with a manual transmission?

If we were to use the track-ready BMW M4 GTS and the BMW M4 CS as examples, a lot of us would definitely say a clear ‘No’ with a couple of rather obvious arguments, but a recent interview with Autocar gives us hope that the new M car will be available with a stick shift. Speaking to the British magazine, BMW M vice president Dirk Hacker had a couple of interesting things to point out.

Evolve BMW M2 GTS 35 830x505

“The M2 is tracking at 40-50% above our expectation in terms of sales, with almost half of buyers specifying a manual. 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. Any car that has true heritage to motorsport is an opportunity for us. New markets are always opening for those cars and that will increase, so long as we keep building cars that are sufficiently special,” he said.

Now, that’s not a guarantee that the new M2 will come with a manual gearbox, and BMW is known to often test different configurations of the same car. But the fact that the M2 is selling in big numbers with a manual gearbox, gives us hope. After all, this is the “purest M product today” and it would definitely be a shame if it wasn’t available with a manual gearbox, even as an option.