The upcoming BMW M3 will have some rather stiff competition to face. The outgoing model – which is no longer available in some markets – has been given a lukewarm welcome into the world, only to be praised once again when the Competition Package was unveiled. Some, however, said that BMW M lost its mojo and that cars like the Alfa Romeo Giulia QV are actually better both on and off the track than the M3.
The future car is currently being developed and in this early stage of engineering, the people in Munich have some rather hard decisions to make. Some rumors started floating online not long ago, saying that the new M3 might be turned all-wheel drive and that despite that, a choice for a manual gearbox might still be alive at this point. We certainly heard a lot of stories about the topic so we decided to check with our sources in Munich to see if they have any backing.
Lo and behold, these rumors are actually true. According to our own sources, BMW M is still considering a number of choices for the upcoming M3 and M4. Whereas the manual gearbox had seemed to be dead in the water due to the low demand and obvious performance drawbacks, it seems like BMW isn’t ready to drop it altogether. What seemed like a certainty not long ago, is now no longer seen as a sure thing.
BMW is also trying to figure out whether the car offered should be all-wheel drive or remain RWD as tradition dictates. At the moment, all possibilities are taken into account in meetings in Munich but if a manual choice is to be offered, chances are it won’t be with the M xDrive system as that’s made to work with the ZF 8-speed gearbox. Creating an all-wheel drive system from scratch to work with a manual gearbox might be too costly to develop and may take too long in the development process.
Furthermore, one could argue that the easiest way to go about sending power to the wheels would be with M xDrive and the automatic gearbox from ZF, especially since it can turn your car into a RWD model at the flick of a button. That would hit two birds with one stone but would leave those waiting for a manual option disappointed. No matter how the upcoming M3 turns out though, it’s good to see that some people are still fighting for manual cog shifters. Whether they will win this fight or not remains to be seen, but do let us know how you’d like the upcoming M3 and M4 to shape up in the comments section below.