Last week, we have exclusively reported on the next generation BMW G80 M3 and its manual transmission. In an interview with BMW M CEO Markus Flasch, we learned that the upcoming G80 M3 will retain the six-speed manual, in addition to the 8-speed automatic.

This week, Alvaro GD, a member of g20.bimmerpost, managed to snap some photos of an M3 prototype showing its three pedals. While the photo hasn’t captured the actual manual shifter, the extra pedal should be enough confirmation.

“[]it’s a bit early to disclose all the details but something I want to highlight is that we will have a manual stick shift,” Flasch told us. “We have already disclosed we will have the option of four-wheel drive. We’ve not decided which variant, which system, but everything that’s on our current lineup; think of the M5; can be made available. The M3 and M4, I’ve driven the pre-production cars already and they’re fantastic.”

Furthermore, the new M Boss is a true car enthusiast, therefore, the manuals could be saved under his reign.

“Manual is very important,” added Flasch. “The manual stick shift is not a performance-bringer, because an automatic transmission is just faster, you can ask any race driver. But it gives the vehicle character and I kind of compare it to people who love mechanical watches; it isn’t more precise and it doesn’t have any advantage at all but it’s a character feature. So is a stick shift. ”

The G80 M3 won’t make its official debut until mid-2020, which means it will go on sale as a 2021 model, but when it does, it will be powered by the new S58 engine with 473 hp as-standard. There will also be a competition model available at launch and that will pack the same engine but with 503 hp.