Many enthusiasts will argue that to fully experience a vehicle and feel more “connected” with the machine, you must get a manual transmission, claiming that an automatic transmission is simply too “boring.” However, I strongly disagree.

G82 BMW M4: Manual vs. Automatic Transmission

I had the privilege of driving both gearbox variants of the G82 BMW M4, and I can confidently say that the M4 Competition xDrive with the 8-speed (ZF) GM8HP76Z M-Sport Steptronic automatic gearbox is significantly quicker, more enjoyable to drive, much more practical, and downright monstrous compared to the M4 6-speed (ZF) GS6-45BZ manual gearbox. However, it’s worth noting that the manual gearbox features a very helpful “Gear-Shift Assistant” feature, which you can configure via the M-Setup button, allowing the engine speed to adapt to the next gear and essentially eliminating the need to rev-match. How cool is that?

Which Transmission is Better for the G82 BMW M4?

Both models can accelerate from 0-60 mph in under 4 seconds. However, you simply cannot depress the clutch and shift gears faster than the electronic transmission control module’s execution of arithmetic operations. When both variants are set to Sport Plus for Drivetrain, Sport Plus for Chassis, Sport for Steering, and Sport for Braking, the xDrive automatic M4 feels like riding a bike— a very fast, comfortable, expensive, and loud bike. It provides an incredibly fluid, responsive, and downright enjoyable driving experience. You push the accelerator to the floor, steer, and use the paddle shifters, and you are almost teleported to your desired destination. It’s also worth mentioning that the BMW M4 with M xDrive offers three different power delivery settings: 4WD, 4WD Sport, and RWD.

The manual M4 can be challenging to get going from 1st gear, and there is always the thought in the back of your mind that if you release the clutch too quickly, you might stall. However, the manual transmission is a lot of fun, and it provides a sense of connectedness with the machine and the road that cannot be replicated with an automatic. That being said, ZF really hit the nail on the head with the 8-speed automatic gearbox. It is truly remarkable.

G82 BMW M4 Launch Control: The Ultimate Driving Experience

Regardless of the gearbox or the presence of a transfer case, both models offer the exhilarating “Launch Control” mode, or as I like to call it, the “Roller Coaster” mode. Now, I’ve never experienced being strapped to a Falcon 9 rocket ship, but let me tell you that the xDrive automatic M4 Launch Control will certainly propel you in the back of your seat.

The G82 BMW M4 Competition xDrive, equipped with Pirelli P-Zero Run-Flat Tires (285 rear/ 275 front) from the factory, will not lose traction in rain, sleet, or snow. It is guaranteed to put a smile on your face. You can even tell your therapist you’re breaking up with them. All you need are the keys to this car, and it will seemingly make all your problems vanish into thin air, along with rubber and hydrocarbons.