We were taken by surprise nearly a year ago when the M2 G87 configurator was launched in Germany and it showed the manual gearbox being offered at a premium compared to the automatic transmission. That hasn’t changed as customers still have to pay an additional €500 to get the clutch pedal over the Steptronic. BMW charges extra for the do-it-yourself gearbox in many other markets, but why is that the case?
Car Throttle decided to find out by asking the M man himself. In an interview with the media at the global launch of the i5, Frank van Meel explained why the six-speed M2 is going to set you back more than the eight-speed model. It all comes down to costs as BMW projects most people are going to buy the sports coupe with the Steptronic and only a few will get the three-pedal setup.
The mayor of M Town said it would’ve been easier for the company to make the car auto-only as that would’ve reduced development costs, especially since the M2 is the only 2 Series Coupe with a manual. At the same time, it would’ve also reduced complexity by selling the car with just one type of transmission. Consequently, Frank van Mell said: “For us, it’s quite an effort [to offer the 6MT].”
He went on to say the manual doesn’t make “real sense anymore” from an engineering standpoint because not only does it increase fuel consumption but it’s also slower than the automatic and reduces top speed. As to why BMW M decided to offer it despite these downsizes, the M head honcho said “it’s more like a heritage thing” and that the six-speed gearbox is more along the lines of a “special request.”
The interview didn’t touch on why the two gearboxes are available at no additional cost in the United States. It’s likely because the 6MT has a higher take rate among Americans. We should also point out that in some markets, the stick shift isn’t offered at all, with BMW offering the 2023 M2 only with the Steptronic. One such country is Brazil where the G87 was launched this week with a spectacular video shot on the empty streets of Sao Paulo.
Source: Car Throttle