BMW rolled out a new commercial on social media platforms this week that’s a veritable tearjerker. It’s called “Father & Son. Freude Forever”, where “Freude” is German for “joy.” It illustrates the circle of life and puts the spotlight on the bond between an aging father and his son. Because the elderly gentleman is getting up there in age, he’s forced to hand over his license plate.

His son drives him there in a lovely San Remo Green BMW i4, but before going into the building, the two switch seats. In an empty parking lot, the father gets to (legally) drive a car for the very last time. This brings back beautiful memories of when his son was trying to master the soon-to-be-lost art of driving a car with a manual gearbox. We get to see a 3 Series from the E30 era, specifically a 325.

The flashbacks are not just about teaching his son to learn how to drive a stick shift but also about the times they spent together while the kid was growing up. Dates, parties, trips – it’s all there. From the clothes to the sequences with his son rolling a cassette tape using a pen, those parts of the video are pure 1980s nostalgia.

As a bridge through time, perhaps it would’ve made more sense to have that 3 Series in the ad alongside its modern-day electric counterpart. However, it’s understandable why BMW chose the globally available i4 since the i3 Sedan is only sold in China.

In 2023, you sadly can’t get a 3 Series with a manual gearbox, unless you step up to the M3. Even then you’re limited to the base model as the Competition and xDrive variants don’t have a clutch pedal either. BMW still offers a three-pedal setup on the M2 and the base M4 Coupe. The Z4 M40i is also getting a six-speed manual ‘box soon.

Source: BMW