Americans are playing their part as far as saving the manual. Rowing your own gears will inevitably become a lost art, but many BMW enthusiasts are buying cars with a stick shift while it’s still available. In an interview with Motor1, a spokesperson for the luxury brand revealed the M2 G87 with a clutch pedal enjoyed a high take rate last year in the US. More than 50% of all second-generation M2 ordered last year in the United States came with the stick shift. It’s worth noting the 6MT is a no-cost option in the US but BMW charges customers extra for it in some countries. For example, it’s a €500 premium in Germany where the eight-speed Steptronic automatic is technically the standard transmission.
Will the percentage decrease in the coming years? It might. That’s because the hotter M2 CS is rumored to come exclusively with an automatic gearbox, albeit that will likely be a one-year-only special edition. Additionally, there are some rumors about an M2 xDrive, which, if planned, would be offered strictly with two pedals.
On the other hand, the M2 G87 is likely to go down in history as the final M car with a manual gearbox, since logic tells us the base M3 G80 and M4 G81 will be retired before the baby M. Purists will definitely want to grab the car with the manual before BMW pulls the plug. The M2 is said to remain in production until the middle of 2029, but it’s unclear whether the 6MT will stick (pun intended) around until the very end.
On a related note, the same BMW spokesperson revealed the manual gearbox accounted for approximately 20% of M3 and M4 sales in 2023. Another sporty car, albeit not a full-fat M, is getting a stick shift soon. We’re talking about the six-speed Z4 M40i, which has already been previewed and should be fully unveiled soon.