While most of its rivals have long abandoned manual gearboxes, BMW insists they’re still relevant in 2024. The M division offers a stick shift for the M2 as well as the base versions of the M3 Sedan and M4 Coupe. Later this year, an M Performance car will get a clutch pedal as the Z4 M40i is finally getting three pedals.

In an interview with Top Gear magazine, a BMW spokesperson announced the German luxury brand has no intentions to discontinue the manual transmission in the foreseeable future. Customers are buying sufficient performance cars with the do-it-yourself gearbox to make it financially viable for the M division to keep the 6MT on sale: “Definitely enough to continue to offer the manual gearbox. We owe it to ourselves and of course to our fans all around the world.”

As previously reported, more than half of M2 G87s sold in the United States last year had a clutch pedal. Globally, over 20% of all cars have the manual, according to the BMW representative. They went on to mention approximately 15-20% of M3s and M4s come with the clutch pedal.

Looking into the distant future, the six-speed is unfortunately set for extinction. BMW M has pledged to electrify all of its future models, which means these plug-in hybrid cars are going to be fitted with an automatic. Needless to say, electric Ms won’t let you row your own gears. How much time do you have left to buy a manual M car? We reckon 5-6 years at best.

There are some exciting M cars on the way since we’ll witness the introduction of the M4 CS, M5, and M5 Touring in 2024. Come 2025, the M2 CS and M3 CS Touring will break cover, while an M2 xDrive is reportedly set for a 2026 release. All these cars will do away with the manual but we’re hoping for the standard M2, M3, and M4 to keep the six-speed ‘box until the end of their life cycles.

According to sources close to BMW, production of the M3 G80 is going to end in February 2027 while the M4 G82 could continue until June 2028. As for the M2 G87, BMW might make it until July 2029.

Source: Top Gear