The fact that BMW is still selling the M2, M3, and M4 with a manual gearbox has overshadowed the existence of regular models with a clutch pedal. No, we’re not just talking about the Z4 sDrive20i and the upcoming Z4 M40i but also the 1 Series hatchback and the 2 Series Gran Coupe. Both these front-wheel-drive models are due for a next generation later this year, but in the meantime, a stick shift is still offered in Germany.
As it stands, the 116i, 118i, 116d, and 118d are offered with a three-pedal setup, and we can say the same about the 218i and 218d. Logic tells us the six-speed manual is on its way out since the next-generation 1 Series and 2 Series Gran Coupe coming in 2024 will likely be automatic-only. The mechanically related X1, X2, and the 2 Series Active Tourer all have just two pedals, and MINI is also bidding adieu to manuals with the new models.
The M cars will definitely be the last BMWs that’ll give you the possibility to row your own gears. It remains to be seen whether the manuals will survive until the very end of the life cycle of the M2, M3, and M4, which will bow out in the latter half of the decade. A new non-M car with a clutch pedal seems highly unlikely, except for the six-speed Z4 M40i coming out this year.
The impending demise of the 1 Series (F40) and 2 Series Gran Coupe (F44) will likely represent another nail in the manual gearbox’s coffin, leaving only M cars and a sole M Performance model with the analog setup.
The manual transmission was a popular choice for M2 G87 buyers in the United States last year, with more than half of customers opting for the stick shift. Globally, however, only one in five buyers chose the 6MT. As for the larger M3 and M4 models, approximately 15 to 20 percent of clients worldwide ordered their cars with the manual gearbox.
Source: BMW Deutschland