With BMW finally announcing a Z4 M40i with a manual gearbox this week, we decided to ask the company how popular other models with a stick shift were in 2023. Since we already knew that more than half of M2 G87 buyers opted for three pedals last year, we wanted to know the take rate among M3 and M4 buyers. BMW USA told us that one in five customers got the M3 Sedan or the M4 Coupe with a clutch pedal in 2023.
Smaller Take Rate Than On The G87 BMW M2
The 20% take rate is substantially smaller than that of the M2, which isn’t all too surprising since enthusiasts are more inclined to get the smaller sports coupe. One in five customers is still not too bad in the age of electrification and SUVs. It’s also worth noting that only the base M3 and M4 are offered with a manual. In addition, the M4 Convertible is sold exclusively with an automatic.
The German luxury brand has expressed its commitment to the manual gearbox after revealing there’s still enough demand globally to keep the 6MT. In an interview with Top Gear magazine last month, a BMW spokesperson said the do-it-yourself transmission will remain available in the foreseeable future. That said, it seems highly unlikely the clutch pedal will survive after the current-generation M2, M3, M4, and Z4 are discontinued.
The Z4 M40i unveiled this week is likely to be among the last new BMW models launched with a clutch pedal. Future models such as the M2 CS, M3 CS Touring, M4 CS, M5 Sedan, and M5 Touring are likely to be automatic-only. We can say the same thing about the rumored M2 xDrive. That said, we’re not excluding some special editions with a manual for the M2, M3, and/or M4. Once the G87, G80, G82, and the G29 are dead, chances are so will the manual. In other words, get a BMW M Performance or M car with a manual while you still can. Once it’s gone, it’s gone for good.