Up until a few weeks ago, manual transmission enthusiasts were limited to serious M models if they wanted a row-your-own adventure. That changed with the introduction of the manual Z4 M40i “Handschalter” (German for “hand shift”). While the B58 inline-six under the hood is no stranger to a manual transmission, now is the perfect time to bring the revised six-speed to other affordable enthusiast options. The perfect candidate? The new G42 BMW 2 Series and its M240i top model.

BMW Could Sell a Manual M240i

In the US, the M240i starts at $49,700. The G87 M2 commands a $13,500 premium – not exactly chump change. Plenty of customers want a manual coupe but can’t afford that kind of price jump. As of this writing, there are zero options for a sub-$50K manual coupe from a premium automaker (BMW, Benz, Audi, etc.). While you could opt for cars like the Miata, GR86, or Mustang, they don’t offer the refinement and sophisticated tech that the new 2 Series does. While the Supra comes close, it drives entirely different and offers last-generation iDrive and amenities.

Furthermore, a manual M240i would ensure that the current drivers of a manual 2 Series have something to interest them in the current lineup. With power and dynamics similar to the N55-powered M2, you may even capture some business from drivers parting with their pre-2019 M2s. A much nicer interior and more modern amenities – and likely lower running costs – could bolster sales.

One last note: obviously, the bean counters at BMW did the math and decided a manual-equipped Z4 would still make at least some business sense. If an ultra-low-volume vehicle like the Roadster can turn a profit even after the additional R&D that goes into tweaking and drawing up a manual transmission, so can the 2 Series.

There’s Already a Great Transmission

To reiterate, in the past, BMW has mated a six-speed to the B58 six-cylinder. But with some improvements that tailor the unit to the B58B30O1’s output, the transmission from the Z4 M40i is now a perfect fit. While BMW claims that the transmission is engineered specifically for the Z4, it’s unlikely it would require significant – or any – changes to fit the 2 Series coupe.

Furthermore, the new six-speed manual is actually good. When we drove the six-speed Z4 M40i, we lauded the unit’s shorter throws, smooth engagement between first and second gear, and long third gear. While I’m personally a big fan of the ZF unit in the M2 and M3, there are plenty of valid criticisms levied at how the shifter feels. The newest manual, apparently, does away with these complaints. There’s never been a better time to bring a six-speed to the M240i.

There Won’t Be Many More Opportunities

Let’s face it – the end is near regarding manual transmissions. The bottom line is that BMW only has maybe a decade to cram a hand shaker into enthusiast-oriented models. Paired with the fact that bigwigs like Frank Weber have already told us to buy a manual M car while we still can, BMW should take their own advice and produce the most – and best – manual vehicles while they can.

We Deserve It, Damnit

The new vehicle marketplace is getting less and less interesting for drivers who crave the engagement a stick shift offers. As recently as ten years ago, we could at least order a base 3 Series with a manual. That’s no longer the case – a manual from BMW commands over $60,000, nearly double what a 320i would’ve set you back in 2014. Plus, you would have to be okay with the aggressive ride that a full M Series vehicle offers – which really isn’t for everybody. Enthusiasts have been asking for a manual-equipped 2 Series Coupe under the M2 since the model’s arrival. The car – and prospective shoppers – deserve a manual transmission.

What do you think? Should BMW bring a manual transmission to the G42 2 Series? Would you buy one? Let us know in the comments below.