Rejoice, Row-Your-Own Fans: The 2021 BMW M3 and M4 WILL have Manual Transmissions

BMW is working on the new M cars based on the G20 3 Series

Weirdly, this photo of the BMW M40i seems to be missing a shifter to go with its sport automatic transmission… maybe it will look better with a manual transmission?
[Photo: BMW]

Finally, a stay of execution for the manual transmission.

A recent quote has manual transmission fans of the BMW M3 and M4 delighted. The 2021 BMW M3 and M4 will have a manual transmission option. This flies in the face of many automakers who feel that manual transmissions are not worth the effort. Take Chevrolet, for instance, who eschewed a manual option in the 2020 Corvette Stingray.

Sadly, BMW is removing the manual transmission option from regular 3 Series and 4 Series cars. In a recent interview with BMWBlog, M Boss Markus Flasch he reiterated BMW’s commitment to manual transmissions in the M cars.

2019 BMW M2 Competition
A six-speed manual comes standard on the M2 Competition.

“It’s a bit early to disclose all the details but something I want to highlight is that we will have a manual stick shift,” he said. “Manual is very important. The manual stick shift is not a performance-bringer, because an automatic transmission is just faster, you can ask any race driver. But it gives the vehicle character and I kind of compare it to people who love mechanical watches; it isn’t more precise and it doesn’t have any advantage at all but it’s a character feature. So is a stick shift.”

Under the circumstances, manual transmission fans will take what they can get. Currently, manual transmission sales make up around four-percent of all transmissions put in and sold to buyers in North America. Much of that has to do with the massive amount of truck and crossover sales over here, most of which have automatic transmissions.

It’s a theft deterrent, too

For those of us who enjoy the connected feeling of driving a vehicle with a manual transmission, there are signs that it still has a place in our market. Some automakers are still looking at the manual transmission as having future potential. Besides, it turns out that vehicles equipped with manual transmissions are a deterrent for many car thefts.

Food for thought, no?