Most manufacturers today are dropping manual transmissions in favor more efficient automatics and dual-clutch transmissions. This holds true even for their high-performance models. With it, there's a growing fear from enthusiasts that future high-performance cars will no longer come with a proper stick-shift and three pedals.
But not BMW. The German marque has recently released photos and a video of the upcoming M3 and M4, albeit covered in camouflage. What really got us interested was the video of the new M4 Coupe being gradually pushed to the limit around a race track... with a proper manual gearbox.
Just like the current-generation of M cars, the upcoming M3 and M4 will continue to use a 3.0-liter turbocharged straight-six under the hood which BMW says features a “significant increase in performance vs. the predecessor models. It will be available with different two power outputs depending on the variant. The familiar engine will then be paired to either a six-speed manual or an eight-speed automatic gearbox. Interestingly, customers will also have the option of choosing between rear or four-wheel drive, a first for the M3 and M4.
The base model M3 and M4 pack 480 PS, a six-speed manual, and rear-wheel drive as standard. Meanwhile, the more powerful M3 and M4 Competition has 510 horsepower on tap and is available exclusively with the 8-speed automatic. Rear-wheel drive comes standard on the Competition models but will be offered with BMW’s four-wheel-drive xDrive later on.
No performance figures such as acceleration and top speed have been released just yet. These will likely be revealed when the car makes its official debut later this year. The video above should give us an idea of their performance capabilities.
There’s not much to talk about the design of the cars as both are still running heavy camouflage in and out. If anything, they will likely look like their non-M counterpart albeit with more aggressive bumpers, wider fenders, and larger wheels. And yes, expect the M4 to retain the giant grill of the 4-Series.
Despite the huge benefits of automatics, BMW continues to cater to enthusiasts that want to shift gears on their own. The ultimate driving machine should at least have an option for a manual transmission.