BMW is one of the few automakers that still offers manual transmissions on its high-performance models. In 2023, they proved popular in the U.S. “Demand for manual transmissions in our high-performance M products remained very strong in 2023, accounting for about 20 percent of M3 and M4 sales (combined) and over half of M2 sales,” a BMW spokesperson told Motor1 in an email.

It’s worth noting that only the base M3 and M4 models are offered with a manual transmission. The Competition, Competition xDrive, and special editions like the M3 CS and M4 CSL are automatic-only, while the base models are manual-only. Right now, the M2 is offered as, simply, the M2, with a choice of six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic gearboxes.

2021 BMW M4 exterior
BMW M2 Manual Shifter

In any case, these are very strong numbers, reflective of a trend among enthusiasts embracing the manual transmission as an all-electric future looms. BMW is also one of the few automakers to expand its U.S manual offerings, with a six-speed option for the Z4 M40i coming some time later this year.

BMW isn’t the only automaker to have success with manuals on performance cars. As we reported previously, Cadillac has a near-50-percent take rate for the six-speed on the CT4-V and CT5-V Blackwing sedans, both of which are rivals to various BMW M models.

BMW M has committed to selling manual-transmission cars until the end of the decade, by which point most, if not all, M cars will be electrified. We know for certain that the current M2 will be the last internal-combustion-only M car, with the new M5 set to go plug-in hybrid when it arrives later this year.

So, while time is running out on manual BMW performance cars, they’re not going away immediately. You’ve got a few more years to get your six-speed M2 order in.

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