BMW to Keep Manual Transmission Alive at Least Through 2030

The extinction of manual transmissions seems inevitable now as the auto industry moves forward with electrified powertrains, but there are still some companies out there that care about pleasing sporty driving enthusiasts and insist on keeping it alive.

BMW is one of them. In a recent interview with CarBuzz, BMW M boss Frank van Meel made one thing perfectly clear.

"The manual is, unfortunately, not so widespread anymore,” he said. “It's more in the segments of the M2 and M3, and the M4. And for those cars, we continue offering the manual, and those cars will run for a long time until the end of this decade.”

Photo: BMW

His colleague Timo Resch, who’s in charge of Customer, Brand and Sales at BMW M, has talked about how even BMW engineers didn’t really see the point of making manuals anymore, since automatics are quicker and more efficient.

"We said that's what our customers asked for,” he recalled, citing various petitions online to keep the manual transmission. “And we really actively listened to our customers, to our fan base. The fans asked for it. They got it."

Photo: BMW

BMW M also suggested in the past few days that four-cylinder engines with hybrid tech like the ones Mercedes-AMG is banking on now are not part of its plans, certainly not in the short or medium term. Six- and eight-cylinder engines will continue to power M cars for the foreseeable future.

That is excellent news for purists or anyone who prefers good old-fashioned power and driving feel. Of course, a lot of things can change later in the decade, both from a market and organizational standpoint. Let’s enjoy our manual BMWs while we still can.

Watch: BMW M5 Competition Review

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