It is no secret that the manual transmission is slowly dying out as automakers are looking to save every tenth of a second they can on performance cars. BMW themselves are admitting that the manual gearbox is will eventually make no business sense but before it phases out completely, the Bavarian automaker has pledged to keep it alive for as long as possible in the M4.
“Honestly, the pure engineering answer is, you’re much faster with paddles and an automatic transmission,” said BMW R&D head Klaus Fröhlich in an interview with Road & Track. “They’re very precise and sporty. Especially on the Nurburgring, you are much better in control when you’re not taking one hand away to shift.”
Despite the business sense it will make to kill the manual transmission, BMW is looking to retain the thrill that the “DIY” gearbox offers for as long as it possibly can. Interestingly, the automaker thinks the best car to do this job is the M4.
“I think, in the overall portfolio, manuals will disappear. But I think M4 should be the fortress of a manual. So the last manual transmission which will die, it should die in an M4, as late as possible. That’s my view. I think it should survive in the next generation M4. The successors [of the M3 and M4] are all in the pipeline. And so my promise is, yes, there will be a manual in the successor to M4,” Fröhlich added.
It is quite clear then that the manual transmission in BMW’s M division is dying out, but thanks to the automaker not neglecting the “Do-It-Yourself” enthusiasts, we still have some time to enjoy the existence of three pedals and a stick in a modern day sports car.