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BMW Guide Transmissions Are on Their Approach Out for Good

BMW Guide Transmissions Are on Their Approach Out for Good

You won’t be able to buy a BMW with a stick shift for much longer.

One of the German marque’s board members, Frank Weber, has told Italian magazine Quattroruote (via Jalopnik) company’s days of building vehicles with a manual gearbox are coming to an end. The executive went as far as to tell the publication that, “It’s over.”

The news shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone who has driven a car recently. The stick shift has been in decline for decades now. At the beginning of the 1980s, over a third of the vehicles built in the U.S. had a manual gearbox; at the beginning of this decade, that number was closer to one percent, according to The New York Times. It doesn’t help that EVs don’t need them, either (even if some diehards wish they did). There’s been the occasional statistical blip—like when Gen Z drivers recently triggered a slight sales bump—but the stick shift is on the way out.

The BMW M3 and M4 are still available with stick shifts for the time being.


Despite this, there are enthusiasts—some of whom are part of groups like The Manual Gearbox Preservation Society—out there holding onto the manual gearbox. They think that shifting through the gears is as integral to the driving experience as the sensation that comes from putting your foot down on the accelerator or the roar of an engine. It’s why automakers like Toyota, Ford, and Porsche all continue to release performance-oriented models with stick shifts. BMW has also gone after this same crowd, but Weber says it won’t make sense to do so very soon.

“They are fun products, but let’s be honest, the volumes are getting smaller and smaller, and so it doesn’t make sense to develop them anymore,” the executive told the magazine. “If you want a manual M, you need to buy it now.”

Luckily, as Weber points out, there are still several BMW manuals you can buy as of today. Three members of the automaker’s M line of performance models come with stick shifts—the M2 (over half of which are spec’d with a stick shift), M3, and M4. The new Z4 roadster will be available with a manual transmission in case you’ve ever wondered what it feels like to perform the perfect downshift while the wind rushes through your hair on a summer afternoon.

Source: Robb Report

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