Many are arguing the end of the manual transmission is nearly here. Only a few models, mainly sports cars, still offer them and rarely do they come as standard. Typically, manuals are now a no extra cost option, but automakers by and large are gravitating towards fancy schmancy dual-clutches and other fast-shifting autos. BMW and Porsche are perhaps two of the best examples of this new phenomenon. So we asked Carsten Pries, Head of Product for BMW M, at Geneva last week about the future of the manual.
For example, the BMW M5 and M6 aren't even offered with a manual in Europe; only in the US are buyers able to have one. Even M3 and M4 sales are proving that owners are more interested in faster shifting times being calculated by a computer. But Pries offered a simple and to-the-point answer for those aching to row their own gears: "You want manuals, then buy manuals." If the demand is there, he has no problem making them available. It's simple logic of enough demand here, folks. So the next time you're in the market for a new M3/M4 or M5/M6, and you live in the US, then opt for the manual. If BMW sees the demand, it'll be more than happy to comply.