Who says American drivers don't appreciate enthusiast details?
The 2023 BMW M2 coupe has to be one of the most highly-anticipated cars that will be unveiled in the coming months.
We've seen it being hooned around the Green Hell and we know it'll come standard with an S58 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six. Recent spy shots show it will get the same bucket seats as the M3/M4 and the rumor mill suggest it will have a manual gearbox and rear-wheel drive.
A new rumor suggests America will be the only country to get the M2 with a manual gearbox.
The information comes courtesy of "ynguldyn," a regular poster on the BimmerPost forum. Ynguldyn is a trusted source of inside information on the platform and has a solid track record of predicting BMW's future plans.
If this turns out to be accurate, we wouldn't be surprised. The F10 M5 manual was also a USA-only model, made possible thanks to consumer demand. And let's not forget that American enthusiasm for the manual gearbox forced BMW to offer the current M2 with a manual gearbox.
We're also one of a few countries lucky enough to have a manual gearbox option for the M3 and M4. Unfortunately, the M3/M4 manual gearbox isn't the M department's best effort, so most buyers tend to go the eight-speed automatic route anyway.
You also can't have a manual with the Competition Package, which means it has a lower output and less impressive performance figures than the Competition models.
BMW's M bosses are on record as stating that they'll keep on developing the manual as long as there is demand.
The big question is whether the new M2's shift action will be more satisfying than the alarmingly average gearbox in the M3/M4. It's not bad but doesn't provide the positive, precise action we've come to expect from BMW M products.
Let's hope they get it right with the M2, widely regarded as the best modern M product thanks to its compact dimensions and loyalty to all the things that made the M department a force to be reckoned with.
We don't have too long to wait for the new M2, though, so all will be revealed soon. BMW recently posted pictures of prototypes in Mexico which indicates the teaser campaign has begun and the reveal is imminent. The M2 will be built in Mexico.