Certain BMWs should retain a stick-shift option.
As much as we may like the current 4 Series, we're looking forward to seeing an all-new model arrive next year, with a fresh and bolder design to give it a new lease of life. And from what we gather, it's going to get a daring departure that will further differentiate the 4 Series from the 3 Series sedan with which it shares so much.
However, there could be a fly in the ointment if what BMW Blog is reporting proves accurate. According to the website, the next-generation BMW, rendered below, is likely not coming to the US with a manual transmission.
European enthusiasts may not be too happy either due to the likelihood that only the lower-spec, entry-level models will get the manual transmission. In the US, the entry-level models still won't be diesel-powered, so the 430i ought once again to anchor the range.
What this means for the M4 is unclear, as it's likely an M4 variant of the new generation will show up not long after the base 4 Series debuts. Last year, BMW board member Klaus Frohlich said that although the manual will eventually die, the M4 "should be the fortress of [the] manual. So the last manual transmission which will die, it should die in an M4, as late as possible."
Frohlich went on to say that "The successors (to the current M3 and M4) are all in the pipeline. And so my promise is, yes, there will be a manual in the successor to M4." He also pointed out that the manual would eventually die in the M cars. We just hope we're not quite at that point yet.
Despite the manual looking like it will vanish from the regular 4 Series in the US, the next generation should still be compelling to enthusiasts with an extra dose of handling, grip, and power.