BMW Explains Why Stick-Shift M2 Costs More Than Automatic

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The six-speed manual gearbox doesn't make sense for the Bavarian automaker anymore.

Automakers have been charging customers more for the automatic transmission than the manual option for years - or with no price difference, at best. That's not the case for the G87-generation BMW M2 in the European market, though. Thankfully, BMW M boss Frank van Meel explains why there is a premium when you prefer to row through the gears.

Per Car Throttle, van Meel said producing a six-speed manual in the sea of eight-speed automatics costs the company some money for development costs. It would have been easier to roll every unit off the line with an automatic instead of putting in extra effort for the minority with the alternative.

BMW only offers a manual as a "heritage thing," as an answer to the requests from enthusiasts and fans.


"The manual is slower and results in a higher fuel consumption [and] sometimes has also a lower top speed, so the manual actually from an engineering standpoint made no real sense anymore," said van Meel.

And van Meel is right. The BMW M2, with the automatic gearbox, can get from zero to 60 mph in 3.9 seconds - 0.3 seconds faster than the manual. That's why it comes as no surprise the Bavarian automaker chose the automatic version for its Nurburgring run and, fortunately, paid off by setting a new lap record for compact cars.


The transmissions are paired to a standard twin-turbo 3.0-liter inline-six S58 engine, capable of churning out 453 horsepower and 406 lb-ft of torque. This mill can also be found in other BMWs, such as its larger M3 and M4 siblings and the Toyota GR Supra.

In the US, stateside consumers can rest assured that the manual option does not cost extra. It is a similar marketing approach taken by automakers like Porsche for the 911 and Nissan for the Z. BMW offers the M2 with a $63,200 starting price - $1,000 more than the 2023 model year.


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