Please just be a computer glitch.
None of this should really come as much of a surprise. The manual transmission, as we've known for a while, is facing mass extinction. High-tech automatics run by computer algorithms will continue to take their place, and German automakers, like BMW, have been pioneers with this trend. It's becoming more difficult to find new BMWs on dealer lots equipped with a manual; if you want one you'll have to place a factory order. And now we're hearing from Jalopnik that three 2016 BMWs – 228i, 328i and 428i – will no longer offer a manual option.
This is all according to the official online BMW configurator. However, an update to this story claims that there might be a software glitch that's not allowing web users to select a manual. BMW has yet to comment on what's really going on, but the system does allow users to select a manual option for the more expensive 235i, 340i, and 435i. So there's that. Fortunately, the 2016 M3 and M4 will remain offered with a six-speed manual as a no-cost option. Still though, if this report proves to be true then BMW seems intent to rid itself of the manual transmission in its base models. Since when did rowing your own gears become a novelty?