SPIED: 2020 BMW M3 caught at the Nürburgring – manual confirmed

With an official launch date set for mid-2020, it isn’t surprising we are seeing more and more of the next-generation BMW G80 M3 prototype out in the open undergoing final validation and testing.

Snapped at the Nürburgring by Youtube car spotter, Jerome, the Mercedes-AMG C63 rival can be easily spotted by its trademark quad tailpipes, and despite the heavy camouflage, we know it’s an M3 from those bulging wheel arches and telltale air intakes hidden behind the front mesh.

While we can expect the all-new M3 to be even more powerful than the current model, one question that remains unanswered is whether the next M3 (and its M4 counterpart) would keep their third pedal.

Well, we are glad to confirm the manual transmission will live on in the new model.

Speaking to BMW Blog recently, M Division head, Markus Flasch revealed the new M3/M4 “will have a manual stick shift”.

He went on to explain why the M Division is keeping the manual transmission alive for the next-generation M3/M4:

“The manual stick shift is not a performance-bringer, because an automatic transmission is just faster, you can ask any race driver. But it gives the vehicle character and I kind of compare it to people who love mechanical watches; it isn’t more precise and it doesn’t have any advantage at all but it’s a character feature. So is a stick shift.”

Besides a manual transmission, BMW has also confirmed the new model will come with all-wheel drive, although the brand has yet to decide whether it will be an xDrive with rear-wheel drive mode like the latest M5, or a pure rear-drive system. Speculation is that both versions will be offered, but we’ll just have to wait and see.

Source: Carspotter Jeroen

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