BMW M3 Sedan


Episode 10: BMW M3 and M4 Explained.

Manual TransmissionEpisode 10: BMW M3 and M4 Explained.

The epitome of racing feeling in everyday traffic starts a new round. 35 years after the debut of the first BMW M3, BMW M GmbH presents the latest generation of its high-performance automobiles in the premium mid-size segment. Time to introduce the two new vehicles. In the #M3M4explained series, the developers have the floor.

Shifting gears and driving! Karsten's main concern is how to transfer the engine's torque as perfectly as possible to the wheels. The BMW M developer is responsible for the gearshift. In the video, Karsten introduces the manual gearshift - for him still the optimal solution for full control over the car. He also answers questions from the M Community.

BMW M3 Sedan:
Fuel consumption in l/100 km (combined): 9.9-10.2 (WLTP)
CO2 emissions in g/km (combined): 226-231 (WLTP)

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BMW M3 M4 Explained


Thank you for still offering manual.

You are very welcome, my friend.


Are the gear ratios in the transmission the same as the predecessor?

Yes, there are no changes on the gear ratios vs. predecessor.


For daily and "a bit of fun" use, would you recommend manual or automatic transmission?

That's completely up to you.


What is the maximum torque of the manual gearbox?

The manual transmission models are rated at 353kW / 550Nm; Competition models with 8-speed M Steptronic are rated 375kW / 650Nm.

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BMW M3 Sedan

Power rating and the transmission are the only technical differences between Competition and non-Competition.

What is the weight difference between the manual and automatic transmissions?

The total weight reduction of the manual transmission car is -25kg compared to the 8-speed M Steptronic.

Are there any other differences between the Competition and the non-Competition other than the gearbox?

Besides the power rating and the transmission itself there is no technical difference. There are some optical differences - badges, body colored mirror caps and gurney, and tail pipe color.

Why not have a 7th gear for lower rpm at highway speeds?

Operating more than 6 speeds in an H-pattern does not come in handy.

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BMW M3 Sedan

Is there an engineering reason why the manual transmission isn't available on the AWD model?

No. The BMW M3 and M4 are designed to be a puristic and weight-optimized configuration. So we didn't see a merit in adding the heavier, rather complex M xDrive system to the manual.

Is it possible to have the cruise control feature with the manual transmission option?

The standard equipment of all new BMW M3 and M4 models - also with manual transmission - includes dynamic cruise control. The adaptive cruise control is only available for the models equipped with 8-speed M Steptronic.

What is the weight of the dual mass flywheel?

That is 13.74 kg.

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BMW M3 Sedan

Why is a dual mass flywheel and not a single mass flywheel in use? What's the difference?

A dual mass flywheel offers a much better decoupling of engine vibrations from the drivetrain. A single mass flywheel would create annoying rattle at idle and low speed / high torque situations.

Would the transmission show a lot of wear with a single mass flywheel?

No for the transmission. For the engine and the rest of the car massive negative consequences are very likely.

What transmission oil is used and what material is the oil pan made of?

Regular manual transmission oil. Refer to your local BMW service partner for exact specifications. And there is no oil pan in the manual transmission; both housing parts are made of cast aluminum.

Is that transmission made by ZF or Getrag?

Both transmission types of the new M3 and M4 are supplied by ZF.

Was it needed to put 4 metal plates and not just keep 3?

Yes, the reinforcement was necessary for the new M3 / M4.

Coming from an M2 Competition, would this feel similar in terms of shifting?

Yes, it would be very similar.

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BMW M3 Sedan

How do you balance emotive shifting with daily sensibilities?

The synchronisation allows for easy shifting at lower shift speeds. For higher emotion, we added a short shifter.

When we hold the clutch pedal, does the car stop moving on an incline road?

Yes, the car features an automatic uphill start assistant that will hold the car still with a pressed clutch pedal, but just a few seconds.

Does the car support flat-foot shifting?

No, it does not support flat-foot shifting. For the race start there is a launch assist function within the engine.

Does the manual have an anti-lag system so you don't loose boost with each gear change?

No, there will be a torque interruption.

Do you have any specific advice to preserve clutch and gearbox in daily city driving?

Shift precisely, shift smoothly, do not race-start the car and always fully press the clutch.

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BMW M3 Sedan

Drifting is always possible with all BMW M3 and M4 models.

For drifting purposes would you recommend automatic or manual transmission?

Drifting is possible quite easily with all M3 and M4 models - even with the upcoming M xDrive. Just jump in, give it a go - and always stick with the law.

Can you skip gears in a downshift and still have the car match the revs?

Yes, that is possible. But, please, do not shift from 5th or 6th to 2nd while cruising at higher speeds, you may blow your engine and clutch.

Is the clutch a push or a pull type system?

The clutch is a hydraulic push type system.

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Can you please explain the M Steptronic transmission in detail like you did it for manual?

Spoiler alert! Watch out for another episode to come …

Would you choose the M3 or M4?

I would go for the M3 because of the 5 seats.

Which M car has given you the most emotional feeling?

The BMW M5 F90.

What's the BMW car you are the proudest of? It can also be an classic one.

The first-ever BMW X6 E71 because of its Dynamic Performance Control.

What car do you drive?

Something with lots of room for my family with 3 children.

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  • The models illustrated include optional equipment.

    Due to regular software updates, screen designs in the communication may differ from the actual screen design in your car.

    Official data on power consumption and electric range were determined in accordance with the mandatory measurement procedure and comply with Regulation (EU) 715/2007 valid at the time of type approval. In case of a range, figures in the NEDC take into account differences in the selected wheel and tire size; figures in the WLTP take into account any optional equipment. WLTP values are used for assessing taxes and other vehicle-related charges that are (also) based on CO2 emissions, as well as for the purposes of vehicle-specific subsidies, if applicable. Where applicable, the NEDC values listed were calculated based on the new WLTP measurement procedure and then converted back to the NEDC measurement procedure for comparability reasons. For newly type-tested vehicles since 01.01.2021, the official data no longer exist according to NEDC, but only according to WLTP. For more information on the WLTP and NEDC measurement procedures, see

    For further information about the official fuel consumption and the specific CO2 emission of new passenger cars can be taken out of the „handbook of fuel consumption, the CO2 emission and power consumption of new passenger cars“, which is available at all selling points and at

    All vehicles, equipment, combination possibilities and varieties shown here are examples and can differ in your country. In no way do they constitute a binding offer by the BMW M GmbH. Visit your local BMW website or see your authorised BMW M Retailer for accurate details on the offers in your country.