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4 min reading time

Manual transmission.

Shifting gears with precision: In episode ten, BMW M developer Karsten explains the stick shift in the new BMW M3 and M4.

11 February 2021

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 [1] :
Fuel consumption combined in l/100 km 10.1
CO2 emissions combined in g/km 230
CO2 class G




BMW M3 and M4 - explained, Episode 10

Start video
Gear shift in a BMW M3. Gear shift in a BMW M3.
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.

BMW M on the race track.BMW M on the race track.

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.

Drifting BMW M.Drifting BMW M.
BMW M model in a drift.BMW M model in a drift.
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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