Photo: BMW

I knew it. I knew there was no way BMW could go on calling itself “the ultimate driving machine” and not offer a manual on the upcoming M3 and M4. After months and months of rumors, we finally have confirmation from the head of BMW M himself, Markus Flasch.

When asked about what BMW fans could expect from the upcoming sports cars, Flasch made it a point to say there will be manual options, according to BMW Blog, which sat down with him for an interview recently.

He told the outlet:

I want to highlight is that we will have a manual stick shift. We have already disclosed we will have the option of four-wheel drive. We’ve not decided which variant, which system, but everything that’s on our current lineup; think of the M5; can be made available. The M3 and M4, I’ve driven the pre-production cars already and they’re fantastic.

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He went on,

Manual is very important. 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.

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So, maybe it will be that “pure” version that Justin was talking about in January. This means the manual M cars are sticking around for a bit longer, thankfully. The ZF and dual-clutch transmissions are great, but I know some people just want to buy M3s and M4s to row their own gears. I’m glad BMW recognizes this.

Unfortunately, this also means that if you want a new, manual 3 Series, you must buy the M version. Or you go get something used. This is just the world we live in now.