2020 BMW M3 Spied Testing With A Manual Transmission

Reports about BMW offering a stick shift in the next M3 have been going back and forth. However, a few months ago, the performance division’s chief, Markus Flasch, confirmed the return of the manual transmission in the sports sedan, as well as the upcoming M4.

Such a prototype of the new M3 was spied testing at the Nurburgring a few days ago, and between the fast cornering and straight-line accelerations, you can hear the manual gear changes. The transmission will be linked to the 3.0-liter, twin-turbo straight-six found in the new X3 M and X4 M, where it delivers 473 hp in the regular and 503 hp in the Competition models.

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We expect similar outputs in the 2020 M3 as well, which should be able to accelerate to 60 mph (96 km/h) from a standstill in under 4 seconds. The top speed of the car will be dictated by the selected options and will likely raise to 177 mph (284 km/h) when choosing the M Driver’s Package. Power will be delivered to the rear-biased all-wheel drive system, a setup similar to the larger M5. An automatic gearbox will be on the list as well, and there have been rumors about a six-speed manual, rear-wheel drive ‘Pure’ variant, yet these have yet to be confirmed.

Now, as far as the sound goes, the new 3.0-liter engine isn’t the most sonorous out there. It surely cannot rival the 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 found in the Mercedes-AMG C63 models, nor the 2.9-liter V6 that resides in the facelifted Audi RS4 Avant for that matter. Nonetheless, this is just a prototype, and it may not feature the sports exhaust system, so we’ll be keeping our fingers crossed for that.


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