New M3 to be rear-wheel drive and manual, BMW confirms
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In an age when automatic transmissions have replaced manuals, and all-wheel drive systems are the performance industry standard, it seems that just a few brands are staying true to the formula that gave them success.
While the latest generation M5 gained an all-wheel drive drivetrain, it seems that BMW's M GmbH isn't going to use that formula across the whole range.
In an interview with Go Auto, M GmbH Chairman Markus Flasch spoke about the highly anticipated 2020 M3, and revealed some interesting details.
According to Flasch, the M3 will be released with a "rear-wheel drive" version and a manual transmission is going to be offered. The use of the word "version" hints at the fact that there are going to be a few M3 variants to choose from when they hit showroom floors.
Late last month, AMG boss Tobias Moers announced that the German go-fast wing will be putting an end to their rear-wheel drive cars, revealing that all-wheel drive systems will be the standard. Moers argued that rear-wheel drive cars don't sell as well, and customers were always asking for all-wheel drive variants.
BMW's Flasch doesn't seem to agree with Moers as he mentioned that rear-wheel drive cars are still relevant and hold a place in some segments of the market.
He believes that an all-wheel drive layout is useful in bigger cars that are driven year-round, and families depend on.
When it comes to the smaller cars in the line-up like the M2, M3, and M4, the rear-wheel drive novelty is more important. According to Flasch this is because they are mostly weekend cars, and year-round handling isn't what owners look for.
While this is great news for driving enthusiasts, it seems like an uphill battle and soon enough automatic transmissions and Xdrive systems will probably take over M.