BMW M3 Manuals Phased Out in Japan, Remain in Australia

The iconic BMW M3 manual transmission is facing a gradual departure from international markets, with Japan preparing for a unique send-off. However, Australian driving enthusiasts can still revel in the luxury of gearbox choice.

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Japan’s BMW M3 MT Final Edition, revealed last month, marks a poignant end to an era, paying tribute to BMW’s illustrious racing heritage. Limited to just 150 units, each adorned with gold wheels and red seat accents reminiscent of the iconic BMW E30 M3 DTM car, this special edition commemorates BMW’s 35-year legacy in German touring car racing.

Significantly, this Final Edition represents the culmination of manual transmission offerings for the BMW M3 in Japan. Anticipating substantial demand, BMW has implemented a lottery system for potential buyers, underscoring the model’s significance in automotive history.

In contrast, BMW Australia is committed to providing manual gearbox options for local performance-car enthusiasts. Brendan Michel, BMW Australia’s product and market planning boss, reaffirmed the brand’s dedication to preserving manual transmissions for the M2, M3, and M4 models.

An important step forward for aficionados who like manual gearboxes was the introduction of the flagship BMW Z4 M40i in manual form by BMW earlier this year. Unfortunately, Australian customers will not be able to purchase this specific model. Two gearbox options were initially available for Australia’s entry-level four-cylinder’sDrive20i’: a six-speed manual or an eight-speed automated. Unfortunately, the manual transmission option was dropped due to low demand; for two years, only two of the 371 Z4s produced were sold.

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