As the automotive industry continues to shift toward electrification and more technologically advanced vehicles, the days of manual transmissions have long seemed numbered, but now BMW M boss Frank van Meel has expressed his desire to keep the gearbox option alive for driving enthusiasts. Speaking to Autocar, the executive explained that almost 50% of all M2 sales opt for manual gearboxes and that fans of the brand love the option because it gives them a bigger sense of control over the car, despite the transmission making little technical sense to produce given modern technologies.
“From a technical viewpoint, there’s little reason to save it,” van Meel says. “It’s heavier, it’s slower and you get worse fuel consumption than the alternative. But the customer and the fanbase really love the manual. It gives a connection to allow them to demonstrate they can tame the beast – and that’s the point. We want to keep it.”
He added: “People want to say they can handle the beast. If they have a way of showing they can do that, then they want it – and a manual gearbox is part of that.”
Elsewhere in the automotive industry, LG is expanding its reach within the EV charging sector with its latest acquisition.