We all know why the manual gearbox was dropped for the BMW M3 and M4 – not enough people bought them. No car manufacturer is going to make what isn’t going to sell, however much some people say they want it. Even for the smaller BMW M2, where the six-speed was generally accepted as a better fit for the car than the seven-speed auto, the DCT massively outsold the three-pedal version. And the new G8x era of BMW M3 and M4 are fantastic with an eight-speed torque converter. Obviously, a manual wasn’t coming here for those cars – the demand just wasn’t there.
But it is on offer in the US, and a few reviews we’ve seen have praised the appealing combination of six gears, three pedals, nearly 500hp and rear-wheel drive. And call it missing what you had when it’s gone or whatever, but it helps to make those previous generation (and very rare) M4s with the DIY transmission look even more interesting just a few years later.
This one looks especially nice, and is probably one of the last manuals sold here, registered in 2018 and 22,000 miles old. It’s a Competition car (meaning more power and tweaked suspension) yet goes without any badging, and comes with the wheels more commonly seen on the CS model. Maybe white won’t be to all tastes, though neither will an M4 like this spark outrage quite like a new one. And that’s before talking about the interior…
At just four years old, it’s too early to talk about the future for a car like this one, but it’s surely going to have enduring appeal to a committed few with the manual gearbox. More relevant for right now is the fact the M4 – especially in Competition format – came really good in the end, a match for all that Mercedes-AMG, Audi and Alfa Romeo could throw at it. This will remain a brilliant car to drive for a long while yet and – cliché alert – maybe all the M car you’d need. Because, great though it is, an £80k M4 can feel a bit much sometimes.
This manual is for sale at Sytner Coventry BMW for £40,000; perhaps it’s an unreasonable comparison, but a new M135i currently retails at £38,440 – £40k doesn’t seem an awful lot for an M car of this calibre. It has CarPlay, Harmon Kardon sound, electric seats and, really, every bit of equipment you’re going to need. With a 450hp 3.0-litre straight-six, rear-wheel drive and a manual gearbox. They really don’t make them like they used to (over here); often that’s for the best, but we surely aren’t alone in seeing the appeal of this old-schooler.
SPECIFICATION | BMW M4 COMPETITION (F82)
Engine: 2,979cc, twin-turbo straight six
Transmission: 6-speed manual, rear-wheel drive
Power (hp): [email protected],000rpm
Torque (lb ft): [email protected],850rpm
MPG: 34 (DCT, NEDC test)
CO2: 194g/km (DCT, NEDC test)
First registered: 2018
Recorded mileage: 22,000
Price new: £60,355 (M3, 2017)
Yours for: £40,000