Is The BMW M4 Automatic?

The BMW M4 Coupe’s manual transmission will appeal to purists, but the Competition variants’ 8-speed M Sport automatic transmissions are highly precise.


The M4 is the two-door variant of the M3 sedan and offers a high level of comfort, luxury, and usability for daily driving as well as a decently roomy back seat if necessary. The BMW M4 excels in two areas: power and grip. A blazing 473-hp twin-turbo inline-six engine, a six-speed manual transmission, and rear-wheel drive are all standard on the M4; M4 Competition editions have 503 hp. The sole transmission offered with the optional xDrive all-wheel-drive technology is an eight-speed automatic, which is available as an option for both versions. There is even a brand-new track-attack model, the 543-hp M4 CSL, which loses the back seat to reduce weight. Finding a configuration you’re comfortable with is made more difficult by the overwhelming number of driving modes that regulate powertrain and chassis configurability. Despite this criticism, the M4 is a unique vehicle. Massive amounts of power and torque as well as a manual transmission option bring back memories of why M vehicles were once so outstanding.

Is the BMW M4 Manual a Better Vehicle Than the Competition?

There simply isn’t a substitute for a manual transmission for some aficionados. Even the worst modern automatics are still preferred by many aficionados above them. The new BMW M3 and M4 are intriguing examples of that exact predicament, as some enthusiasts would still choose those models over their more coherent Competition (automatic) counterparts, despite the fact that the manual gearbox versions of both cars feel rather subpar in their execution. In this video, Joe Achilles shows us the BMW M4 manual and discusses whether he would prefer it to the Competition standard on his M3.

Before discussing which is superior, let’s first discuss the situation. The sole available transmission for the base model BMW M4 Coupe is a manual transmission. The 3.0 liter twin-turbocharged I6 engine’s 473 horsepower and 406 lb-ft of torque are reduced as a result. While the M4 Competition only has an eight-speed automatic transmission and greater power—503 hp and 479 lb-ft—it is also more expensive.

Achilles has a BMW M3 Competition, which has two extra doors but is otherwise mechanically the same as the M4 Competition. If he could have, he would have purchased the regular M3 with a manual transmission, but those vehicles are not offered in the UK, where he lives. That is why, when in Germany for a few weeks, he was so eager to test the M4 manual. He had the opportunity to test the manual M4 during that time on the Autobahn, beautiful back roads, and even at the Nurburgring.

All that testing just served to solidify his belief that the manual automobile would be preferable to own because he enjoyed it so much more. Although the BMW M4 manual has flaws, he believed that it delivered a better sense of connection than his M3 Competition despite those flaws. Even though some journalists, including myself, have attacked the M3 and M4 manuals for being ambiguous and rubbery, Achilles still likes them over even his own automatic vehicle because they still offer a sense of connection. Look into it.

Competition Improvements

BMW only provides the M4 Competition with one transmission, an eight-speed automatic, albeit you may choose between RWD and AWD. The main difference between the Competition version of the M4 Coupe and the “basic” version, aside from the transmission, is an increase in power and torque to 503 horsepower and 479 lb-ft, made possible by a boost increase and a higher redline of 7,200 rpm. The 3.0 liter twin-turbo S58 engine’s other components are largely the same. The Competition’s 0-60 mph time decreases to 3.8 seconds, though this improvement might just as much be attributed to the automatic transmission as it is to the increased power.

The automatic transmission in the M4 is impressive; it shifts smoothly in traffic but becomes a quick-shifting lunatic when pushed. The torque converter automatic isn’t a slouch for spirited driving, but the previous dual-clutch transmission provided a little bit more of a motorsports feel. Overall, the difference in power between the base M4 and the M4 Competition is less important than your desire for a certain transmission.


The BMW M4 is a high-performance variant of the coupes and convertibles in the BMW 4 Series line that BMW’s motorsport subsidiary, BMW M, designed and has been selling since 2014.

The BMW M3 coupe and convertible vehicles were superseded by the M4 as part of the renumbering that divided the 3 Series coupe and convertible variants into the 4 Series (to further separate these from the 3 Series). An improved engine, suspension, exhaust system, brakes, and attempts to reduce weight, such as increased usage of carbon fiber on the car’s roof, are among the enhancements above the base BMW 4 Series.

We tested both the manual and automatic versions of the flagship vehicles from the Bavarian powerhouse. Here is the conclusion.

The M3, the most popular variant of BMW’s best-selling sports sedan, has served as the company’s high-performance spearhead for many years. These two vehicles, which are complemented by the M4 coupe (which joined the fray in the middle of 2010 and absorbed the two-door M3 into its ranks), have long served as a stepping stone to more expensive fare from the Bimmerhaven factory and have represented the best combination of speed, prestige, and utility in the automaker’s lineup.

BMW has updated each model for 2021 and made a few changes to each model’s respective M formula. There are currently two distinct levels of M3/M4 vehicles: the base model with the manual transmission and the model with the new automatic transmission (Competition). The strategy — and the technical specifics of the Competition — mark a clear departure for both current and former ardent followers and first-time purchasers, and their decision will have a significant impact on how they will feel operating these vehicles.

Which 2021 BMW M3 or 2021 BMW M4 model is best for you? It is obvious that the automaker’s choice to split its M ranks was an ingenious one that speaks directly to the shifting desires of high-performance luxury buyers after spending two weeks living with the strictly six-speed M3 and the auto-only M4 Competition back-to-back.

A BMW M4 is entirely automatic, right?

transmission type: manual or automatic. The BMW M4 Coupe’s manual transmission will appeal to purists, but drivers of the Competition variants will appreciate the agility of an 8-speed M Sport automatic transmission.

Can I buy a manual BMW M4?

The only technological distinctions between Competition and Non-Competition are the power rating and the transmission.

Compared to the 8-speed M Steptronic, the manual gearbox vehicle weighs 25 kg less overall.

Other than the gearbox, what else separates the Competition from the non-Competition?

There are no technical differences outside the transmission’s actual power rating. There are some visible variations, including badges, mirror caps and gurneys that match the body color, and tail pipe color.

Is there a technical reason the AWD model doesn’t have a manual transmission?

No, the BMW M3 and M4 are built in a weight- and purity-optimized manner. Therefore, we didn’t think it made sense to include the more cumbersome, complicated M xDrive system in the manual.

Is it feasible to choose the manual transmission option and still have the cruise control feature?

Dynamic cruise control is a feature that comes standard on every new BMW M3 and M4 vehicle, including those with manual transmissions. Only vehicles with an 8-speed M Steptronic transmission are eligible for the adaptive cruise control.

Why is a dual mass flywheel being utilized instead of a single mass flywheel? What’s the distinction?

An improved decoupling of drivetrain vibrations from engine vibrations is provided by a dual mass flywheel. At idle and under low speed/high torque conditions, a single mass flywheel would produce grating rattle.

The transmission says no. Massive negative effects on the engine and the rest of the car are extremely likely.

common manual transmission fluid For full specs, consult your neighborhood BMW service provider. Additionally, the manual transmission does not have an oil pan, and both housing components are made of cast aluminum.

Even with the impending M xDrive, all M3 and M4 cars may drift very readily. Simply plunge in, give it a shot, and always abide by the law.

That is certainly doable. You risk blowing your engine and clutch if you shift from fifth or sixth to second while travelling at greater speeds.

Is the BMW M4 a quick vehicle?

The focus of BMW M appears to have changed during the last ten or so years. It looked like BMW M was all about the sensory experience even when vehicles like the E92 M3 were available. The sensation of the steering, the thrilling sound of the engine, and the heart-pounding surge of speed were all intended to send shivers down your spine. For better or worse, it appears that the M Division has reversed these objectives as seen by Car and Driver’s astounding 2.8-second 0-60 mph time in the BMW M4 xDrive.

You need the Competition mode if you want an all-wheel-drive BMW M4. This indicates that the 3.0 liter inline-six engine’s dual turbochargers produce 503 horsepower and 479 lb-ft of torque. The M4 xDrive is the fastest M3/M4 ever produced when equipped with its eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive. But we never really believed it was capable of competing with Porsche and McLaren real supercars.

The BMW M4 xDrive completed the 0-60 mph sprint in 2.8 seconds, which is on par with some of the fastest supercars in the world. It complements vehicles like the Porsche 911 Turbo, Ferrari 488, McLaren 570S, and Audi R8 V10 Performance. Obviously, C&D’s time was reduced by two tenths of a second because it included a one-foot rollout. When comparing the M4 xDrive’s 0-60 mph seconds with some of C&D’s other excellent times, it’s still a good metric because all of C&D’s 0-60 mph times are recorded with a one-foot rollout. The C8 Corvette Z51 and the M4 xDrive are the only other sub-$100,000 vehicles to reach a time of 2.8 seconds to 60 mph for C&D.

All of that is great, but it does demonstrate BMW M’s shift in focus. Never the fastest in a straight line were M cars. Typically, AMGs and even certain Audi Sport vehicles were faster. But M vehicles were always the scalpels, the ones that drove with such accuracy that mere acceleration seemed pointless. I spent a week driving the M4 xDrive, and while it has great performance, it doesn’t quite have the same level of excitement as some other vehicles in its price range. For instance, I would select the C8 Corvette Z51 over C&D’s other sub-six-figure, 2.8-second car over the M4 xDrive.