BMW has hinted at the existence of a manual 2020 M3, but the company has stopped short of all-out confirming it. Until now.Speaking with BMW Blog, the head of BMW M made it clear the new M3 and M4 will be available with three pedals Ė although exactly which variants will be offered with a stick remains to be seen."Itís a bit early to disclose all the details but something I want to highlight is that we will have a manual stick shift," Markus Flasch said."Manual is very important," he later disclosed."The manual stick shift is not a performance-bringer, because an automatic transmission is just faster, you can ask any race driver.""But it gives the vehicle character and I kind of compare it to people who love mechanical watches; it isnít more precise and it doesnít have any advantage at all but itís a character feature. So is a stick shift."The new M3 and M4 are expected to launch early in 2020, likely with a choice of all-wheel or rear-wheel drive. Speaking with CarAdvice earlier this year, Flasch said the automatic option will be a variation of the eight-speed torque converter from the M5.Power will come from a new turbocharged inline-six dubbed 'S58', described as 95 per cent different to the S55 used in the current model.The development team has focused on delivering snappy throttle response and a free-revving character, neither of which are traditional strengths of turbocharged engines.MORE: BMW M3 news, reviews, comparisons and videosMORE: BMW M4 news, reviews, comparisons and videosMORE: Everything BMW

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