BMW 2 Series / BMW M2
BMW is keen to hold on to its reputation as an enthusiast’s marque, and the 2 Series is a highlight. It has the proportions of the E46 generation BMW 3 Series but thoroughly modern levels of grip, power, and handling dynamics. You can pick up the BMW 230i coupe or the M240i coupe and convertible with a manual. Still, if you want to take advantage of more power and a tightly tuned chassis, then the blisteringly fast BMW M2 is also available with a 405-hp turbocharged inline six-cylinder engine through a six-speed manual transmission.
BMW 4 Series / BMW M4
If a 2 Series is too small of a coupe for you, then a rear-wheel-drive 4 Series or ballistically fast M4 is still on the table for some manual transmission high jinks. The 430i, powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-pot developing 248 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque, has a manual option. So does the more powerful 440i model with two extra cylinders that delivers 326 hp and 332 lb-ft. As a serious performance coupe with comfortable daily driving chops, the M4 sets the bar and also has a manual option to go with its 425 hp and 406 lb-ft of torque in the “base” model.
For the 2020 model year, Mini is bringing the manual transmission back with orders opening in February. The Mini Hardtop and Mini Convertible get three pedals first and will be followed in July by the Clubman and Countryman models. Until then, you can only order the cars with the eight-speed automatic or the new seven-speed dual-clutch for the Countryman and Clubman models.
High-performance variants won’t be getting a shift lever, though. Mini is using autos in the John Cooper Works variants of the Countryman and Clubman as well as the new Cooper GP to handle the power and make sure they are as quick as they can be.