BMW has revealed a new seven-speed semi-automatic gearchange system, called M DCT.
The dual-clutch technology is similar to the system used in Volkswagen's DSG gearbox, and works by engaging the next gear before you select it, saving time and making changes smoother.
The driver can opt to change gear using a traditional gearlever or via paddles located behind the steering wheel.
The M3 coupe's 0-62mph time is reduced by 0.2sec over the six-speed manual model to 4.6sec.
In addition, the system improves fuel economy and features a Low-Speed Assist function that makes the car easier to manoeuvre at speeds of less than 5mph.
M DCT will initially be available on the M3 cabriolet as an option, priced from around 2500, then to other M3s.