BMW Officially Axes Manual Transmission in Next M5
June 21, 2012 9:45 AM
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Original M5 and current M5
M5 loses US only six-speed manual option
Many auto enthusiasts have had high hopes for BMW and manual transmissions after a patent application for the carmaker surfaced showing a
transmission was in the works. That transmission may still make it to the streets in some BMWs, but it won't be in the future BMW M5.
BMW has gone "official", saying that the next generation M5 will not be engineered with a manual transmission. BMW goes a little further with M division head, Albert Biermann, saying it's not cost-effective given the manual's low take rate. The upside is the more enthusiast focused M3 will continue to offer a manual transmission.
"Last year, maybe 15-20 percent of our M5s in the U.S. were manuals and maybe this year it will be 15 percent. It's declining," Biermann warned. "The trouble is that nobody wants it in Europe or anywhere else, so this will be the last time we do it, even for the hard-core U.S. buyers."
The current M5 offers a six-speed manual transmission alongside a no-cost option for a seven-speed double-clutch unit that shifts with paddles. BMW says offering the six-speed manual was very expensive.
"We just can't justify it anymore. It's a no-cost option, but it's been very difficult to do."
"Theoretically the stick is cheaper, but it's very low volumes and we have to strengthen everything in the gearbox and find space for the shifter and another pedal, so it doesn't work out cheaper."
The six-speed manual in the M5 has only been available in the U.S.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
6/21/2012 10:45:51 AM
I'd say, "Well, now I'll never buy the new BMW M5," but, fair enough, I couldn't afford it anyway. What's unfortunate is that BMW appears to be saying is that too many poseurs are buying this motorsports-series car, and so they're now targeting its setup to their needs (e.g.: automatic tranny). What I'm still incredulous over is that this would represent even a majority, much less the vast majority, of European buyers, who historically and in general, appreciate the stick shift.
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