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Original M5 and current M5  (Source: Insideline)
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 seven-speed manual 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.

Source: Insideline





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