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.
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RE: The problem isnt the car
6/21/2012 5:57:21 PM
Perhaps, but we all have the same speed limit regardless of whatever model car you drive. My car might do 110, yours might do 155, but if I can quite easily do 70 (the speed limit over here in the UK) and some numpty, usually in a German car I might add, flies up behind me as I'm overtaking somebody, giving it the flashing lights and tailgating me, there's only one thing I'm going to do...
...let my foot off the accelerator gently.
I have every right to be where I am. I'm overtaking somebody in a safe and legal fashion whilst keeping it nicely on the speed limit. It's also what we're taught over here - if somebody is being aggressive behind you, reduce speed slowly. Besides which, the impatient guy behind might have saved a little bit of fuel not going at 90mph for a change.
Almost as much of a concern as being tailgated by somebody in a large wheel based vehicle who forgot the speed limit or the Highway Code for that matter. It's even worse if you're driving a supermini.
RE: The problem isnt the car
6/22/2012 12:38:15 PM
While I don't appreciate the type of tailgating speed-maniacs you've described, I also do not appreciate your solution. Aside from aggravating an already aggressive driver (creating a high-risk-of-accident scenario), by easing off the accelerator you are driving below the speed limit; this action:
1. slows things down for everyone behind you
2. makes your own goal of overtaking someone take longer
It reminds me of pedestrians who purposely take their time at crosswalks when they're stopping traffic - all they are doing is slowing things down, for themselves and everyone else. When I use the crosswalk, I quicken pace.
RE: The problem isnt the car
6/29/2012 4:51:58 AM
Okay, maybe not reducing speed that much when overtaking, however it's preferable to braking or grinding the accelerator into the floor. Perhaps maintaining speed is the best thing, but one thing I'm certainly not doing is swerving out of the way.
I don't want to appear like a lunatic or anything (I'm certainly not) but I don't feel that I should be intimidated by other drivers. I suppose if you go out driving you can do so with the mentality that most drivers are idiots, so treat them as such, however you cannot be overly cautious nor aggressive. I remember overtaking on an unlit dual carriageway at night during the rain and somebody in a black Vauxhall/Opel Vectra flew up behind me and started flashing at me from a car's length behind to get out of the way. I just stuck to my speed and moved back left when I could; he just flew past in a big hurry.
As for the crosswalk scenario, if it says WALK (or the green man shows over here) then as long as you cross the road before the lights signal drivers to move off, nobody can have any complaints, however if it's a zebra crossing where drivers must give way to pedestrians, then dawdling as you cross could indeed annoy.
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