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: Manual transmission rocks
6/22/2012 7:06:57 AM
You're a dinosaur. People who spend in the 6-figure range on a sports car don't want 1800's shifting technology in their transportation.
If you want to row gears, go buy a miata or something similar. I personally prefer a transmission that's faster, more fuel-efficient and more durable than a rowing machine. CVT's can't handle power for anything, so DCT's are the way to go.
We're not talking STI or EVO market here--this is BMW's flagship 5-series. "Purists" can go drive mustangs.
"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer
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