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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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Manual days almost over
By macca007 on 6/22/2012 8:36:10 AM , Rating: 2
I have a 6 speed manual V8 300kw modded SS Commodore, I can say for sure my next car will be an auto!
There is stuff all difference between them these days and in some regards the autos are faster when set up correctly.
The amount of people on the road these days in peak hour it is a downright pain in the arse changing gears putting wear and tear on the crunch box.
In 10 years with this car gone through 3 clutches,gearbox on the way out yes I drive aggressively,More aggravated driving experience when some idiot in fast lane is going too slow forcing me to change down gears when I shouldn't have to, naaaa no more manuals for me, Fun as they were tiptronic/sequential/active select or whatever other name they call these new auto's is the way to go. Maybe old age starting to kick in but looks/comfort/gadgets/fuel economy has more priority to me than being able to change gears. Just a pain in the butt in peak hour traffic! Plus if a car has 300+hp it don't make any difference being auto or manual the power is still there, Can't drag race on roads so what's the point having the extra .5 of a second in take off or .4L/100 in fuel economy savings you get from a manual. Need to overtake just push the lever over then down on the auto and drive it like a manual.
I guess if you are still real young the fun/feeling of changing gears might be a turn on still,Maybe after you have spent several thousand on repairs to the crunch box or clutch you may think differently. ;)

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