If you're an M5 and manual transmission fan then this current F10 M5 generation will be your last chance to own the combination. BMW M's head of engineering, Albert Biermann let on this week to Insideline
that there are no plans to fit the next generation M5 or M6 with a manual transmission. Manual transmission is currently offered as a no-cost option for the F10 M5 in North America (only) and will likely become an option for the F12/F13 M6 as well.
The reasoning is as expected - the manual's low take rates do not justify its development costs. According to Biermann, "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." He added that "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." "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."
M enthusiasts will not be completely without a manual transmission option however, as Biermann promised that the M3 will continue to be offered with a manual transmission option. As he put it - "The M3 needs to have a stick shift. It will always have a stick shift." This comes as no surprise as the next gen F80 M3 prototype has already been spied
with a 6 speed manual.