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      06-20-2012, 04:48 PM   #1
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Unhappy No Manual Transmission for Next Gen M5 Confirms BMW M Engineering Head

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No Manual Transmission for Next Gen M5 Confirms BMW M Engineering Head
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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.


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      06-20-2012, 06:53 PM   #2
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Good. Should have been done with this current generation.
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      06-20-2012, 06:54 PM   #3
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No more mis-shifting excuses...
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      06-20-2012, 07:01 PM   #4
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As BMW's lineup continues to grow bigger and more powerful, can't really be surprised. I mean who wants to drive a car the size of a 7-Series with a MT? A MT in a 5-Series is tolerable if the size remains the same or is smaller but chances of that happening is almost nil but anything bigger, can't see it.
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      06-20-2012, 07:03 PM   #5
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"The M3 needs to have a stick shift. It will always have a stick shift."

I just wonder for how long after the F80... if they're going AT on the M5, it's only waiting until the rest of the series will follow.
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      06-20-2012, 07:06 PM   #6
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Who is BMW addressing this statement? The only reason my friends and I would even consider the M5 is because they are the only ones who have a high end Sedan who offer a manual, not Mercedes nor Audi. I am glad I have ordered the 2013 M5 manual. Next higher Sedan model I get will most definitely be an AMG Merc -- much better than an M5 dual clutch "auto" ha ha.
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      06-20-2012, 07:11 PM   #7
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YES! finally haha
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      06-20-2012, 07:11 PM   #8
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This is interesting for several reasons:

1. The current M5 is very new, so one must ask why BMW is telegraphing it's intentions for something relatively far in the future.

2. If the M5 will not have a manual transmission, it is reasonable to assume that the entire 5 series will not have one either. Note that except for strengthening the unit, all the other above mentioned problems will apply.

3. One must ask, exactly what is different about US customers that makes them want a manual transmission when nobody else does. Beats me, and I live in the US.
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      06-20-2012, 07:18 PM   #9
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Just Confirmed: I won't be buying the next generation M5!
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      06-20-2012, 07:24 PM   #10
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i love 6mt more than anything, but the 5 seems almost too big and too luxurious to have one

it doesn't look like a car that would have one
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      06-20-2012, 07:38 PM   #11
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First, does the current and previous non-manual transmissions (SMG/DCT) auto-shift like the steptronics, or does it bounce off the rev limiter like a manual transmission when you don't shift gears? I've never driven an M car and refuse to do so until I can actually buy one. To me it would be like someone else spotting you a first class plane ticket for a one-time trip. Every flight thereafter in coach would just suck even more.

If the SMG/DCT bounce off the rev limiter like a manual, I really don't see what the fuss is about. You still are technically shifting with your hands and have complete control of what gear you are in. You only lose a third pedal and the ability to mis-shift. I can't imagine many people what the ability to do a 1-4 up shift or worse, a 5-2 down shift. Dropping the hammer at a high RPM? See Launch control which can get consistently faster times than any human. From a technology perspective, you get better gas mileage from the 7SP DCT than the 6SPD MT and by BMW no longer investing money in R&D on how to get a manual to fit and clutch placement, they can focus those resources on better performance or better pricing, which is a win all around.

If these transmissions don't bounce off the redline and auto-shift, then forget I said anything...
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      06-20-2012, 07:45 PM   #12
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They bounce off redline, you have to shift. To those that fiend for a MT, it's not about the the shifting or performance that comes with a DCT, it's the feel of rowing the gears that people enjoy/want. You can drive the shittiest car that has a manual and it'll still be fun.
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      06-20-2012, 07:47 PM   #13
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why am I not surprised.
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      06-20-2012, 07:55 PM   #14
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. "From a technology perspective, you get better gas mileage from the 7SP DCT than the 6SPD MT"

Incorrect my dear friend, manual gets better gas mileage than DCT.
In regards to first class, once I get a taste of something better, it makes me strive harder to improve my financials to achieve that higher plane.
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      06-20-2012, 08:03 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by truths2k05 View Post
. "From a technology perspective, you get better gas mileage from the 7SP DCT than the 6SPD MT"

Incorrect my dear friend, manual gets better gas mileage than DCT.
In regards to first class, once I get a taste of something better, it makes me strive harder to improve my financials to achieve that higher plane.
Not necessarily true either. GM and VW have stated that they have DCT's that are more fuel efficient than the 6MT.
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      06-20-2012, 08:04 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by truths2k05
. "From a technology perspective, you get better gas mileage from the 7SP DCT than the 6SPD MT"

Incorrect my dear friend, manual gets better gas mileage than DCT.
In regards to first class, once I get a taste of something better, it makes me strive harder to improve my financials to achieve that higher plane.
Gas mileage depends on driver and his driving habits.
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      06-20-2012, 08:09 PM   #17
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Unfortunately this signals a trend that is going to spread to all series. In the next 10-20 years (assuming no WW3 starts), we'll see a substantial increase in hybrid/electric engine technologies where transmission options won't even be discussed any more.

For us mt fans, enjoy what we have as we're a dying breed.
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      06-20-2012, 08:09 PM   #18
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Thats unfortunate for anyone who exclusively drives M/T cars.

At the rate we're going a manual M3 will be the same size as an E60 or even F10 5series in the year 2020 anyway! All hope is not lost

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      06-20-2012, 08:10 PM   #19
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Check the EPA ratings for bmw dct vs mt, and you will find the answer.
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      06-20-2012, 08:31 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nlpamg View Post
Good. Should have been done with this current generation.
Quote:
Originally Posted by LemonOne View Post
YES! finally haha
I'm curious why you two posted comments like this. Why exactly does the M5 having a manual transmission upset you?
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      06-20-2012, 08:34 PM   #21
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      06-20-2012, 08:59 PM   #22
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DCT vs 6MT is far from a black and white issue, even for a keen driver who revels in executing flawless shifts in a 'proper' manual. You know, the kind with a 3rd pedal and gear selector that YOU actuate...

Here's an excerpt from a review I wrote describing my initial impressions of my M5. This is dangerously close to quoting myself, which I find kind of, well, narcissistic, but it illustrates the tension I experience on this topic.

The M5 is spec'd with a 7 speed dual clutch automated manual gearbox rather than a 'proper' manual with a clutch and gear shift. This choice represents the most difficult part of ordering the car. Every other car I've owned has required me to take a more active role in changing gears, and it was really out of respect for the BMW engineers' design intent that I decided to try the dual clutch box. From where I sit right now, I think I made the right choice, but I've got a bit of learning to do before I can claim to drive this car the way I want to on the race track.


Efficiency mode in either auto or sequential configuration does a great job of minimizing fuel consumption and softening the edge that comes with more assertive settings. Comfortable, smooth, and relaxed are the correct descriptive words. I didn't engage efficiency shift mode very much.


Sport Plus shift mode promises the ultimate response and performance experience. Right? That's where I started and it certainly wakes the car up! Shifts are crisp, solid, and perhaps even a bit harsh. (I might have been more decisive about shift harshness if I hadn't driven an Aventador on the track a couple of months ago. Corsa mode, Lamborgini's version of Sport Plus, under WOT acceleration is a recipe for whiplash. Fun, but worryingly hard on the drive train and occupants alike.) I didn't use Sport Plus in auto mode as the shift points were significantly in excess of run in rev limits, but I think I'll be manually shifting this car most of the time anyhow. My only real beef with Sport Plus manual is with down shifting. Although there's an appropriate throttle blip to match revs, when the clutch reengages, engine braking is significant enough to upset the car, particularly in trail braking / late downshifting situations. A good heel/toe downshift in a proper manual is smoother and provides a more natural opportunity to modulate engine braking with a bit of maintenance throttle. I expect I'll learn this skill with the dual clutch setup, but not this week.


Sport shifting speeds up the gear changes substantially compared to efficiency, and remains decently smooth. Smooth enough to keep your passenger's head from jerking forward during shifts, and smooth enough to keep 'shock loading' out of the gear train's load history. In automatic configuration, the shift map is remarkably sympathetic with enthusiastic and spirited driving. If you get caught needing to attack a road in this mode, you'll find that crisp shifts at reasonable but assertive revs will get the job done. If you lift, the car will hold the gear anticipating reapplication of the throttle and will upshift only when moderate throttle is applied. Downshifts are a little slower than Sport Plus, but the payback is that engine braking is less obtrusive and the shift is smoother. Almost as smooth as I'd do it myself - on a good day. Of course not every downshift in a proper manual is perfect, and I'd never want to go up against the dual clutch system in a contest of consistency, but then again, striving for the perfect downshift - every time- is part of the joy of driving and when the car does it for you, something is lost. (Reflective pause.....)
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