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BMW Discontinues Manual Transmission for Next-Gen M5, M6

Will still offer the manual on the M2, M3, and M4

Megan Stewart
Apr 7, 2016

Manual transmissions are slowly being phased out in many cars, and the most recent powerhouses to axe the row-your-own option are the next-generation BMW M5 and M6.

Las year,we reported that this may happen, with BMW M Division's Frank van Meel tellingAutocar, "From a technical standpoint, the future doesn't look bright for manual gearboxes. The DCT and auto 'boxes are faster and they have better fuel consumption." When we drove the current-gen model, we noticed that themanual didn't improve the performance of the sport sedan, with its unnoticeable weight advantage and slower shifts compared to the dual-clutch auto. In addition to the manual not adding any performance benefits, it's possible the decision to kill it was also influenced by a low take rate for the option. However, BMW couldn't provide a breakdown of manual transmission sales.

2013 BMW M6 Coupe rear three quarter burnout Photo 2/9   |   BMW Discontinues Manual Transmission for Next-Gen M5, M6

Now, a BMW spokesperson confirmed the news that the manual transmission will no longer be offered on the next-gen M5 and M6. However, the automaker will continue to offer it on the BMW M2, M3, and M4. Other non-M BMW models will also have an available manual transmission.

Originally, the manual transmission had to be specially developed for the U.S. market, as the twin-turbo V-8 engine delivered too much punch. The engine controller needed to be reprogrammed to preserve the transmission after manual shifting, and to make this happen, BMW invested a significant amount of time and money.

Production for the current BMW M5 and M6 models will come to an end this fall, and the six-speed manual will be replaced with a standard seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission when the next-gen model arrives in 2017.

Source: BMW

2012 bmw m5 front three quarter2 Photo 3/9   |   BMW Discontinues Manual Transmission for Next-Gen M5, M6
By Megan Stewart
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