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Published on June 28th, 2012 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez

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BMW ‘M’ Cars To Lose Manual Gearboxes

Strong rumors suggest that the next-generation M5 and M6 will get only double-clutch transmissions, disappointing those who prefer the manual transmissions. Albert Biermann, the head of engineering, admitted that they are not planning to accommodate three pedals in the next M6 and M5 since there had been far too little orders to justify the additional work. Biermann mentioned that last year, the number of manuals sold were declining. In 2011, around 15-20% of its M5s used a stick but it’s likely to just be 15% this year. He said that the issue is that there isn’t a high demand for the manual version in Europe or even in other regions so this would probably be the last time that the company will offer it in the U.S. or elsewhere.
The six-speed manual transmission of the M5 had been massively revised from its 5 Series origins and sells beside the seven-speed double-clutch unit in the U.S. as a no-cost option. In addition, the gearbox won’t be a no-cost option on the upcoming M6 Coupe and Convertible. BMW doesn’t sell it on another continent. Biermann explained that even if the manual transmission is cheaper, it can’t be justified anymore even if it’s a no-cost option.

That’s because it sells in low volumes and the company would have to reinforce all the elements in the gearbox and find some space for the shifter and another pedal. That’s why it doesn’t come out less expensive in the end. But there’s some good news. Biermann promised that at least one hard-core M tradition will still be available until the future. He however confirmed that the M3 will maintain a manual gearbox for the next model.


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