Update: A source close to the brand told BMWBLOG that the rumors around an M5 with automatic transmission only are unfounded and the report is pure speculation at the moment.
A recent article published by MotorTrend makes waves in the BMW community. According to the popular US magazine, the next generation F10 BMW M5 might be the first M car available only with a fully automatic transmission.
Back in 2010, interior spy shots of the new M5 showed the prototype with an automatic transmission which according to our source is a “beefed up” version of the new ZF eight-speed found in other BMW models. The transmission will be matted to a modified 4.4 liter V8 twin-turbo engine similar to the one found in the X5M and X6M.
The two M-twins are also available with automatics only, and according to MotorTrend the decision lays with the inability of the M Dual Clutch (DCT) transmission to handle the additional torque found in the revamped engine. The powerplant is rumored to produce north of 550 horsepower and around 530 lb of torque.
“BMW M discovered that the transmission would have to be beefed up with bigger actuators, which would slow down the transmission’s response time. The only way it could have worked was with an extensive redo of the M DCT. So BMW’s M division chose to go with the eight-speed manumatic only”, says MotorTrend in their article.
So what does it mean for future BMW products? We believe the next generation M3 will maintain the DCT and manual options, mostly because of the new six-cylinder engine.