*Update* MotorTrend Rumor: New 2012 BMW M5 to sport only Automatic transmission

Rumors | February 15th, 2011 by 17
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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 …

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.

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“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.

17 responses to “*Update* MotorTrend Rumor: New 2012 BMW M5 to sport only Automatic transmission”

  1. marius says:

    Epic fail

  2. M5Manny says:

    Let’s all wait and see what it’s like before passing judgement. I agree it’s a huge disappointment but not necessarily a fail.

  3. M5Manny says:


    The “automatic only” rumours for the E60 M5 were pretty rampant as well.

  4. Daniel Hoang says:

    I hope not. It would even be better if it only had a 6 speed option like the E39.

    • If you recall, they had to compromise a bit to fit the E39 M with the 6-speed. For a car this heavy and powerful, a proper manual transmission will have to be very large and heavy. I can see why auto (any variations of it, be it true auto or SMG) might be the only viable option.

  5. HJTravels says:

    BMW should know better than to try selling us auto only models. They tried it with the last M5 and that never worked out for them. We want Manual Transmissions!

  6. Zack Morris says:

    Really who cares? The hacks who buy a M5 don’t know how to drive stick anyway

  7. Woo Hoo says:

    Manuals are not faster than DCT….

    This is just an ‘enthusiasts’ die hard affinity for such a pedestrian task as shifting gears themselves….

  8. Clinton says:

    BMW has a tough job of balancing supercar performance and everyday drivability and abuse.

    Two edge sword here. As demonstrated by 911 GT2 RS, manual gearbox, massive torque, no problem. But it could be a waranty nightmare for BMW if they put a manual tranny in. People who drives GT2s probably put on a couple thousand miles a year if that. Whereas some guy is probably going to do 18k/yr lease on the M5, after convincing his wife that it can be a daily driven family car. I can see that now, guy blows a transmission on the westside hwy in NY, been in traffic stop and go for an hour. Now claims warranty and blames BMW, cause he doesn’t realize the difference between a 535i and a M5.

    I sure hope BMW finds a way. For that it will be one awesome car. We’ll see.

  9. This probably will not go over well with car enthusiasts who mostly prefer manual. At the risk of being burned at the stake I have to admit that I only know how to drive automatic; never touched a stick in my life! So on a personal level, M5 with auto works fine for me.

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