Poll: Manual vs. 7-Speed DCT in your new BMW M5

BMW M5, Featured Posts | March 26th, 2011 by 32
engine 6speed 750x303

Let’s assume for a second that all of us will buy the next generation BMW M5, money is no object and the toughest choice is …

Let’s assume for a second that all of us will buy the next generation BMW M5, money is no object and the toughest choice is to select the right options. One of the first choices we make in a new BMW is picking the right transmission, and the 2012 M5 makes this choice even more difficult.

The rumors around the transmission choices in the F10 M5 have been going around for quite some time now, and contradictory reports first appeared in 2010. Just a few weeks back, Motor Trend broke the news with a highly speculative rumor: the 2012 BMW M5 to sport only an automatic transmission. Clearly a very bold and daring statement that heated up the BMW community.

The enthusiasts quickly gathered and expressed their founded concerns, but fortunately, the report was a hoax. We recently learned, in an unofficial way, that the 2012 BMW M5 will offer two transmission choices: a beefed up 7-Speed dual-clutch transmission and a manual gearbox. The 7-Speed DCT replaces the fast, yet controversial SMG offering, and the manual tranny caters to the purists.

engine 6speed 655x247

Earlier today, we reported on a rumor coming from Germany that mentions the manual transmission as being an U.S. only option.

We would like to take the time to hear your input on this topic and also to allow you to vote on your favorite transmission for the new 2012 BMW M5.

[poll id=”75″]

32 responses to “Poll: Manual vs. 7-Speed DCT in your new BMW M5”

  1. M5Owner says:

    Manual for me. As perfect as a DCT really is, the manual is where the joy is. Yes, I know everyone hates the word joy, but to me the manual in an M car is all I want.

    • Zwai says:

      I totally agree wit you my man MANUAL all the way. Why must auto transmission be even considered in the
      first place for a BMW, not to mention an M car. BMW must stay honest and true to their True Drivers Car credo. Any car from BMW should use manual transmission and it should go-without-saying in an bagded
      car. Anyone that wants auto must go to the next two forests – Mercedes and Audi.

  2. FadeToBlack says:

    I remember something funny, just to show how irrelevant these polls really are: years ago, when they were still available, almost everyone wanted a manual gearbox in their Ferrari F430. If you were to make a topic on some big forum more than half of the people answering wanted manual gearboxes, as it doesn’t take away from the pleasure of driving and all that bullshit people say just to prove they are real drivers. The real world: there aren’t even 10% of F430s with manual gearbox.
    This poll: maybe 10% of F10M M5 will be sold with a manual gearbox in the US. In the real world a manual gearbox in a 2+ tonne car with enough engineering so as the car to be able to drive itself is like having a Rolls Royce and driving it yourself.
    Maybe only the people that will actually afford to buy and want to buy an F10 M5 should answer, just to make it real. But then you’d have to remove almost all the votes :).
    Now, everyone’s an enthusiast and can drive a stick…

    I’d go for the M-DCT. Why? Because it’s suited for this car: it’s a big, very heavy sedan, with luxury in mind, no sports car (and keep it to yourself if you think a 4500lbs car is a sports car because it’s not). To me it’s more of a 4-door GT car of sorts. This car doesn’t need a manual, unless you’re the type of person that has a secretary, yet do all the appointments yourself.

    • La Ma says:

      just watch carefully in your sport car when a driver with this M5 beats you down on any condition – street, track, back road, whatever.
      I agree DCT but because this car is a dual purpose car. Drive it on the street with the kids in the back and a grocery in a trunk, use the DCT auto mode, save fuel and be comfortable and lazy.
      On the weekend take it to a track, use the paddle shifters and beat the living crap out of most people’s sport car and their manual transmission.
      The E60 M5 was/is an ugly car. but a sweet ride and did 95% of what I just described. This new one will do it 100% and then some.
      Forget about the hard padded uncomfortable seats, the heavy clutch pedal, the crunchy straight geared manual shifter, and no power assisted steering… this M5 will handle all what those cars can and still be a luxury limo during the week. Awesome car BMW !!

      • HDude says:

        It may have dual purpose to it, but it’s still no reason to leave out the manual tranny option.  This is still a performance car/sport car of sorts and the ONLY the manual tranny will allow that true full control and car to driver feedback that many enthusiast and purist still crave.  OH and I should point out, having a DCT equip vehicle doesn’t always mean you can or will drive faster then one with a manual tranny.  In fact not DCT equiped vehicles necessary do the 0-60 faster then their manual counterparts.

        • HDude says:

          Sorry meant to say not all DCT equip vehicles will necessarily do the 0-60 or 1/4 mile run faster then their manual tranny counterparts.

    • Vantage82 says:

      Exactly… Manual won’t save much weight from the heavy M5. Just buy another light sports car with a manual and drive fast in the m5 daily.

  3. Manny Antunes says:


  4. Dimitri Zhuk says:

    Please, Please Let this rumor be true!!!!
    Yes, dual clutch is faster, yes it is more this and more that. But driving, aside from getting from one point to another, should be engaging and rewarding. Thats where Manual wins.

  5. wazon8 says:

    I don’t drive a lot in a city, so manual will suit me.

    • Peter Gharib says:

      I never understood that. People always say “I don’t drive city, so I’ll get a manual” or “I drive lots of city, I don’t want a manual.” If you’re doing lots of highway, you hardly shift gears so what’s the point of a manual? I would imagine that city driving would be the best time to have a manual because you can change gears to suit the moment. I understand the clutch pedal thing being cumbersome at times but still…

  6. Audayh says:

    Manual for me, but to be fair DCT is a very suitable option for a car that big with a huge torque, as long as it’s not Auto I’m happy.

  7. Al says:

    please make those DCT or what ever for people with money and make the standard gearbox with normal clutch for people with heart and love for BMW. thanks and God bless BMW. lol

  8. John says:

    So auf wiedersehen ‘stick-shift’ or clutch and gas pedal. No more sore arm & leg muscles.
    Is is about time. Tempus Fugit
    c/o CarSanook!

  9. Gianni says:

    I honestly think it’s a shame that we would have to choose. Personally I really could not decide between the two simply because I see the pro’s and con’s in both of them. I think it’s a shame that BMW does not produce both of them, hence manual as stock and the DCT as an optional. I think that’s the best way to satisfy all customers and the best way to promote this car. Remember if a car is sold in only one version it will be remembered as only “that automatic M5” (no matter how amazing it is, and that will probably annoy a lot of customers, that will in the end buy maybe an M1 or M3, even though they really wanted that M5….). If anyone in BMW has a brain they will produce both, nevermind the cost, it’s the machine you want to promote*, not your personal success. If they realize this, they will do it.
    *A machine that is really the perfect combination of a sedan you can take to work, pick up your kids, and on the weekend thrash it on the track. This is not a joke, this is a proper race car. Maybe not a traditional race car but the speed and power it develops makes it superior to most cars that are classically called “racing cars” (hence two seats, mid engine etc). This M5 might not be a lightweight, but who said Muhammad Ali couldn’t run a marathon?

  10. viper says:

    a 7speed double clutch please or more advanced 6speed manual

    • wazon8 says:

      More advanced 6speed manual than what?

      • HDude says:

        Well Nissan has the syncho-rev matching equiped manual tranny 370Z cars, so that could somewhat apply right?

        • Peter Gharib says:

          The whole point of a manual is that it is simple and the driver controls it. Why would I want a computer to control my revs? If I bought a manual, it’s because I wanna control the revs…

  11. joe says:

    manual is more engaging, and makes you feel more in control. Manual for me too.

  12. socratesRAM says:

    I’ll have mine in a DCT, however, I know many people who would like it to be a Manual, don’t ask me why, my M3’s DCT is wonderful, but even after my friends have driven it, they still feel manual is where their “pleasure is”.

  13. Hugo Becker says:

    The question is what manual gearbox are they offering. The torque rating of the engine is over 700 Nm, the ZF manual in use has a 600 Nm torque rating. Where are they sourcing a manual that can handle the additional torque, or do you get a de-tuned engine with the manual box? ;-)

    • FadeToBlack says:

      I’d also like to bring up the fact that there were people wanting a manual in the E60, which was clearly not designed with a manual gearbox in mind, and had a problem with the gearbox: it overheated like a bitch on steroids during hard use (track time), rendering a 500+BHP car to M3 levels of power or even less.
      Want a sports car? Buy one. But stop saying this car is a some sort of supercar. It’s not… I respect the BUYER’s choice of a manual, yet on such discussions a lot of non-potential buyers say manual just because it’s something an enthusiast will buy.
      Want something with a manual to drive from time to time? An M5 is not your car. This is a daily driver from BMW’s perspective. A manual… come on…
      Still, if a manual gearbox is what BMW has in mind, why not offer it all over the world? I hardly see the Americans as the only right market for a manual. This is sad, as BMW is wiling to make a manual M5 only for the US, which will account to less than 10% of the sales just to satisfy a minority’s need for a manual. BMW should stop reading the forums and ask the potential buyers and the ones that actually paid a deposit and ask them about the gearbox option.
      My point is that there are a ton of “enthusiasts” that say they want a manual. It’s all for the wrong reasons. In a GT3? Yes. In a M3? Yes. In the M5? No. The trend clearly ended with the E39 M5.
      BMW, do you want to renew the trend? At least stop disrespecting the rest of the world and stop kissing US ass. Want to respect the other buyers? At least have the decency to offer an option for all markets and stop showing the rest of non-US buyers that they matter. Otherwise, you’re just a market’s bitch. You’ve lost customers with your stupid “Joy” campaign, while you could have kept them in an Ultimate Driving Machine. You used to be something, not you’re just like a competitor to Audi and Mercedes…

  14. That’s what the 1M is for. The M5 – will be a DCT

  15. Golferchuck says:

    Does it even matter anymore. This Manual versus DCT comparison is getting passe. All it matters is what you enjoy. People who say SMG are for posers Rubens Barrichello owns an BMW M5 with SMG and he can kick all of our arses.

    Its not the car its the driver otherwise get a GTR.

  16. Ernst328 says:

    DCT in the E92 M3 is superb. I expect it will be awesome in the new M5 as well.

  17. BMWGOD says:

    DCT for me all the way, i’d rather be faster, than operate a manual car.

  18. BMWGOD says:

    DCT for me all the way, i’d rather be faster, than operate a manual car.

  19. Sahib says:

    DCT is the only way to go – the way Formula 1 cars are driven, and it is actually quite engaging, I have the SMG on my E60, and at times clunky, it is still sweet to get that rev blip as I down-shift and those fast shifts when I hit 8000 on the V10. Nothing like 8000 RPM on a V10 in 4th gear – amazing sound! We have to realize that the wold is changing, and the horse and buggy will give way to new technologies. BMW is a great company, they will continue to give us the driving experience we all crave. Just this week, I drove the new 520D in eatern EU, must say, the steering was too digital, the car was great, more luxury than sport. I hope the F10 gives more steering feel and connectedness with the road

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