BMW rumor week continues today with another episode: no manual transmission in the next generation BMW M5. The new F10 M5 will arrive to U.S. dealerships in the upcoming weeks, but InsideLine is already reporting on the next iteration which will occur in 7 years from now. Albert Biermann, Head of M Engineering, told the U.S. outlet that there are no plans to fit three pedals in the next generation M5 and M6 models due to the low adoption rate:
“Last year, maybe 15-20 percent of our M5s in the U.S. were manuals and maybe this year it will be 15 percent. It’s declining,” Biermann warned.
“The trouble is that nobody wants it in Europe or anywhere else, so this will be the last time we do it, even for the hard-core U.S. buyers.”
The transmission of choice will be the double-clutch gearbox.
To handle the increased power and torque in the F10 M5, the six-speed manual found in this year’s M5 was heavily reworked from the 5 Series models and will be only offered, optionally, to U.S. customers. Same box will make its way into the 2012 and 2013 M6 Coupe and Convertible.
“We just can’t justify it anymore. It’s a no-cost option, but it’s been very difficult to do,” said Biermann.
“Theoretically the stick is cheaper, but it’s very low volumes and we have to strengthen everything in the gearbox and find space for the shifter and another pedal, so it doesn’t work out cheaper.”
But these rules don’t apply to the bread and butter of the M division: the M3. Biermann said that the M3 “needs to have a stick shift.” To emphasize even more on the importance of the manual box for the M3, he added “It will always have a stick shift.”
So there you have it, either a rumor or not, we believe that it’s a bit too early for the final conclusion to be made, but coming from the Head of M Engineering himself, the rumor might actually become reality.