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Old 06-21-2012, 10:35 AM   #1
AVANTI R5
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Default Next BMW M5 And M6 Wonít Offer A Manual Transmission




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Performance cars are all about performance, except when they're not. In the case of luxury-performance sedans like BMW's M5, there are numerous concessions made to comfort and civility that cost ultimate speed and handling.

But the next M5 may make a big concession: no manual transmission, not even as an option.

Thatís according to the development boss of BMW M, Albert Biermann.

Speaking with Inside Line, Biermann explained that the additional cost of engineering a car to offer a manual is never covered due to their low take-up rate. Because of this, the next-generation BMW M5 and M6 models wonít likely offer a manual and will instead come with dual-clutch transmissions exclusively.

This is already the case in many countries with the current generation of the cars, but in the U.S. BMW decided to offer them with a manual because there was still sufficient demand.

"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 said. "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."

While the manual transmission may be dead in the M5 and M6, Biermann was happy to confirm that the M3 will continue to offer a manual transmission.

And while BMW M may be phasing out the manual transmission, Porsche has shown with its latest 911 that the manual transmission does have a bright future. BMW, too, was recently discovered to be investigating the use of more advanced manual transmissions, including designs with seven or more gears.
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Old 06-21-2012, 01:29 PM   #2
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I predict only those who can't afford the new M5/M6 are going to be the only ones who will rage about this.
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Old 06-21-2012, 01:35 PM   #3
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Old 06-21-2012, 01:40 PM   #4
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Hi, I like driving automatic in traffic.
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Old 06-21-2012, 01:42 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by edkwon View Post
I predict only those who can't afford the new M5/M6 are going to be the only ones who will rage about this.
I'm not disappointed in the lack of a manual because I am considering the M5/6 for my next car, I'm disappointed because of the pussification of the car industry.

Last edited by SWP n Gold; 06-21-2012 at 02:37 PM.
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Old 06-21-2012, 01:53 PM   #6
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I am with SWP here.

The lack of manual driving boomers who got sucked into the horrible SUV craze had kids that never even saw a manual. The process continues, and the tiny fraction continues to diminish with each kid, due to the lack of manuals to even buy. They are definitely on the way out. Such a horrible thing to witness.
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Old 06-21-2012, 04:40 PM   #7
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I'm fully in the I always want a manual boat.

However, in europe the take rate for manuals is very high. The new automated manuals and/or double clutch manuals are seen as performance upgrades. I can understand them not building a manual just for the US on a small volume car.

that said.....FFFUUUUUU......
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Old 06-21-2012, 05:34 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by SCRAPPYDO View Post
I am with SWP here.

The lack of manual driving boomers who got sucked into the horrible SUV craze had kids that never even saw a manual. The process continues, and the tiny fraction continues to diminish with each kid, due to the lack of manuals to even buy. They are definitely on the way out. Such a horrible thing to witness.
My dad made me learn how to drive using a stick shift car. Thanks ole' man!!
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Old 06-21-2012, 05:38 PM   #9
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On a big bruiser, I can understand using an automated-clutch gearbox. I am somewhat resigning that luxury-oriented, even sporty and fast luxury cars, that are techno-gadget laden, are not going to sell enough manual gearbox models to justify the variation cost.

But cars that are more distinctly sport focused should not lose manual gearboxes, and an automated clutch should be the alternative choice to a manual... like Porsche does. manual, or PDK choice.

A car well over 4000lbs, approaching 5000lbs as some BMWs now do, seems like a lost cause, and a moot point for a manual.

But if they actually build the Z4 Zagato coupe as a production car... That car had better damn well have a stick.

Likewise, I can sort of forgive an XK jag for being auto only, if the F-type has a stick... but if the F-type doesn't get a manual option... that will be a major de-merit point.
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Old 06-21-2012, 05:49 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by SWP n Gold View Post
I'm not disappointed in the lack of a manual because I am considering the M5/6 for my next car, I'm disappointed because of the pussification of the car industry.
If you want to bring back the use of MT to the masses, then you've got it backwards. Manual should be made available to the cars affordable to the masses, losing them in the high end exotic cars really has little to no impact on ppl not driving manuals since they are in the extreme minority.

Rage at the companies who drop MT option in regular cars instead.
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Old 06-21-2012, 05:55 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by HipToBeSquare View Post
On a big bruiser, I can understand using an automated-clutch gearbox. I am somewhat resigning that luxury-oriented, even sporty and fast luxury cars, that are techno-gadget laden, are not going to sell enough manual gearbox models to justify the variation cost.

But cars that are more distinctly sport focused should not lose manual gearboxes, and an automated clutch should be the alternative choice to a manual... like Porsche does. manual, or PDK choice.

A car well over 4000lbs, approaching 5000lbs as some BMWs now do, seems like a lost cause, and a moot point for a manual.

But if they actually build the Z4 Zagato coupe as a production car... That car had better damn well have a stick.

Likewise, I can sort of forgive an XK jag for being auto only, if the F-type has a stick... but if the F-type doesn't get a manual option... that will be a major de-merit point.
The GTR doesn't have an available manual and Ferrari is phasing out manuals. There are a variety of factors in play outside the SUV craze, new generation that doesn't care about cars as much, etc. It's the advancement of technology in automatic transmissions as a lot of the top performance cars are simply faster with a DSG style transmission. Conversely manual transmission technology really hasn't advanced that far as many placed on performance cars are still clunky, notchy, finiky, etc.

I've lived on both sides of the fence with my last car being an EVO X MR and now back to manual with my Mustang and I can see the appeal of the new transmissions. I like driving a stick but honestly it doesn't bring me pleasure that handling and acceleration brings.
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Old 06-21-2012, 06:07 PM   #12
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5 of my last 7 cars that ive driven and owned have been MT, so nobody can accuse me of being some AT elitist.

But I'll say this, yes it sucks that MT is being phased out as an option in certain cars, for others I feel like it brings nothing do the table performance wise, but at the same time, why do we care.

The simple truth is manual drivers feel like it makes them better people than those who aren't. I know this is true in my case and pretty much everyone else who drives manual. Those who deny it are in denial or lying. Also those who argue that driving MT makes them feel more like 'one with the machine' it's true to an extent

but it's also incredibly self-important, fatuous, pompous, nonsense. It's the equivalent of someone tooting his own horn. If someone likes driving manual for the saking of driving manual, that's great. But when one is openly vocal about it as some thinly veiled gesture of 'look how awesome I am! and you guys who don't suck!' really need to get over themselves.
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Old 06-21-2012, 06:12 PM   #13
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It's not a bad thing in this given scenario. People who are the target market for a two-ton, high-performance luxury sedan with massaging seats likely don't have "purity" high on their priority lists when it comes to shifting.

But if we were talking about the M3, that's a different story.
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Old 06-21-2012, 08:04 PM   #14
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The last M5 to appeal to enthusiasts was the E28 anyways.
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Old 06-21-2012, 08:06 PM   #15
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The last M5 to appeal to enthusiasts was the E28 anyways.
Acutally the E34, but we know what you mean.
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Old 06-22-2012, 10:01 AM   #16
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but it's also incredibly self-important, fatuous, pompous, nonsense. It's the equivalent of someone tooting his own horn. If someone likes driving manual for the saking of driving manual, that's great. But when one is openly vocal about it as some thinly veiled gesture of 'look how awesome I am! and you guys who don't suck!' really need to get over themselves.
That's not completely true. I do think driving stick makes for a slightly better driver. In the sense that the person has to pay more attention to driving.

I do think that MT is more important for the lower-mid level (mass production) class of cars though.
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Old 06-22-2012, 10:49 AM   #17
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I am a die hard 3 pedal advocate, but this seems reasonable for m5/m6. Manuals are a requirment for me in sports cars and small fun cars. On supersedan a nice dual clutch is fine.

The move to fancy transmissions on new cars is one more nail in the coffin for enthusiests of normal means being able to afford previously expensive cars, though
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Old 06-22-2012, 12:20 PM   #18
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The simple truth is manual drivers feel like it makes them better people than those who aren't. I know this is true in my case and pretty much everyone else who drives manual. Those who deny it are in denial or lying.
Better people......rhheeeeeely
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Old 06-22-2012, 12:29 PM   #19
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Hi, I like driving automatic in traffic.
Does it really make that much of a difference? I feel once someone has gotten completely used to driving a manual on a day to day basis, they forget they're even driving stick. Atleast that's the case for me

As for manual, it's an absolute preference of mine, and I enjoy it, it's fun. Automatic cars are boring. Having said that, the target market for most these cars is old people who want automatic. Which is why I won't be owning this car ever lol. I respect the technological advances in automatic transmissions, but they are really only shown on some of the most expensive cars in the world, on top of being much heavier and overall more complicated than a standard transmission.
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Old 06-22-2012, 01:08 PM   #20
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Does it really make that much of a difference? I feel once someone has gotten completely used to driving a manual on a day to day basis, they forget they're even driving stick. Atleast that's the case for me
It depends on what you mean. In bumper-to-bumper LA traffic (which I had to deal with yesterday to visit a family member at the UCLA Medical Center yesterday), it can get miserable, depending on your car. But in most other regions of the country, their definition of "traffic" isn't nearly as bad as what we consider to be traffic here in Southern California.

Don't get me wrong, I can deal with it, but it's not unreasonable to prefer an automatic in traffic, depending on where you live and how bad traffic really is.

But like I said before, there isn't much of a reason to complain about a manual transmission no longer being offered in the M5, now a 4,100+ lb. car with fake exhaust noises playing through the speakers. This is no longer the car to make an argument for the manual transmission.
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Old 06-22-2012, 01:39 PM   #21
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In 30 years half the cars will be plug-in electrics that drive themselves anyway so people can Facebook what they are going to have for breakfast on their way to the office between their games of Furious Avians (sequel to Angry Birds in 30 years).

The vast majority of people find driving a chore and the space between A and B is something to get through so you can finally arrive at B.

The people who like the bit in between are vastly outnumbered. Then again if your commute is bumper to bumper with a max speed of 25 mph then I can see the point.
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Old 06-22-2012, 02:13 PM   #22
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Does it really make that much of a difference? I feel once someone has gotten completely used to driving a manual on a day to day basis, they forget they're even driving stick. Atleast that's the case for me

As for manual, it's an absolute preference of mine, and I enjoy it, it's fun. Automatic cars are boring. Having said that, the target market for most these cars is old people who want automatic. Which is why I won't be owning this car ever lol. I respect the technological advances in automatic transmissions, but they are really only shown on some of the most expensive cars in the world, on top of being much heavier and overall more complicated than a standard transmission.
I drive a manual steering manual tranny car 80 miles a day in traffic with no AC. It's 90+ out today. Yeah, I wouldn't mind an auto car with AC sometimes.
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Old 06-22-2012, 02:32 PM   #23
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I like the m3 better anyways...
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Old 06-22-2012, 04:07 PM   #24
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It requires more skill to operate 3 pedals than 2. End of story. That is why clutch lovers of the world seem to have a superiority complex. They feel they are choosing to be more connected with the car. To do more thinking than the car. Lap times are irrelevant to everybody outside of those who depend on racing to pay the bills. So forget how DSG's are better. The only measurable metric they excel at is irrelevant. So it comes down to metrics that are not measurable. Involvement, feel, etc. Once a car goes too far up north the luxury ladder, the need for a manual is lost. It is more about riding than driving.

I see this is a real game changer for the M5/M6. They are turning the curve to luxury over all out performance.

the GTR was a car conceived, designed and built to do one thing. Make amazing numbers and remove as much error from the driver as possible. Thus the auto dual clutch, Launch control, stability control, etc. It is about making numbers to brag about to people who care about numbers. It is far easier to brag about a low or high number than to brag about feel or involvement. At the end of the day selling cars is about making money. So I understand why this is happening.

That is what makes the cars like the BRZ, and Miata so amazing. Cars that still offer a bunch of wow and involvement, and do not rely solely on magazine numbers.
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Old 06-22-2012, 04:25 PM   #25
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the GTR was a car conceived, designed and built to do one thing. Make amazing numbers and remove as much error from the driver as possible. Thus the auto dual clutch, Launch control, stability control, etc. It is about making numbers to brag about to people who care about numbers. It is far easier to brag about a low or high number than to brag about feel or involvement. At the end of the day selling cars is about making money. So I understand why this is happening.
But in this day and age, even the 2013 Mustang GT500 has launch control (and I thought that the Z06 or ZR1 might have had it introduced recently, if I'm not mistaken), but I don't think that it ever gets criticized; it actually gets praised by most for its "optimized" launches. But on something like the GT-R, the perception of its launch control is quite different.
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