BMW is phasing out the manual transmission option on the M5 and M6 sports cars.
According to Car and Driver, the M5 will lose its manual transmission once production ends this fall. BMW M GmbH head Frank van Meel also confirmed that the German automaker plans to axe the option on the M6 as well, adding that “demand had dropped to zero,” on the coupe.
Designed specifically for the U.S. market, the six-speed manual transmission wasn’t cheap for BMW to develop because of all the torque the 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 generates. The current BMW M5 packs 560 horsepower and 500 pound-feet of torque and its engine controller was specially programmed to preserve the transmission after manual shifts.
The good news is that BMW will keep the manual transmission option for the M2, M3 and M4 models.
The next-generation BMW M5 is currently in development and was recently spied testing near the Nurburgring. Rumor has it that it will have around 600 hp and likely more torque, so it’s understandable that the German automaker isn’t willing to invest into building a manual transmission that can handle the abuse.
[Source: Car and Driver]
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