If AutoGuide and MotorTrend are correct, the next generation of BMW’s Uber-Sedan and Uber-Coupe will come with any transmission you want, as long as it’s an automatic. “No problem”, you say, “BMW’s dual clutch automatic is a proper gearbox that lets me work on my F1 car driving skills.” You’d be correct, except for one thing: the Getrag M Dual Clutch Transmission can’t handle the power that the new M5 and M6 will put out, which means that buyers will be stuck with the eight speed ZF automatic as used in the X5 M and X6 M. It’s still a “shiftable” automatic, but it won’t produce the same quick, seamless shifts that the Getrag DCT is capable of. As of now, there are no plans to offer a manual transmission for U.S. market cars, unless enough people complain to BMW’s product planners in Munich.
The current version of the M5 was to come only with a seven speed automatic until fans petitioned BMW to bring in the manual. If the company is abandoning the manual for the latest generation, that tells me that M5 buyers simply didn’t buy enough manual-equipped cars to make their production viable for this market. It’s one thing to complain that the M5 will come with a slushbox only, but it’s something else entirely to pony up and buy one with a manual transmission. Will BMW reconsider a manual option, or will they find a way to beef up the DCT for use in the new M5? Let’s hope so, since a BMW M5 without an enthusiast-oriented transmission is just another sedan with a big motor.