BMW M5 will be offered with a six-speed manual, but only for the American market
Julian Rendell
10 January 2012

BMW’s M5 equipped with a manual transmission won’t be coming to the UK, despite enthusiasts in the UK liking the idea of direct control over the sports saloons gears.

The M5’s manual ‘box is lifted straight out of the 550i and drives the rear wheels through the same rear diff as used in the dual-clutch DCT-equipped saloon.

With one fewer gears, however, the M5 manual has only one overdrive ratio — sixth — versus two in the DCT — sixth and seventh. The manual also dispenses with the DCT’s launch control, which has a marginally negative effect on the 0-60mph time.

According to BMW US, the manual is capable of 4.3secs versus 4.2 for the M5 DCT.

The US M5 will also have a larger fuel tank than the European version, capacity is up to 83 litres. The specially-fabricated stainless steel tank addresses a US customer criticism of the previous E60 M5’s poor touring range.

The new M5 won’t go on sale in the US until autumn, when the 2013 model year 5-series arrives with minor trim and spec improvements. And it will cost around $90k, a $4k hike over the E60. DCT and manual versions are priced the same.

Our Verdict

The latest BMW M5 gets twin-turbocharged V8 engine

The BMW M5 is crushingly capable, but some of the charm of old M5s is gone

Join the debate


9 January 2012

A manual available in the US but not in Europe? What a bizarre turn of events.

  • If you want to know about a car, read a forum dedicated to it; that's a real 'long term test' . No manufacturer's warranty, no fleet managers servicing deals, no journalist's name to oil the wheels...

9 January 2012

Is there really no market for a manual on this side of the Atlantic?

I am sure it feels an entirely different car with a manual box, probably one i would prefer.

10 January 2012

What I've heard goes something like this: most American's can't drive manuals so having a manual box in a sports car adds significantly to the owner's "feel-good" factor / ego, while in Europe where we can all drive manuals, we are less worried about having autos in our performance cars and, with ever increasing traffic levels, actually find them nicer to live with.

(Oh, and for any sake of doubt, I've never owned an auto and never plan to, but it's got nothing to do with my ego!)

10 January 2012

[quote artill]Is there really no market for a manual on this side of the Atlantic?[/quote]

Apparently not, even BMW GB says there is no market for it.

I think like-minded folk on this forum would all say they would prefer one if they were able to purchase an M5 but it seems the people who are actually buying the car are happy with the auto.

10 January 2012

I am a nostalgic of manual boxes but I think that fitting a manual box on a new M5 makes little sense. With all that torque to handle it's very difficult to get a manual box satisfying to use as the rest of the car. I am guessing what they are going to use.

10 January 2012

I'll just have to go for a manual VXR8 then.



It's all about the twisties........

10 January 2012

[quote BriMarsh]A manual available in the US but not in Europe? What a bizarre turn of events.[/quote] Not so bizarre: BMW did it with the last gen E60 M5 too. Instantly cured one of the E60's main criticisms.

10 January 2012

I thought every new car came with a manual.

13 January 2012

[quote TegTypeR]I'll just have to go for a manual VXR8 then.[/quote]

Nice alternative - when I can afford either I will certainly not waste my money on anything auto-only or with flappy-paddles.

When I am so old I become incontinent these may be useful on my electric buggy, but all the time I can drive that is what I want to do.

Until then they will have to sell to the incontinent/incompetent.

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Range Rover Sport SVR
    First Drive
    22 March 2018
    More power and an intoxicating soundtrack have breathed new life into our love affair with the biggest, baddest Range Rover Sport variant
  • First Drive
    21 March 2018
    The new Vantage has been developed as a Porsche 911 beater, and our first taste on UK roads suggests it can live up to that bold claim
  • Nissan Leaf Tekna
    The is the new Nissan Leaf
    First Drive
    21 March 2018
    The new version of the world's best-selling electric car gains a bigger battery and more power. How does it compare to rivals such as the Volkswagen e-Golf?
  • Range Rover p400e
    First Drive
    20 March 2018
    The original luxury SUV is now available as a plug-in hybrid, promising lower emissions and the capacity for silent electric motoring
  • BMW i3s
    Car review
    20 March 2018
    Revised hatchback sets out its range-extended electric stall in a new, sportier tune