The Americans are getting the option of a six-speed manual gearbox in the 2007 BMW M5, but there are no plans to bring it to Europe.
Since BMW launched the latest M5 in 2004, it has been available only with a seven-speed sequential gearbox. While the advanced SMG gearbox shifts faster and better than all but the very best racing drivers, Americans have apparently had trouble understanding the notion of a sporting car with no clutch pedal.
BMW North America has therefore bowed to customer demand and, as of next year, the M5 will be available with a standard six-speed manual gearbox with clutch pedal as a no-cost option.
Currently there are no plans to offer a manual gearbox in European M5s, but if demand is sufficient, BMW could change its mind.