The next-generation BMW M5 or M6 will get double-clutch transmissions, disappointing those who prefer the manual transmissions. Albert Biermann, the head of engineering, admitted that they are not planning to accommodate three pedals in the next M6 and M5 since there had been far too low orders to justify the additional work.
Biermann gave warnings that last year, the number of manuals sold has been declining. In 2011, around 15-20% of its M5s used a stick but it’s likely to just be 15% this year. He said that the issue is that there isn’t a high demand for the manual version in Europe or even in other regions so this would probably be the last time that the company will offer it in the U.S. or elsewhere.
The six-speed manual transmission of the M5 had been massively revised from its 5 Series origins and sells beside the seven-speed double-clutch unit in the U.S. as a no-cost option. In addition, the gearbox won’t be a no-cost option on the upcoming M6 Coupe and Convertible.
BMW doesn’t sell it on another continent. Biermann explained that even if the manual transmission is cheaper, it can’t be justified anymore even if it’s a no-cost option.
That’s because it sells in low volumes and the company would have to reinforce all the elements in the gearbox and find some space for the shifter and another pedal. That’s why it doesn’t come out less expensive in the end. But there’s some good news. Biermann promised that at least one hard-core M tradition will still be available until the future. He insists that the M3 has to have the stick shift.
The design of the body of the new BMW M5 truly conveys its distinct attributes. The new BMW M5 is essentially the BMW 5-Series Saloon with its dynamic proportions and elegantly confident looks as made more athletic by the addition of M-specific design elements. These M elements don’t only make the M5 look sportier but matches its technical demands as high-performance concept.
Its true character as a high performance unit is exuded and highlighted by a number of distinctive design elements not just on the front end, but also on its sides and on the rear end.
Up front, the new BMW M5 is provided with a new front apron – featuring three air intakes in the lower section -- that tells how powerful its new V8 engine is. The bonnet’s contour lines of the bonnet form a V shape as they meet near the M5’s double-kidney grille. Its customary M black slats feature a wide-spread layout to highlight the cooling air requirement of the V8 engine. Interestingly, the air intakes are arranged in various levels to create a depth that emphasizes the dynamic looks of the new BMW M5.
The width of the new M5 as well as the protruding form of the contour lines helps underscore the functional importance of the forward-projecting central intake. This central aperture is complemented by two side air intakes – featuring a dynamically curving form – that are placed far to the outer edges of the new M5, thereby filling the spaces usually reserved for foglamps in a standard BMW 5-Series Saloon. Meanwhile, the lower edge of the front end is fitted with air-channeling flaps – as developed on the race track – that helps optimize the M5’s aerodynamics.