BMW is abandoning the manual transmission on the M5 and M6. If you want one, don’t wait; for the 2017 model year, the only available transmission will be a seven-speed, dual-clutch automatic.
In a recent interview for Car and Driver, BMW M division’s chief Frank van Meel said that the demand for a high-powered large sedan with a clutch pedal has pretty much flatlined. Since the car was only sold in North America anyway, the manufacturer will cut costs by removing this gearbox from the options list.
So while you can’t get a V8-powered manual BMW anymore, you can still get a row-your-own transmission in the M2, M3 and M4. This should reassure some enthusiasts, especially the followers of the "Save The Manuals!" movement.
The manual gearbox has been a staple of the M5 since its inception in 1985. The automatic was only launched in 2004 with the fourth generation. The M6 was also reborn with this variant, sharing its 507-horsepower V10 with the four-door variant.
The next generation of the 5 Series should be launched next year; the high-powered M5 should arrive in 2018. And forget about a manual M5: there won’t be one anymore.