It’s a sad day when one of the most revered and utterly awesome sports cars of all time loses its manual transmission. It’s like a stud Thoroughbred getting neutered or a Ferrari rockin’ a 4-cylinder. It just ain’t right.
Yet when the next-generation BMW M5 hits the streets, all of its raging 550 hp and still-untold-but-surely-tremendous amount of twist will be channelled through an 8-speed automatic transmission. No manual offered. No dual clutch option, either.
Cue the funeral procession music…
There is a reason behind BMW’s logic for its choice, but it’s not a good one.
According to Motor Trend, the German automaker wasn’t able to tame its new twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter direct-injection V8 enough to mate it to a manual transmission.
The transmission that BMW attempted to deliver with the next M5 was a Getrag M Dual Clutch Transmission, but the expected 550-plus horsepower of the M5 was apparently too much to handle, and the Getrag would have been insufficient.
That, my friends, is what I call a problem. We are reaching the point where engines are so powerful they cannot be handled without sophisticated computerized equipment capable of shifting gears within fractions of seconds. Where’s the fun in that?
I don’t see the point of an M5 that isn’t under my complete control. I don’t care about the 550 horsepower. Give me a proper manual transmission, the kind with three pedals on the floor, and just 400 horses. I’ll have more fun in that car than the guy sitting next to me in his 2012 M5 who is simply along for the ride and letting his car do all the thinking.
Yeah, the newest M5 might beat my 400-horse M5 in races all day long, but when I cross the finish line, I’ll be the one with the bigger smile plastered on my face.
RIP manual M5.
Would you take a more powerful car with an automatic transmission over a slightly less powerful manual car?