Manual no more: BMW to drop stick from next M5, M6


2013 BMW M5

It will soon be the end of an era for BMW's manual transmission—at least in the company's sporty M5 and M6 models.

BMW says that limited interest from consumers is forcing it to drop the manual transmission option in its next generation M5 and M6 to focus instead on dual-clutch gearboxes. 

Speaking with Car and Driver, the head of BMW's M division, Frank van Meel, said that "demand has dropped to zero" for M5s and M6s with stick shifts. BMW has previously said that it developed the current manual transmission M5 and M6 specifically for the United States, but even here there has been less demand from consumers than the automaker expected.

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Van Meel's statement serves as the best confirmation yet about what some of BMW's engineers have said over the last few years.

BMW has been slowly phasing out manual transmissions in its American market models. A few years ago, the automaker made the transmissions a "no cost" option over an automatic, rather than making buyers pay extra for a transmission that shifts itself.

Today, the M5 and M6 are the only 5- and 6-Series models available with a manual transmission in the U.S.

Don't fret, performance fans: van Meel says that the smaller M2, M3, and M4 will all retain their clutch pedals, however.

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