For its 2007 model, BMW has updated the potent M5 sedan with a conventional six-speed manual transmission. The optional transmission comes at no extra cost and is exclusive to the North American market. The previous seven-speed SMG III electro-hydraulic manual unit had been largely criticized by motoring journalists for its jerky gear changes but still remains as standard.

The 500hp 5.0L V10 remains unchanged, with the new gearbox enabling drivers to rev freely to the 8250 rpm redline. Safety and stability programs also remain the same including BMW’s M Dynamic Mode stability system but new options include a Tire Pressure Monitor System and Real Time Traffic Information features added as standard.

BMW has not released any acceleration figures for cars equipped with the new gearbox, but it’s unlikely to improve on the figures of the SMG version. The 0-60mph dash takes just 4.1 seconds while top speed is electronically controlled to 155mph, although the company offers to remove the limiter which sees the car reach in excess of 206mph.

Full gallery of the 2007 M5 after the jump.