Going a long way towards confirming previous reports that a third-pedal option would be offered on the 2012 BMW M5, at least in the U.S., this latest image reveals that BMW is testing prototypes on local soil fitted with a conventional manual transmission.

The prototype was spotted in Los Angeles, California and was also seen wearing a set of Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires.

You may recall that BMW offered the outgoing E60 M5 with a manual transmission, but only here in the U.S. It looks like the same will happen with the new 2012 BMW M5 as well. Of course, if you don’t want a manual, the new M5 is also expected to feature a seven-speed dual clutch option, otherwise known as the M DCT.

Such a possibility doesn’t seem so far-fetched when you consider that the 2012 BMW 6-Series is only offered with a manual transmission as an option in the U.S. It appears in other markets, the improved fuel economy and shift times of the latest-generation automatics and dual clutch units stifle demand for the conventional manuals.

The new 2012 BMW M5 is set to make its official world debut in production trim at the 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show this September. In the meantime, you can catch our full coverage on the car by clicking here or follow the jump below for the rest of the images.