Purists will rejoice at the news that for 2007, BMW is offering its lightning-quick M5 with a manual transmission.

Although the 500-hp super-sedan is capable of some jaw-dropping supercar-territory performance (like hitting sixty in 4.1 seconds), some enthusiasts have bemoaned its excessive use of electronic systems that interfere with a direct connection to the road.

With the no-cost option of a six-speed manual instead of the seven-speed sequential SMG gearbox, the M5 isn't expected to be any quicker. In fact, with clutchless manual transmissions always improving, the switch to the stick may in fact slow the car down a bit, especially in the hands of the average driver.

The news opens up the debate all over again: stick or paddle? If you were buying an M5, which would you take?

[Source: Kicking Tires]