When BMW opted to only make the M5 available with a seven-speed SMG gearbox, the hue and cry from U.S. purists was heard across the ocean. For 2007, BMW has finally decided to appease American customers by equipping the 500 HP uber-saloon with a six-speed manual, much to the apparent disgust of Gerhard Richter, the development chief of the M division.
Automobile magazine got their hands on the manual version of the M5 and seem to have come away with the opinion that it's better, but still not as good as it should be.
Aside from the fact that the manual cog swapper slows forward momentum of the V10-powered sedan, BMW also decided to nix the ability to completely disable the traction control. This decision, surely on the part of BMW's legal wonks, will likely cause another up swell of consumer complaints.
Overall, the reviewer thought that the action of the clutch and shift linkage was up to BMW standards, but in the end, the two words that stuck with us after reading the review were, "even clumsier."