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2012 BMW M5 spy shots – Click above for high-res image gallery

As enthusiasts, we can't help but get depressed over the near-extinction of the manual transmission. More and more of our favorite performance cars are being offered without three-pedal setups, and if you believe the latest reports, the next car to fall victim to this change of engineering is the 2012 BMW M5. Don't get your hopes up for any sort of dual-clutch setup, either – Motor Trend is reporting that the next-generation M5 will be offered exclusively with an eight-speed automatic.

When the 2012 BMW M5 goes on sale, it will be powered by a twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 with direct injection. Motor Trend reports that BMW apparently tried to mate its M DCT transmission to this powerplant, a less-powerful version of which is used in both the X5 M and X6 M. The latest reports state that the 2012 M5 will produce over 550 horsepower, and while there's no word about what sort of torque numbers will be on tap, it's obviously too high to be handled by the M DCT unit. Presumably, the eight-speed autobox in question is the ZF unit that's spreading like kudzu throughout the automaker's lineup, and at least we know it to be a very agreeable and quick-shifting unit.

Look for the 2012 BMW M5 to debut in concept form at the Shanghai Motor Show this Spring, followed by the production car's debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show this Fall.



[Source: Motor Trend | Images: CarPix]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 78 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      BMW doesn't realize that it's their unique driving dynamics that set them apart from the rest of the gang. Without a manual option, they lose a lot of that uniqueness and that in turn makes them just like the rest of their competitors (I.E. AMG E63, Audi RS6).
      • 4 Years Ago
      Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
      • 4 Years Ago
      Love the kudzu reference. And Mr. BMW, please give me the option to shift the gears with my own feet. Please.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Well I'm sorry to say, but this doesn't suprize OR bother me. This will not have a traditional sloshbox auto- it will be their 7-Speed dual-clutch, which I'm sorry to say guys is a much better and faster choice in a sedan like this.

      I love rowing my own gears too, but it's hard to justify it when it makes the car slower and less fuel efficient. Considering this is a big expensive luxury car, the argument for a three-pedal is even weaker, because there is no case for cost.
        • 4 Years Ago
        No, it wont be DCT because it cannot handle the 550 hp twin turbo engine.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Sure, how many CEO's do you know that actually want to do something for themselves? I'm pretty sure the CEO where I work has an assistant to wipe for him.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I'd like a cute assistant to do stuff for me at work... whenever I want... that's not too much to ask, is it?
        • 4 Years Ago
        well, it is called an ASSistant isn't it?
      • 3 Years Ago
      Anybody who had a good grasp of how a turbocharged engine responds to different transmissions and the tuning involved would not be surprised by this. There's more involved that shift times, that's actually one of the least important considerations. Transient response for the turbo and greater flexibility with controlling how the engine is loaded offer advantages a traditional manual transmission can't match.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I actually saw an E60 M5 with a 6spd stick not too long ago. I really never thought I'd see a manual M5, much less in Texas. I told the owner he was my hero. Shame about the F10. Porsche seems to really want to 'stick' it out though. . . Anyone?
      • 4 Years Ago
      ... and it continues...

      I am waiting for the "...oh, but an automatic shifts faster, and F1 uses them..." crowd that will try to make excuses as to why this is supposedly a "good" thing. These people forget that most of us rather have some FUN in our cars and don't really care about a few .01 seconds here or there. It is especially sad when those people apparently run the show at companies like BMW.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Fact is, a M5 isn't a sports car. It's a sedan. It's not even close to a track toy. It's a very nice DD. Drive your M5 in SoCal rush hour for an hour each day, every day, and tell us how you like your manual-only car.

        Now, if/when the Z4 M loses the MT option, *then* go complain about BMW losing the plot.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Manuals, if you have the right technique and practice, aren't hard to drive in traffic at all.
      • 3 Years Ago
      " the eight-speed autobox in question is the ZF unit that's spreading like kudzu throughout the automaker's lineup"
      Wrong
      This is not a ZF Box- This is a GETRAG DCT, similar to M3, X5M etc. GETRAG does similar boxes for Ferrari California and Italia.
      • 4 Years Ago
      They should make a car that has a manual shift gate, paddles shifters and an automatic gear selector this would fix everything. People can pick which one they want.


      In this time and age a manual is outdated... kind of like those roll up windows.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I'll take Cars I Would Not Buy for $2000, Alex.
      • 4 Years Ago
      "Motor Trend reports that BMW apparently tried to mate its M DCT transmission to this powerplant, a less-powerful version of which is used in both the X5 M and X6 M."

      Neither of the M trucks use a DCT.
        • 4 Years Ago
        The sentence doesn't say that. The sentence says the trucks use the same "powerplant," or engine, and that the M DCT does not work with it.
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