When the new E60 BMW M5 was released, everyone drooled over the awesome 5.0 litre V10 engine, and the advanced 7-speed SMG-III computerized clutch gearbox, but the boys in the stick shift camp found themselves alienated – the SMG-III gearbox was the only gearbox available with the M5.
BMW North America listened, and is now offering the E60 BMW M5 with a manual transmission, a no cost option. The manual box is a 6-speed though, one cog less than SMG-III’s 7 ratios. However, the manual model removes the ability to fully disengage DSC stability control – BMW doesn’t want owners doing 8000-rpm dump launches and making BMW pay for new drivetrain components under the warranty period.
Instead, it will have something called an “M Dynamic Mode”, which turns off most of DSC’s features, similiar to the Dynamic Traction Control (DTC) on the BMW X5, but still keeps some of the electronic governing of madness on – you can’t do redline launches, this means there’ll be no extreme tyre burning with the manual M5.
What exactly is the point then? Takes abit of the fun out of having a manual transmission in the first place, but I guess there’ll have to be some give and take eh? The manual BMW M5 is only available in North America at the moment, the rest of us will have to continue tearing up roads with the SMG-III M5s, not like they’re a bad thing.