BMW Confirms Stick Option for U.S. M5: Victory—and a Manual Gearbox—Is Ours!

2013 BMW M5

In what’s being called (by us) the biggest victory for America since the 1980 Olympics hockey team and Baywatch, BMW announced today that it will offer a six-speed manual transmission for the 2013 M5, expected to hit U.S. dealerships in late summer.

The manual will be available from the beginning of production and will be a no-cost option in place of the seven-speed dual-clutch automatic we sampled during our first drive late last year in Spain. And the U.S. market (okay, andCanada) is the only one in which the three-pedal M5 will be offered.

On the previous-gen, V-10–powered M5 (E60), a six-speed manual was hastily added to the North American order sheet after customers and some magazine editors who shall remain us complained about the herky-jerky SMG automated manual. Unfortunately, BMW chose to make the traction-control system on the manual cars undefeatable. That this was later rectified with a software update failed to assuage. About 50 percent of all American E60 M5 buyers chose the manual.

There will be no such problems with the new M5 manual model, as it will carry the same M differential and final-drive ratio as the dual-clutch cars, as well as identical traction and stability programs.

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