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Confirmed: Manual Tranny for USA...according to the tour guide.

Sorry for the attention getter, but here's the story. My BMW sales guy just got back from Germany early this week after winning one of those 'top salesman' trips. At the Dingolfing plant the BMW PR guy (not the typical tour guide) said there WAS going to a manual transmission for the E60 M5 for the USA market. He also saw a lot of blue M5's at the end of the line. The BMW folks were adamant about not letting them look INSIDE the car.

The info from my guy is spot on. How accurate is Dingolfing guy? That's the million-dollar question.

MJ
'03 black/black
 

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MJ said:
Confirmed: Manual Tranny for USA...according to the tour guide.

Sorry for the attention getter, but here's the story. My BMW sales guy just got back from Germany early this week after winning one of those 'top salesman' trips. At the Dingolfing plant the BMW PR guy (not the typical tour guide) said there WAS going to a manual transmission for the E60 M5 for the USA market. He also saw a lot of blue M5's at the end of the line. The BMW folks were adamant about not letting them look INSIDE the car.

The info from my guy is spot on. How accurate is Dingolfing guy? That's the million-dollar question.

MJ
'03 black/black
is it going to be 7 speed manual or 6 speed, or even sequential manual to make thing easier (like rally, but usually those transmission is ridiculous noisy). I would like a 7 speed manual (whenever they are going to come up with), I mean I don't want to lose the performance because I don't have a gear compare to SMG.
 

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Lies!

Keeping a manual transmission secret is a bad marketing move. They will lose alot of business dueto people buying other cars instead of waiting for an M5. Anyway, the reason for going SMG-only, has already been discussed earlier.

:eek:h:
 

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Having a manual tranny really does not make any sense from a operations perspective since it would require a completely new gearbox and transmission setup. That being said, I hope the PR guy is right! I am still a sucker for the traditional manual.
 

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i just don't get the reason behind it, both technically and also from the marketing point of view.

why would they let potential buyers think M5 will not have a conventional manual gearbox by keeping it a secret, and forcing people that only wants conventional manual gearbox looks elsewhere. and by the time they announce the gearbox (which probably won't be anytime before the introduction of the M5 in USA next Oct anyway) all those potential buyers are already in any other manual cars but the waiting list of the M5.

and aren't they saying all the time that the V10 is developed with the SMGIII, and SMGIII is the only idea tranmission box for such engine. i just can't see why they will slap themselves in the face by stepping backwards and put a conventional manual gearbox in the M5.
 

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I don't think there will be a manual. The car was designed from day one with a SMG in mind and the power & torque involved mean that the forces on a clutch would be too much, especially given how some people drive. The existing transmission cannot be converted to a manual set up as the gears are "out-of-sequence".

Surely judgement should be reserved on the new SMG until you drive it. It shifts faster than any human can, has more shift options than you'll ever need; it's apparently lots better than the previous generation SMG and even has an 'auto' mode for when you stuck in traffic.

Perhaps this is all a case of "fear of the unknown"?!

One last thing, isn't the F360CS available only with a F1 gearbox too?
 

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I think there will be compromises somewhere if they give manual the OK. All the readings are pretty convincing that SMG III and the V10 are an integrated design.
 

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hi everyone,

it would be nice to see a traditional 6 speed transmission.
most of the reviews of the new M5 aren't particularly fond
of the SMG. it almost comes across as gimicky and tedious
to some of the testers. i realize it has it's benefits in stop
and go traffic. who knows ....may BMW will surprise us with
a CHOICE between the two! :M5thumbs:
 

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I seriously doubt that there will be a traditional manual available when the car is first released in the U.S. That said, BMWNA has heard a loud hew and cry from U.S. dealers about the traditional customer base being P.O.'d about the absence of the clutch pedal, so I wouldn't be surprised if there are test mules with regular manual transmissions out there being put through the paces. MEnthusiast has said that there might be a 3-pedal manual car a couple of years after the car's introduction. Very frustrating and, as stated above, a pretty stupid marketing move, if true. :wroom:
 

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Answering ques from up above -- no the 7-speed could never be a standard H-pattern type due to the design of the transmission, so that is out. However, the question now is whether they would put out a manual sequential manual setup :) . Here you would just have a shifter lever with forward for downshifts, backward for upshifts and also have a clutch pedal. You would also need a large display of current gear engaged I would assume. Slowing to a stop would of course require you to tap enough times to get to 1st gear -- kind of like a motorcyle. Ahhh...nevermind...the "typical" driver would surely wreck such a car and sue BMW for his inability to learn.
 

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I am unaware of any traditional 7-speed manual transmissions out there and I doubt that BMW will break new ground here. I also think that most people would not want a 7-speed manual - too many gears in an unwieldy pattern and too much shifting.

If they do offer a traditional manual, it would likely be a 6-speed very similar to that from the E39 M5, but with gearing optimized for the different power curve of the V10. I suspect that this transmission could be adapted to the E60 M5 with little effort.

However, such a manual would fall short of the SMG's performance, and maybe considerably so. Would many buyers of the M5 get the traditional manual and be willing to suffer a performance penalty? I doubt it, but it's an impirical question. I suspect that BMW is doing the market research and will only consider the (significant) extra expense of offering the manual in the event that this research shows very significant resistance to the current plan for SMG only.

Tom
 

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Don't forget you don't need to use the paddles - you can use the gear stick; simply push & pull to change gears :noSMG:
 

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I wish there was going to me a manual, but sadly, as an engineer/businessman familiar with production processes and product releases I say there is no chance. The main reason is that the BMW M division simply does not have the resources to produce two different cars.

The whole drivetrain has been designed for the 7 speed SMG. It would not be possible to fit a 7 speed manual to the existing gearbox because the gears are not arranged in a conventional shift pattern. If BMW used a conventional manual, they really would have to use a 6 speed to satisfy the majority of the 'purists'. So now you are talking about two completely different transmissions with poorer performance for the 6 sp simply because of the gearing disadvantage.

How could BMW offer a car with 'less performance' than the car it is currently introducing?? No 205 mph top speed, no 13.9 sec 0-200 kph, the engineers wouldn't allow it IMO. Sorry, but as a manual 'purist' I can still understand why from an ultimate performance standpoint they can't go back now.
 

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Wolverine said:
I wish there was going to me a manual, but sadly, as an engineer/businessman familiar with production processes and product releases I say there is no chance. The main reason is that the BMW M division simply does not have the resources to produce two different cars.

The whole drivetrain has been designed for the 7 speed SMG. It would not be possible to fit a 7 speed manual to the existing gearbox because the gears are not arranged in a conventional shift pattern. If BMW used a conventional manual, they really would have to use a 6 speed to satisfy the majority of the 'purists'. So now you are talking about two completely different transmissions with poorer performance for the 6 sp simply because of the gearing disadvantage.

How could BMW offer a car with 'less performance' than the car it is currently introducing?? No 205 mph top speed, no 13.9 sec 0-200 kph, the engineers wouldn't allow it IMO. Sorry, but as a manual 'purist' I can still understand why from an ultimate performance standpoint they can't go back now.
I think we have a winner.

There won't be a 7 sp H shift, there won't be a motorcycle style true sequential with straight-cut gears (too fragile, too noisy, and I don't think it can handle that kind of torque), and there certainly won't be a up and down lever with a clutch pedal (I mean, SMG already has the up and down lever, why add a clutch to complicate things?)

I think it's time we accept that SMG/DSG style 'boxes are the future. I know for a fact that Ferrari's chief engineer has said publicly that if it were up to him, Ferrari would no longer sell any cars with traditional clutch-and-stick setups.

Have you guys even tried an SMG or DSG? I was in an Audi TT DSG the other week, and it's pretty amazing what it can do. This is what I said after I drove it:

Up and downshifts happen instantly, perfectly rev-matched and without a hint of weight balance upset. No jerks, no bobs, nothing. Downshifts are even more incredible – loud throttle blips and accomplished as smoothly. You can drop down aggressively into first gear and see the tachometer rev up near redline without any hesitation. How I wish I could shift like this with a conventional manual! The paddles on the wheel are nicely tactile, with short travel and clicks like those of a mouse.

Its greatest benefits aren't stop-and-go traffic, as someone said above, but its ability to shift very quickly while minimizing weight balance upset, especially on the downshifts. And you can keep both hands on the wheel at all times.

BMW M is about maximum performance. The point to realize is that it does not mean maximum tactility or maximum driver/car interaction. They leave that to the Italians or the British. And the SMG provides maximum performance, meaning maximum efficiency, maximum acceleration, maximum driver usability for most buyers.

I still prefer a traditional manual because it provides me the greatest pleasure (and I have no problem accepting that I can't do it as well as a machine), but I definitely see the future and SMG/DSG is it.
 
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