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BMW fans and automotive purest alike are scratching their heads this day as news comes out of MotorTrend verifying that the upcoming 2012 BMW M5 will only get an automatic transmission. This would be the first ‘M-car’ to get such a treatment along side of the X5M and X6M cross-over utility vehicles.
The transmission of choice for the upcoming 2012 BMW M5 will be the ZF eight-speed automatic, also found in the current X5M and X6M. The question arises, why is BMW taking the same road as Benz’s E63 AMG by only offering a slushbox? Well, word has it that BMW attempted to adapt the Getrag M Dual Clutch (M DCT) but the torque numbers of the M5’s 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 required bigger actuators to support the added power. This would essentially slow down the transmission’s response time. To overcome this, BMW would have to completely redesign the M DCT transmission. So, a simple resolution is to go back to the parts bin and uses the proven ZF 8-speed automatic.
I am sure the guys at Cadillac are breaking a smile as they tout both fully manual transmissions and automatics in the current CTS-V. I am not too sure the smile will last long when the new M5, despite its automatic transmission, hopefully shatters the CTS-V’s Nurburgring time.
Has BMW lost its way? Are the new M-cars now just a ‘top-of-the-line’ version of each series and no longer a purest car? If BMW will no longer offer a manual in new M-cars, then there is really no hope to save the manual transmission.
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