It's no secret that the manual transmission is disappearing from the automotive market. Sports cars have been one of the most resilient classes thus far, but one of their juggernauts will soon lose its third pedal. Inside Line is reporting that the next BMW M5 will not offer a manual gearbox.
The M6 will also lose the option.
BMW claims that sales of manual-equipped M5s make up less than 20 percent of its annual shipment, so it's no longer cost-effective to continue building them.
Of course, it is sad to see an icon lose part of its hard-core enthusiast appeal --- with a six-speed manual, the M5 was a track demon in disguise. The next generation will never have the same feel.
However, there is hope --- Albert Biermann, head of BMW's M division, insisted that the M3 "needs to have a stick shift. It will always have a stick shift."
So, it seems, at least one hard-core BMW will exist as long as Biermann is in charge.