As longtime E39 BMW M5 fanatics, the news that the upcoming F90 BMW M5 will not be offered with a manual transmission (option) hit us like a ton of bricks.
It’s not that we didn’t see it coming -- current generation F10 M5 buyers have overwhelmingly opted for the dual clutch. So at least with regard to the M5 the market has spoken, and BMW is merely responding to clear market preferences.
Of the approximately 1,000 Mustangs delivered to the UK so far, 680 of those have both the V8 and manual transmission. In Germany, Mustang sales outpaced both the Porsche 911 and Audi TT last month (source: Autocar).
We’re fortunate enough to have both a dual clutch and a manual transmission in the MinimumTread garage at the moment. While the dual clutch has undeniable appeal, and is far more engaging than some might imagine, it simply cannot match the interactivity of the manual. Like many fellow enthusiasts, we see dual clutch technology as a fine alternative to the manual and a marked step forward from a standard automatic, but it’s no replacement.
European performance car enthusiasts and the new Ford Mustang are showing that the manual transmission may have some life left after all.