For the first time in its almost 30 years of existence, the M5 isn't available with an automatic gearbox as standard. Many complained about BMW's choice and said that the automatic 7-speed DCT gearbox takes away some of the feeling you should get inside such a car.
Car and Driver Magazine had the chance to test a manual 6-speed F10 M5 and shared their experience with us. At first, thinking about getting to drive the M5 with a proper manual gearbox gets you blood flowing but after a couple of miles you might think otherwise.
The manual transmission for the M5 is actually the same as the one on the F10 550i. The sprint to 100km/h, as you might expect is a bit slower, but the difference is not that big (only .3 seconds) and not at all bothering. The problem with manual gearboxes on extremely powerful cars is that you have to be a master at changing gears in order to keep all the horses and torque in check.
This car has a lot coming out of its S63 V8 4.4-liter turbo engine. Keeping 560 HP and 500 lb-ft (680 Nm) of torque in check with a stick shift will give you a bit of a headache. Shifting up returns a proper kick in the head whilst shifting down is a lot smoother due to the automatic rev-matching function.
Overall, BMW's decision to offer the F10 M5 with an automatic 7-speed DCT gearbox was the correct one. Giving customers the option of choosing a manual 6-speed transmission for free was an even better decision, since racing enthusiasts that take their cars on the track often will be more than delighted to feel the power through that stick coming out of the central console.