The problem with the manual M5 gearbox is because it is straight out of the 550i it is not attuned to the M5 it was a quick fix in order to please the American market .
Whilst the next M3 has a manual gearbox that has not been transplanted but developed from the conception.
The next M5 will also follow this route as will the next M6 and offer stand alone gearboxes rather than from it's regular 5er and 6er Coupe line.
Some members of the BMW board are quite furious on why they had to bow to demand and introduce the M5 manual which does nothing to better the current cars SMG but blemish the M5's mark free copybook .
As the M5 is marketed in Europe as being borne from BMW's F1 programme there is no plans to offer a manual gearbox in Europe . As BMW M Gmbh boss argued against the decison for a manual gearbox in the first place simply because it didnt need one.
US introduction is said to be in spring '08.
I just spoke to someone before we head in for our M3 marketing meeting this morning.
European sales from September and US/Asia sales Spring -Summer 2008.