Over a year and a half ago (August 2009) we reported that the next generation M5 and M6 may be ditching the manual option and going auto only. But why would M be going backwards into the land of torque converting auto transmissions and not choosing the DCT? Clearly the dual clutch transmission is the future of high performance automobiles right?

There are several factors as to why the DCT might not be in the next generation M5 and M6. First off the cost of producing something that can handle as much torque as a twin-turbo V8 is simply not affordable proposition for mass production. Secondly (and it ‘s pointed out well by Motortrend ‘s article on the top yesterday) the need for beefier actuators would slow down the shift times.

Combine this with BMW ‘s successful implementation of the automatic in the X5 and X6 M products and you see where we ‘re going. In the X5 M BMW uses cylinder deactivation to produce shifts as fast as many DCTs while giving supreme refinement. Results are impressive as we found out for ourselves last year.

What does this mean for other future M Products? As we ‘ve previously reported the next generation M3 will retain the manual and DCT combo as will the next generation 1M (potentially called the 2M).

You can read our original report on this change from August 2009 here.

Hat tip to 5post for the heads-up on the Motortrend piece.