2011 BMW M5: First Look InsideS

The 2011 BMW M5's twin-turbocharged 540-hp V8 is rumored to be mated only to a manumatic transmission and these exclusive spy images inside the cockpit do nothing to quiet those whispers. Does this mean the ultimate driving machine is dead?

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Probably not, but it does mean ze Germans are so confident in their whiz-bang transmissions the days of the row-your-own manual shifter are probably limited, at least behind the wheel of a Bimmer. The center console prominently shows BMW's gear selector with an "M" logo plastered on top. The steering wheel is new and smaller than a normal 5-Series with paddle shifters behind the rim. Aside from the joyless-stick plopped in the center console we can also see heavily bolstered seats and a slightly tweaked dashboard.

Judging from the design and engineering upgrades, all the efforts are being put into the bits that make it look sinister and go faster. The subtle sheetmetal upgrade to the hood does look particularly muscular and those wheels and tires are no joke either. The F10 generation M5 will no-doubt be a spectacular performer with a modified version of the X5 M's 4.4-liter V8 underhood and a healthy dollop of carbon fiber to cut the weight down. We're sure it'll go, it'll turn, and it'll sound marvelous while doing it, but we'll still miss a good 'ole stick.