In North America, we were able to buy the E60 BMW M5 with a manual transmission, back in the day. However, we weren’t able to buy an E61 BMW M5 Touring. In Europe, customers were able to buy an E61 BMW M5 Touring but couldn’t buy an M5 with a manual transmission. It was SMG automated-manual-only for Euro customers, which was famously the worse transmission. But what if you combined both market cars and converted an E61 M5 Touring to have a manual? Find out in this new video from Carfection.
Before we start, congratulations to Carfection for its 1,000,000 subscribers. I’m actually shocked it took this long for that many people to subscribe, as Carfection has been putting out prime-Top Gear-levels of quality for years now. That aside, this video puts Henry Catchpole in the driver’s seat of an E61 M5 Touring that’s been given a manual gearbox swap.
The swap was done by UK tuning shop Everything M3s, which may sound familiar to you, as they’re famous for doing manual conversions on E46 M3 CSLs, which original had the same SMG transmission as the E61 M5. If there’s anyone you want doing such a complex job on such a finicky car, it’s them.
Everything else is the same, though. Which means it still has a 5.0-liter naturally aspirated V10 engine, making 500 horsepower and revving past 8,000 rpm. This one might have a few more ponies, thanks to an Eventuri carbon fiber intake system, but that upgraded intake is really all about the noise. BMW’s “S85” engine was always one of the greatest sounding road car engines of all time but it sounds even better with a carbon fiber air intake. It also sounds hilarious in a luxurious five-door family wagon.
This conversion really allows you to have everything you want in a single car. It’s fast, it sounds thrilling, it handles well, and has a manual gearbox for driver engagement. And yet it seats five comfortably and has a big, practical wagon trunk. What more could you ever need?