Last post on Mar 24, 2013 at 11:51 AM
You are in the BMW 3-Series
What is this discussion about?
BMW 3 Series, Sedan
Jun 10, 2002 (11:46 am)
Well, given that I live less than a mile from BMWNA, a little over two and a quarter miles to MBUSA, and about the same to Volvo, I see a lot of stuff that is "Not yet out".
Just last weekend, I saw a few of the new W211 E-Classes over at a local watering hole, and a lot more driving up and down my street. I have also seen things like Smart cars, A-Classes C270 CDIs, and just recently I have seen several of the next generation CLKs floating around as well. If we don't move this summer (still up in the air), I will most certainly get an early view of the new E60 5-Series sometime late this year or early next year as BMW routinely drives their "Mules" around the on the local roads.
Given that most of these are not closely held secrets, I have not bothered to try and snag a few shots, however, if anybody has any requests...
By the way, prior to 1997, I was contractually bound to not photograph any of the cool stuff that I saw at MBUSA, because I was a consultant there back then. That said, I saw some very interesting cars, most of which have made it to the U.S. market, a few that have not.
Jun 10, 2002 (1:02 pm)
Just a few thoughts as I catch up after the weekend:
1. I just got my VIN, and according to the secret decoder charts on this Board, my car is scheduled for production in South Africa. Part of me wants to call the dealer and say reschedule it for a German build. That said, part of me knows that it is not really relevant, and that rescheduling will only delay my car. What would you guys do? If its not really a BMW anyway, without SP and manual transmission, what's left if its built in SA?
2. Why does EVERY discussion topic or answer to a question have to include a condescending, derisive comment about automatic transmission? Who are you guys trying to convince, those of us who see the advantages of automatic, or yourselves? Funny how the option not worth the price is the one the majority of buyers choose?
3. As for GM building the transmission: Have you EVER heard a complaint about a transmission in a BMW? It is considered to be the best manual transmission in the world by just about every reviewer I have ever read.
4. As an owner of four Nissan cars (including mother and mother-in-law, whose cars I helped them purchase), I have to weigh in on the G35 coupe. WHY??? The G35 is already built on the new "Z" platform. Isn't the new Z coupe enough? I guess they just want to include back seats that will get them into the comparos with the 330Ci and the Acura CL.
Jun 10, 2002 (1:03 pm)
Guys, thanks for the feedback. Interesting tid bit about BMW coming back to ZF automatics. I believe one of the reasons why BMW originally turned to GM for the manufacture of its automatic transmissions was the poor reliability of the ZF slushboxes, back in the day. Good for ZF is they have been capable of overcoming their reliability issues with their automatics.
My understanding is tha the GM 5L40-E 5 speed automatic previously offered on most GM applications was mainly designed by GM and fine tuning it to BMW vehicle app specs. I am not ulterly familiar with that GM/BMW tranny relationship, so feel free to correct me.
I have a friend of mine that lives in Germany and he tells me that the few customers that buy new Bimmers there with automatic transmissions demand their dealers to make sure their new cars are equipped "With the American automatic transmission"....funny taught.
So which automatic you prefer? The GM or the ZF unit? What are the main differences between the 2?
Yeah for me driving fun has become a good auto slushbox. I like to mesh my own gears, but my wife can't and won't drive a stick shift car. So since she will need to drive the car from time to time as well, so I must compromise.
Besides, with the kind of traffic in this city, the "Joy" of driving a manual tranny vehicle wore old a long time ago. Also for resale purposes, 4 door sedans equipped with automatics (Regardless of make and model) sell better and quicker in my market region than stick shift equipped sedans.
Coupes and convertibles are a different story altogether....
Jun 10, 2002 (1:10 pm)
"2. Why does EVERY discussion topic or answer to a question have to include a condescending, derisive comment about automatic transmission? Who are you guys trying to convince, those of us who see the advantages of automatic, or yourselves? Funny how the option not worth the price is the one the majority of buyers choose?"
Couldn't agree with you more. Like I said, I love shifting my own gears, but reality is where I live traffic is pretty bad 24/7 (Bumper to bumper) and wife refuses to drive a manual transmission car. I have found that most automatics (Specially GM's) are excellent slushboxes, smooth, and don't seem to hurt either performance or fuel economy. As far as resale value, it is easier to quickly get rid of a sedan with a slushbox than a manual stick shift, at least where I live.
"3. As for GM building the transmission: Have you EVER heard a complaint about a transmission in a BMW? It is considered to be the best manual transmission in the world by just about every reviewer I have ever read."
You mean GM "Automatics"? GM only manufactured 5 speed automatics for BMW RWD vehicle applications. I think manual gearboxes were still sourced from ZF. Yes the GM autos are extremely reliable eveidence by the very slim margin of complaints from BMW automatic equipped owners.
#18023 of 30250 Transmissions
Jun 10, 2002 (1:12 pm)
Pre March 2002:
GM Automatic on the 323i, 325i, 328i, 330i, 525i, 528i and 530i
Post March 2002 (as is my unconfirmed (as yet) understanding):
ZF Automatic on the 325i, 330i, 525i and 530i
Getrag 5-Speed on the 323i, 325i and 525i
ZF 5-Speed on the 328i, 330i, 528i and 530i
Getrag 6-Speed on the M3, 540i6 and M5 (the two 5ers are also unconfirmed)
Jun 10, 2002 (1:20 pm)
Thanks Shipo. I was forgetting about the Getrag manual gearboxes.
If buying a new 325i or 330i, would then prefer one with a build date pre-March 2002.
Don't trust yet the reliability of automatic ZF boxes.
Jun 10, 2002 (1:33 pm)
"Why does EVERY discussion topic or answer to a question have to include a condescending, derisive comment about automatic transmission?"
Because they usually want more standard features, better leather, better sound, better ride with that automatic transmission (i.e. turn our beloved 3 series into a Lexus).
"Funny how the option not worth the price is the one the majority of buyers choose?"
Funny how US is also the most obese nation in the world as well.
#18026 of 30250 Why the insults Dave330i?
Jun 10, 2002 (1:57 pm)
What does an automatic transmission has to do with Obessity??
Please connect the dots for us, Dave. I am eager to listen to your interesting theory.
For the record. I am not obese. In fact I am 5'10" and only weigh 160 pounds, so I am not taking your comment personally, but I still find it insulting.
Obesity has more to do with genetics and lifestyle eating/excercise habits and much less to do with the fact that whether we choose to mesh our own gears or not when driving.
I have never seen a recommended diet and excercise regime that calls to drive a stick shift car to burn more calories...LOL!
Jun 10, 2002 (2:28 pm)
Other than both being an easier life style, no relations what so ever.
Jun 10, 2002 (2:45 pm)
I need a new radio amplifier for my 1993 325.Spoke to Bmw service and told me that they probably don't make what I need anymore and that he would have see what's in there to know for sure. Any ideas about how I could get an amplifier? I live in the Tampa area.