Last post on Apr 02, 2008 at 8:01 AM
You are in the BMW M/M3/M6
What is this discussion about?
BMW M3, Coupe, Convertible
Apr 27, 2006 (8:39 pm)
Yes and yes, acbr. I've tasted all three generations of SMG in various M machines and I must say that the 7 speed unit takes everything to a whole new level. I think it's because it's hooked up to such a fabulous powertrain. I haven't driven the M5 yet, but I've been to hell and back in the M6.
I'm not going to review all the positives in this post, as they've been lauded upon many times in this forum. I appreciate the SMG at this level of horsepower and speed; helping novices contain supercar levels of horsepower and torque, taking the semi-professional to professionals and allowing them to truly challenge the chassis, and then turning the dial back down to 1 for the long drive home.
In my personal opinion, the E46 M3 never needed SMGII. Maybe the Competition Package and definitely the CSL(awesome!). I leased a 2004 for a few months and automatically ordered up a short shift kit for the 6 speed. This change alone put the car two notches below nirvana (an accomplished clutch artist can shift in about 90-150 milliseconds with this kit).
All M drivers should know what the program is before they even think about taking a test drive. Manual transmissions belong on M cars. I'll never stop believing that.
Yet the third generation SMG is cheaper to manufacture in-house than it is for BMW to contract out to Getrag. It's also lighter, less complex and less of a bear on the other driveline components (anyone want to replace the clutch on the new 6 speed M5?).
However when the M3 is packing a V8 and 400+ horses, the evolution of SMG will become a necessary evil to us purists. Unfortunately, BMW customers shopping in the Motorsport division no longer want the task of knowing how to operate a manual transmission, but they still have money to spend. And since more money is better than less money, BMW will continue to make a positive business case for the SMG.
#95 of 204 tough choice
Apr 27, 2006 (11:53 pm)
Unfortunately, due to the convincing arguments shed here, some for SMG and some for Manual, the decision has not been made easier. I'm confident that there is a reason, some experience or argument yet to be made, that will tip the balance. I look forward to the moment that this truth is revealed. Maybe different people will require different reasons that will do the trick for them. I hope to find my reason/s. I have some time before the end of my lease to ponder and learn from other perspectives. Ultimately, the decision will be a personal one.
So far here's the Summary:
2007/8 M3 with SMG III
- silky smooth, telepathic, and super-human fast shifts
- promotes an average driver's capability to take the car closer to it's limits
- reduces chance of damaging transmission
- can revert to automatic mode while in traffic
- Less control of engine power transfer with no clutch
- Less fun than Manual??
2008 M3 with Manual
- Infinite flexibility of engine power transfer due to clutch and direct control of gears
- More Fun than SMG??
- Alot of physical activity.. seems tiring to me
- Must practice to get good at shifting fast but will never be as fast as SMG
- Easier to burn transmission with 400+hp V8, than with SMG
I may have missed and distorted some points here.
To me, the Fun factor advantage of the Manual, if it is true, has alot of weight in the consideration. The utility of SMG, by simplifying the driving activity while providing supreme performance, is attractive as well. How to choose?? I have no clue.
in San Diego
#96 of 204 how to choose??
Apr 28, 2006 (6:34 am)
#97 of 204 how to choose??
Apr 28, 2006 (6:50 am)
i don't know what to say to make it easyer for you.
bottom line, you are not a "purist". i think that because of that you will have fun with either set up. the safe choice is smg, because you will never get tired of it like you would with the stick.
for ultimatedriver he could never go without the stick, but he finds the control and shifting fun. he's not wrong, you're not right....its two different people with different perspectives.
why do yout think there are some 250 plus cars for sale in north america......people have different needs and tastes.
#98 of 204 Re: how to choose?? [acbrbmw]
Apr 28, 2006 (1:50 pm)
I have a 98 M3 with stick and had a Subaru WRX with stick. Because of the torque available on the M3, it did not have to be shifted very often in traffic (unlike the Subaru).
I test drove an M3 with the lastest SMG offered in that model and while it was impressive, it did not shift very smoothly at all when driving around town.
Just my 2 cents. I hope this is helpful.
BTW: I got an email from Audi saying the US RS4 is over 3,900 pounds. I doubt BMW will be that silly and make the next M3 such a pig.
#99 of 204 Re: tough choice [jmaroun]
Apr 28, 2006 (7:47 pm)
I agree with acbr. Go with the SMG and have a blast. Make sure you chose the right shift program regardless of what mode you're in. Any of the 4 available extremes may be too much too soon for you, just as it was for me. After you acclimate yourself to the car's power and torque characteristics, play around and see what it'll do.
As far as that RS4 is concerned Jim2727, I don't think any of us at the BMW camp need worry. I haven't seen any weight figures of the new M3 but I doubt it'll register higher than 3600 on the scales, giving the weight to horsepower advantage to the M3. Besides, the M6 is about 3700 and change, so there's no way the M3 is gonna be that heavy.
Let's cross our fingers for some scaled down M6 engineering weight saving tricks like a CFP roof and bumpers, along with fiberglass-reinforced plastic side panels and rear decklid. Along with the inevitable aluminum suspension pieces and lighter engine, I feel we have very little to worry about as far as the weight of the M3 is concerned.
What does concern me is the direction the M3 program is headed in general. As I stated previously, I fear that we are losing the lithe, agile sports car hidden away in every M3. We're getting further and further into supercar territory with this horsepower war.
I am also a bit dismayed over the loss of the straight 6, though I do look forward to the V8. I've been an automotive technician for most of my life, both free lance and professional, and have come to adore the way that engine makes it's power in it's multiple guises. I'll admit I didn't like the iron block at first, but I grew to appreciate it's strength.
Call me selfish, but I was sort of hoping for a final evolution of the inline six cylinder engine. This last one was a 3.2 liter, 343 horsepower powerhouse that had very similar figures to the 3.2 liter powerplant in one of the "special" versions of the mid-seventies 3.0 CSL. One of the final evolutions of that engine displaced 3.5 liters. It made approximately 430 horsepower and made the car fly like a "bat" out of hell on the racing circuit. A modern successor to that engine would've been a nice curtain call for the straight six.
Call me sentimental, but cars like these are the essence of BMW Motorsport.
Apr 29, 2006 (5:15 am)
i understand your sentiment, but if bmw makes a new m3-like every new car bmw makes-it will blow away the older one and your sentiment for the 6 will turn into lust for the 8
Apr 29, 2006 (9:36 am)
I've had lust for V8 engines since childhood. Yet I've always had a preference for a good fight. I loved the fact that, at it's debut, the E46 M3 could nearly match the Corvette's horsepower and acceleration numbers with a highly tuned six. Even in my current car, which is a modified 325i, I'm untouchable by most V8 challengers out there.
There's something to be said about light weight and an awesome top end kick. While the new M5 may not be able to take a lot of competition off of the line in the hands of the average driver, trying to keep pace with it on the highway is a different story all together. The same can be said of the E46 M3. It isn't as impressive off the line as it is a terror above 40mph. No unnecessary wheel spin or break of traction, just precisely metered acceleration all the way up to 175mph (trashed the gov'nah). All that fury was hard to keep up with for V8 sports cars/GTs. But now with most of the class achieving 60mph in the low to mid 4s, I guess the V8 is a necessary evil as well.
About "blowing away the older one." As much as I love every evolution of the 3 series, my all time favorite is the E36. Even though the E90 is idiot proof in it's handling character, the E36 begged to be tossed around in a manner the heavier succeeding models couldn't understand. When you were done playing, it would take off the sneakers and put on the loafers and quietly take you home, whether it was an M3 or not.
May 04, 2006 (8:43 pm)
there be a traditional manual offered for the new 4 door M3?