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      12-12-2006, 09:17 PM   #9
mloyelo
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Drives: 2005 Porsche Carrera
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: San Francisco, California

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Wait for the new M3. That's a no brainer. As for manual vs. SMG, that's a tough one. I have driven both in the e46 M3 (my brother owned an 06 competition package SMG (before trading for more space in a 550i), and my best friend drives an 05' manual). Both are insane, make no mistake about it. In fact, I absolutely dusted a brand new porsche 997 on highway one driving my friend's manual. Swamp gave a good summary, and some like the M5 guy (and my friend with the manual) are dead-set old school, which I respect. A drive around the block probably won't convince you either way, unfortunately. Though a look at the F1 series cars these days presents a telling story (all paddle shift for the mostpart). I mean, why take one hand off the wheel? My brother's car was like a video game with the SMG - you think, your index finger twitches and BAM! your are getting rubber in third gear. The car is going to a blast, whatever transmission you go with...I am already worried about speeding tickets. Have fun thinking about it!