Originally Posted by gthal
I would argue that your CA doesn't have much real evidence here. I would suggest (although I could be wrong) that only a small portion of M3 buyers cannot drive a 6MT. People who can't drive 6MTs will likely gravitate to a regular 3 series or the M5. IMO, most (maybe not all, but most) people choose the DCT because they either 1) have to because of a physical thing, 2) really like the new technology, 3) want a car that is faster on the track AND on the street or 4) have grown tired of the 6MT or don't like the refinement of the 6MT in the M3.
Conversely, I also think that there are 6MT buyers who do NOT buy a 6MT for the "driving experience" but rather because they think it is cooler, etc.
Until someone really owns/spends time in both, it is hard to comment on the difference in "driving experience" other than from unsubstantiated bias. From experience, the 6MT is more physically involving but the DCT is every bit as "fun". The DCT is "easier" to drive and subjectively faster even on the street. The DCT also feels, IMO, like it has a little more torque which might be due to gearing, I suppose. Being in higher gears is less punishing (torque wise) in the DCT than I remember it being in the 6MT.
Both are great... both are fun... DCT is easier to drive faster... 6MT requires more physical involvement.
I couldn't disagree with you more. There are so many people who buy DCT M3s because they have money, can't drive a stick shift and want a cool car that stands out from the regular 3 series. There are those people, and the people who are older and have driven a manual for 30 years and are tired of it. Of course the people who can't drive stick are going to say they bought the car because it's faster, sounds much cooler than, "I've never driven a manual car in my life so I got the DCT, but hey it's a lot faster".
I don't think many people opt for the 6mt because they think it's cool. A majority of people get a 6mt because they enjoy driving a manual car, and there is probably a smaller proportion who didn't want to spend the money on the DCT.
Hell, using the logic of this forum, you could buy a 6MT, save the $2,900 the DCT costs and get turner test pipes with a tune and you'll be faster than a stock DCT car guaranteed.