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      06-01-2006, 06:09 AM   #1
ksfrogman
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A question about SMG

The g/f cannot drive my 6MT E90 despite my several futile attempts at teaching her--she's simply not motivated to learn. If a SMG transmission were offered for the new E92, would that be easy for her to drive?
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      06-01-2006, 07:29 AM   #2
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Like anything it is something she would have to get use to. There is no clutch so that is a big help for her. She could always stick it in "Automatic" mode.
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      06-01-2006, 08:25 AM   #3
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although, the automatic mode is said to be very "rough" and definitely doesn't shift smooth. i think SMG would be a lot easier for anyone because it's not changing the gears that's hard, it's playing with the clutch all the time. so if you give them some rule to follow like, upshift when you reach 3k+, downshift when you go below 2k or something like that, then all they have to do is press two different buttons at two different times.
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      06-01-2006, 06:27 PM   #4
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I own a manual, but have driven the SMGII several times.

Not dealing with the clutch will be much easier for her.
If she can deal with the jerkiness, she'll be fine.

The key to SMG is to drive it similar to an clutch pedal MT.
Lift ever so slightly and shift and it'll be PRETTY smooth.

It's an abrupt tranny, there's no doubt about it.

The new e92 will also offer an new, upgraded Super Shift auto.
Supposedly, it's an AUTO, but it's as good as AMG's.
So, the torque converter is very efficient and you can paddle shift, like an SMG, but the Auto mode is smooth as an Auto is....

SMG in Auto mode is crap......

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      06-02-2006, 08:24 AM   #5
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The SMG II is not an abrupt transmission (on the M3). Nor is the SMG III in the M5/M6. I owned an 05 M3 and I loved the SMG so much I ordered an 06. The M3 and all the M cars with SMG have drivelogic which gives you 11 different programs for the transmission. The shifts can be programmed for ideal city and aggressive driving (hence the M badge). So, no jerkiness or "abrupt" shifts if you know how what you're doing. You drive the SMG like an SMG, not a manual.

The SMG however on non-M BMWs does not have the drivelogic and you have only one program for the sequential and auto mode. That transmission is jerky. It will still be easier her for to drive
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      06-02-2006, 08:42 AM   #6
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If you want her to be sure before she drives it, take her to drive an 06 Z4si. The automatic has the paddle shifters and they are the smoother updated version. Paddle shifters will be an option (2XA) on the e92 335 (not 328) with an auto but, SMG will not be as of yet.
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      06-06-2006, 06:46 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ksfrogman
The g/f cannot drive my 6MT E90 despite my several futile attempts at teaching her--she's simply not motivated to learn. If a SMG transmission were offered for the new E92, would that be easy for her to drive?
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      06-12-2006, 04:20 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ksfrogman
The g/f cannot drive my 6MT E90 despite my several futile attempts at teaching her--she's simply not motivated to learn. If a SMG transmission were offered for the new E92, would that be easy for her to drive?

I have a 2005 545i with SMG, so I can speak to this.


The SMG is not a common transmission so there are a lot of misconceptions about it. I'll try and set them straight here for you.


Misconception # 1: The SMG is basically an automatic with paddle shifters.

This is false. The SMG is a true manual transmission, with a clutch that is controlled electronically. While an SMG can be placed into an automatic mode, this doesn't necessarily mean it is a suitable replacement for a person who can't drive a "stick-shift." It is a manual transmission, and it has some nuances which mimic the bahavior of a stick shift.


Misconception # 2: SMG shifts are rough.

This is a common statement I see being made, especially by BMW salespeople. It is 100% false. This statement is as absurd as saying that a stick shift is rough.

As any manual transmission owner will tell you, the smoothness of the shifts depends on the skill of the driver. Smoothing out a manual shift takes practice, finesse and timing.

One description I heard someone say about the SMG was.... that it drives like a novice on a stick shift.

My response to him was that he was driving like a novice on an SMG.

Like I said above, the SMG is a true manual transmission... and it bahaves in a similar fashion. What I mean by this is... if you want smooth shifts, you can't just drive it like an automatic. You must operate the throttle in a controlled manner during your shifts to get the smoothest response. The best tip I've heard for driving an SMG came from an article on the M5 I was reading..

In that article, the authors commented on how much they loved the M5... but that the SMG was really rough. They said that on a track it was fine, but as a daily driver it wasn't great. Then they said that the BMW engineers who were present during their test gave them a quick SMG lesson. The BMW guys gave the following explanation of how to shift for smoothest operation:


1. From a stop, accelerate in 1st gear.

2. When you are ready to shift into 2nd gear, lightly release pressure from the gas pedal. They said to keep this movement small.... instead of moving your shoe off the pedal, think of lifting your foot inside your shoe. This movement will cause the weight of the car to shift forward a bit, in preparation for your shift.

3. Click the shifter to move into 2nd gear.

4. Once the gear has engaged, press the gas pedal again to accelerate in the next gear.


Repeat the procedure into 3rd, 4th, etc...


So it's accelerate, slightly lift foot, shift gear, then accelerate again.


When you shift this way, the SMG can shift as smooth as the Steptronic.





I don't think there is an easy answer to your original question. It is true that the SMG can be placed into automatic mode. However, in automatic mode the car decides when to shift. This means that it is harder to follow the procedure I listed above... since you would have to anticipate when the car wants to shift, and then release pedal pressure before that happens. It can be done, but it takes a little practice.

That said, operating the car like I said is not necessary. You can drive the car like an automatic..... it's just going to be a little jerky on the shifts.

It could be that your g/f has trouble learning to drive the stick shift, but she might be more inclinded to learn the SMG. It's not hard, it just takes a little practice. Then again, maybe she'll never get it. I just can't answer that one for you.


I guess I will close by saying what I tell anyone who asks if the SMG is right for them. If you like driving a manual, then you'll probably like the SMG. If you are just looking for an alternative to an automatic, then I don't think the SMG is for you.
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