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      02-09-2007, 01:14 AM   #1
Sixsense
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Can Automatic M3 Race?

Friend of mine has a questions that I can not answer, both of us never had the chance to drive a M3. He wants to know if he should get a auto M3, he lives in CA and he is so tired of the traffic, but he wants to start fast and race, his question is can auto M3 Laugh and runs as fast as Manual M3? We are new to these, help us out
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      02-09-2007, 09:22 AM   #2
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...auto = smg
SMG > manual
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      02-09-2007, 01:42 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Last E92 M3 View Post
...auto = smg
SMG > manual
That's definately debatable, but I agree with you.
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      02-09-2007, 06:02 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianJA View Post
That's definately debatable, but I agree with you.
debatable because...you can shift as fast as 8ms?
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      02-09-2007, 09:01 PM   #5
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no, it is debatable because it is constantly debated

I agree with you that it is better, but that is my opinion. You stated it was better like it was a fact.

A LOT of others would probably disagree with us. That is because they are looking for a different experience than what we value in a transmission.
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      02-10-2007, 02:00 AM   #6
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and what is a SMG? what does it stands for? ^^
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      02-10-2007, 02:01 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Last E92 M3 View Post
...auto = smg
SMG > manual
but can you control when to shift? I dont want it shift at low RPM
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      02-10-2007, 10:19 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sixsense View Post
but can you control when to shift? I dont want it shift at low RPM
in my opinion...you should be better off searching it from google or something...
quick 5 meaning reading will give you a GOOD idea of what it is like.
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      02-10-2007, 10:21 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianJA View Post
no, it is debatable because it is constantly debated

I agree with you that it is better, but that is my opinion. You stated it was better like it was a fact.

A LOT of others would probably disagree with us. That is because they are looking for a different experience than what we value in a transmission.
Debatable because manual guys think it doesn't have the fun factor.
But they can't deny that SMG is faster than manual.
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      02-11-2007, 10:18 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Last E92 M3 View Post
Debatable because manual guys think it doesn't have the fun factor.
But they can't deny that SMG is faster than manual.
Nope can't deny that, but that's only okay if you want a robot guessing what you want the transmission to do.
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      02-12-2007, 10:56 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sixsense View Post
and what is a SMG? what does it stands for? ^^
Sequential Manual Gearbox
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      02-13-2007, 10:53 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Last E92 M3 View Post
debatable because...you can shift as fast as 8ms?
SMG shifts quickly, but not 8ms. SMG III is in the 50-60ms range and SMG II is in the 70-80ms range. I have seen these numbers published in a number of places, I have included a source.

DSG is able to shift much more quickly, I beleive in the 10-15ms range but only 1 gear, if it has to down shift twice it takes SUBSTANTIALLY longer, furthermore, there is no mass produced DSG gearbox capable of handling more than 350NM of Torque (The Veyron is not mass produced). Also, DSG in it's currently avaiallbe transvere mounted implementation weighs approximately 50lbs more than a manual gearbox as opposed to SMG weighing under 15lbs more than its manual counterpart.

Source for SMG times here: http://www.carpages.co.uk/bmw/bmw-m6...5-05-11-05.asp


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      03-18-2007, 02:27 PM   #13
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SMG for racing and everyday use: A Brit View

I'm a refugee from BM3W. As my first post (= reveille? sorry, bad anglo-french joke) can I help answer the original query? Note that it is possible that anything I say might not be true for the US market (what is US model equivalent of E46?).

There is strictly no such thing as an 'auto' M3. SMG stands for Sequential Manual Gearbox. It is a normal manual gearbox (same as on manual cars, with a clutch, no torque converter) but it is controlled electronically. In auto mode it will change automatically, at various degrees of 'ferocity' according to taste. However, in manual mode it is almost totally under your control, changes being made by the gear stick (forward = down, back = up) or by pulling the paddles (left = down, right = up). Note that the name sequential does not mean you are limited to shifting one gear at a time: two pulls = 2 gears.

In auto mode it can be driven much like an auto, but it does not 'creep'. It can give smooth slurred changes but also quite quick ones depending on setting. Many drivers use auto 2 or 3 for heavy traffic, though I don't feel it necessary.

In manual mode it is sheer brilliance - lightning changes (in 5 or 6) which may be a bit jerky, though if correctly adjusted not too bad, or you can operate at a lower more gentle setting (anyway you learn to feather the throttle marginally, just a 'think' really, when wife in car). You have total fingertip control (except it changes down to avoid labouring if you forget, and also double declutches for smoother down changes!). It has clever add-ons like 'launch control', great for racing.

The SMG-type gearbox was developed for F1 racing (Indy with right turns!). The lightweight M3, the CSL, which BMW designed specifically for racing was ONLY MADE WITH SMG !!! Oh yes, and the change at 80ms is faster than just about any driver can possibly achieve, and without fluffing/missed gears (they say it won't change down if it would over-rev) and you stay on the throttle! And there are change lights that allow you to get your up-shifts spot on at max revs. Oh, and two hands on the wheel at all times (unless crossed up). Need I say more?

A test drive is NOT sufficient to appreciate the wonders of this gearbox, and most dealers haven't a clue. It does take learning, but as with all the best things in life it is worth it. Best to get someone who knows it well to demonstrate its brilliance. (I have owned mainly stick shift, but also several auto, and this beats both. By the way, my wife has a DSG Golf, also very good.)

If your friend wants more info, the best source for user experience (though not racing) is the brilliant website of a German guy called Leo. If you can't find him I'll try to locate.

Last edited by Helix; 03-18-2007 at 04:28 PM. Reason: added section on racing, plus clarifications
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      03-20-2007, 01:58 AM   #14
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At the end of the day SMG is just not a 6MT, and I would dare any SMG driver to hit a drift as fast and as long as I can in my 6MT. Your exactly right, the fun factor is not there. The SMG is far superior to any human shifting and even many world class driver can not down shift as quickly and accurately as the SMG, but the SMG is also considered one more fail point on the vehicle. The 6MT will hold more power as previously stated, and has a less likely chance of failure. Thats where it gets slippery. do you get the SMG for the track car because of its abilities, but risk the chance of failure and tuning complications. Or do you take the 6MT and lose the quick shift and downshifting capabilities for a stronger more reliable system?

I have seen pro teams go both ways with great results. personally i wouldnt be able to decide. I have never owned an SMG but i have driven them and let me tell you something. Once you master the left-foot-braking technique, holy crap your untouchable on a track, for the most part. being able to upshift, downshift, and brake all while your at full throttle...c'mon no standard gear box can compete.. all that being said.

I wouldnt trade my 6MT for anything....
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      03-20-2007, 11:10 AM   #15
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Great post but I don't follow, HiRide.

You've told us many reasons why SMG is better (and runs faster) on track. However, you don't believe an SMG driver can hit a drift as fast - why not? You say it is considered 'one more fail point' (on that basis leave out the engine!).

However, SMG has a very good reliability record on road and track, is only marginally (15 lbs) heavier and protects other components (eg. engine from over-revving, and the clutch, maybe brakes too).

You obviously know SMG benefits, though I suspect it takes ownership to really appreciate (left foot braking is not essential). Yet you wouldn't trade that funny old 6 speed. Don't get it!
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      03-21-2007, 06:30 AM   #16
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'My wife has a DSG Golf TDi diesel (sadly no flippers) - great except
massive 3 sec delay when floor from low speed. Some say it's DSG, others
turbolag. How was the Audi? (Sorry, off topic, but then so was most
of my sleep-inducing post, I guess.) But why do you rate the DSG much
higher than SMG? (see my reply to 'Race with auto' post).'

helix,
following on from the post in 'should i get an M3'...

i have driven the golf R32 DSG and you are correct it felt sluggish, however the TT 3.2 DSG (original version) was extreemly quick and smooth though the changes and was fast and a joy to drive i did not get that feeling when i test drove the SMG. I appreciate you comments about 'getting someone who knows to demonstrate' however this not a usual option at the local BMW dealer and i can only speak as i find as i did not get chance to have the car for a weekend to learn how and best to set it up, drive it etc....

IMHO
Golf R32 DSG - fast car, gearbox slow and jerky
Audi TT 3.2 DSG - smooth box, confident and very rapid
M3 SMG - very quick but very jerky
M3 manual - very quick (still-amazingly) and very smooth
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      03-21-2007, 07:22 AM   #17
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Wife's DSG is great (fast changes, not sluggish) except when need 'fast' acceleration from low/zero speed when zilch happens for 3 secs. Maybe turbo (diesel) lag but no-one knows for sure. When it does come in (you've got throttle wide open by then) it's 'wallop'!

Dealer no use for SMG demo unless lucky (I've found a couple of specialists) but you really need a friend or contact to show you. Even driving it yourself will take a long time, tho 'it's worth it' (I'm still learning). If you are interested and I'm ever your way, would be pleased to do so (or will you be at Thorney's in April?).
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      03-22-2007, 06:10 AM   #18
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helix,
enlighten me ?? Thorneys's ??
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      03-23-2007, 03:42 AM   #19
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Thorney is a top UK M3 tuner, based Milton Keynes. The enthusiast website BM3W.co.uk (currently having a hosting problem, I gather) is holding a full day at his place on April 28 - loads of specialists, loads of enthusiasts, use of rolling road etc. They say that all members of BM3W are welcome.
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      03-23-2007, 04:57 PM   #20
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I've driven the SMG on the track and it's great. In fact I had done two full laps at Watkins Glen before my instructor asked if I had shifted yet, which of course I had. SMG is perfect for the track. I suppose we should ask what type of racing is your friend interested in?

Last edited by skierman64; 03-26-2007 at 10:56 PM.
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      04-17-2007, 11:16 AM   #21
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SMG and DSG are both awesome technologies. However, for long term reliability, I'd stay away from it.
If you plan on leasing a new M3, get the SMG.... If you are shopping for an '03 out of warranty, get the regular manual tranny.
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      04-25-2007, 05:15 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by voltron1011 View Post
SMG and DSG are both awesome technologies. However, for long term reliability, I'd stay away from it.
If you plan on leasing a new M3, get the SMG.... If you are shopping for an '03 out of warranty, get the regular manual tranny.
May I ask what you base that on? In the UK there does not appear to be an issue, and SMG helps protect other components from misuse (accidental or deliberate).
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