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      11-05-2006, 03:54 PM   #1
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SMG vs. manual?

So, according to Jussi, the new M3 will come standard with SMG (IV or whatever it'll be named), just like the current M5 when it first came out. I'm not sure what others think (especially enthusiasts like most of us who are really looking forward to the new M3), but I would actually prefer a manual tranny and hope that BMW will be offering that too.

Call me old-fashioned, but I actually prefer the "feel" of being directly connected to the engine and the motor throbbing thru the shifter under my right hand (left hand, I suppose for those driving on the "other" side of the road ). It's like getting a hand massage while driving!

And I actually like rowing my own gears and pressing my own clutch, giving me a more direct involvement in driving the car. The sense of accomplishment when I get the heel-toe downshift perfectly right is rapturous and inexplicable. Otherwise, it may just feel like driving in a computer game simulation.

Perfomance-wise, SMG IV would obviously blow away the manual tranny, due to much faster and more consistent shifting than we mere mortals can achieve. But how many of us are going to take it to the track in competition? How often are we going to even have to "prove" ourselves at stoplight races?

So, I sincerely hope that BMW will be offering the manual as an "option" if they expect it to be the "premium" car from the M-division of the maker of the Ultimate Driving Machine.

Please discuss.
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      11-05-2006, 04:42 PM   #2
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While I agree with the desire to have a more direct connection with the car when driving I worry that BMW will make it impossible to turn off the DSC. In the E60 M5 they have made it impossible to turn off the DSC with the manual transmission while you still have that option with the SMG gearbox. If BMW does the same with the new M3 there will certainly be significant trade offs either way.
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      11-05-2006, 06:04 PM   #3
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Well its a big liabilty, most idiots with the car don't know how to control the power and its a shame that BMW has to do that, but we'll have to wait and see if we get screwed again.

What they should do is make people sign a waiver that they will not sue BMW for anything, related to loss of control. Seeing as BMW has no control over how people drive their cars.
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      11-05-2006, 06:09 PM   #4
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evilspirit: Where have you driven an E60 M5 with a manual transmission? To my knowledge all the production cars still have the SMG-III, and that BMW has not made it impossible to turn off all electronic stability controls on any car as of yet (and I hope they never will, like MB does.)

I know there's been talk of a manual E60 M5 for the US market, but at least I don't see any such option offered on the bmwusa.com web site.

Best regards,

Jussi
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      11-05-2006, 06:33 PM   #5
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While I have not driven an M5 with the manual they are already in the US market. Check out www.m5board.com and look through some of the posts there. Several people in the US are owners or have test driven the E60 M5 6 speed and have shared their thoughts on the subject. They have not been able to turn off the DSC to my knowledge.
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      11-05-2006, 06:36 PM   #6
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Wow, news to me. I'll check it out when I have a chance. Have they tried pulling the fuses for the DSC? That's what some dummies here did with the E46 M3 when it was new when they didn't know you simply had to depress the DSC button for about 4 seconds to disable everything, instead of just press it once (which just disabled ASC.)

Best regards,

Jussi
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      11-05-2006, 07:26 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JK42 View Post
Wow, news to me. I'll check it out when I have a chance. Have they tried pulling the fuses for the DSC? That's what some dummies here did with the E46 M3 when it was new when they didn't know you simply had to depress the DSC button for about 4 seconds to disable everything, instead of just press it once (which just disabled ASC.)

Best regards,

Jussi
Bwahahah, that made me lol.
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      11-05-2006, 09:50 PM   #8
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So, what's your preferences:
manual or SMG?
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      11-05-2006, 09:51 PM   #9
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http://www.m5board.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=83806

6speed thread....you can't turn it off...
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      11-05-2006, 10:18 PM   #10
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My preferance would have to be...hmm...I don't know I haven't driven the SMG much to make a ruling, but I do tire if clutching in and out of Los Angeles traffic, the worst in the country. So I guess i'll go ahead with the SMG. Only if I can use the shifter instead of the paddles, I do enjoy that videogame-like ease of shifting.


Good find! with that 6-Speed M5. I guess that answers ours question whether or not it exists and if the DSC can be switched all the way off.
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      11-05-2006, 10:19 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JK42 View Post
Wow, news to me. I'll check it out when I have a chance. Have they tried pulling the fuses for the DSC? That's what some dummies here did with the E46 M3 when it was new when they didn't know you simply had to depress the DSC button for about 4 seconds to disable everything, instead of just press it once (which just disabled ASC.)

Best regards,

Jussi
For non-M E46s you are correct. However, in the E46 M3. Just pressing the button disables all traction related systems (at least that's the way it works in the US, maybe the euro cars are programmed differently). On both of my M3s (an 01 & 03) it worked this way.

-Adam
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      11-05-2006, 10:42 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smoltz View Post
For non-M E46s you are correct. However, in the E46 M3. Just pressing the button disables all traction related systems (at least that's the way it works in the US, maybe the euro cars are programmed differently). On both of my M3s (an 01 & 03) it worked this way.

-Adam
You are one thousand percent right. One push of the button on M models will turn off all electronic stability aids except the ABS.
One push in a non-M will only turn off the acceleartion traction control but the coner brake control remains active. You have to push and hold it for 4 seconds, to turn the DSC completely off.
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      11-06-2006, 03:03 AM   #13
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I love rowing my own gears too, but have you driven an SMG car? That perfectly coordinated, instantaneous downshifting is intoxicating
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      11-06-2006, 03:19 AM   #14
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I've never driven an SMG ive only been a passenger, and it that consistenly perfect downshifting is awesome.
But its kind of weird with a loud exhaust, people look at you like your downshifting at the track. Lol.
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      11-06-2006, 11:08 AM   #15
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SMG as the traffic here is crazy.
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      11-06-2006, 12:31 PM   #16
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Yeah ive seen videos of the traffic flow out there. No stop lights right? they just go as they please...(I think this was Indonesia)
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      11-06-2006, 09:44 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noelsmart View Post
I love rowing my own gears too, but have you driven an SMG car? That perfectly coordinated, instantaneous downshifting is intoxicating
Hmmm, an instant perfectly matched downshift every single time...
Now that would tempt me into SMG!

Only problem is that I don't think I would derive as much satisfaction as if I had made that perfect shift, knowing full well that it was the computer that was perfect and not me.

On the other hand, I'd guess one advantage of SMG is that it allows the driver to fully concentrate on driving and the line to take, instead of taking up some brain cycles to coordinate the shifting.
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      11-07-2006, 12:44 AM   #18
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SMG v. 6 speed

First post, long time reader. I am looking forward to chatting with you all.

Having owned both transmissions, with two years of overlap, all I can say is that it is a tough call.

Did Euro delivery on my 02 M3 SMG coupe and after the break in it was mind blowing (25 days and one oil change). I am very excited about the newer version of SMG in the E92 as improvement was needed. I am also on the list for 2nd year production Euro delivery E92 SMG.

With that said, I bought my wife an 03 M3 CIC with a 6 speed, did performance center delivery, and we still have it. Sweet ride and I feel more in touch with the car when driving it, but I can not honestly hammer it like the SMG.

I have been to advanced driving schools, heal toe down shifting and throttle blimping are things I work on. I can do it, but I need improvement for sure. Few folk really know how to do it well at 8/10th and beyond so the SMG is clearly the way to go if you have this kind of driving in mind. Sometimes it is a blast. A few times it was handy to be able to really move with the SMG giving you that little advantage the road rage monkey did not have. Traffic in the metro areas is also an issue that tips the scales to SMG. Track and high speed (140 MPH plus) SMG is best for all but the truely gifted drivers or the very well practiced. Again this not practical in the USA unless in a controlled environment or you are crazy (and that happens).

The six speed in for the purest, which is most of us. The truely gifted driver(most of are not, sorry fellows) who knows how to hammer this tranny on the track is also drawn to this transmission. Humble pie at driving school will teach you this and get you on course to get it right no matter what transmission you drive.

If the car is your everyday driver and you drive it below the 8/10th limit most of the time then the 6 speed is the deal (minus metro traffic or a strong foot). Want more out of the 6 speed go to school or get an SMG (and still go to school).

Just my thoughts having been there, owned both side by side everyday for years. Neither is a bad choice, oh to have such problems, aren't we all lucky to have such a dilema.
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      11-07-2006, 01:30 AM   #19
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Don't Tread On Me, welcome and many thanks for your most qualified input on this.

Two M3's one with 6MT and one with SMG?!
Wow, you sure do have an enviable dilemma every morning when you go to work.


Having thought about this issue some more, I think BMW most likely know what they're doing if they're going to offer the SMG IV standard as the only transmission of choice. It'll function extremely well for both uncompromising performance and convenience, whether you want to drive at 10/10ths or 1/10ths, or even being stuck in horrible traffic.
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      11-07-2006, 02:17 AM   #20
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Is SMG IV going to be a dual clutch (I think that's what it's called) system, like Audi/VW's DSG? If so, hands down I will choose SMG.

If it is just an improvement on the current system (which is not so smooth IMO) then I will have to think twice. Although I will probably still go with SMG, but it might have me looking at C63's.... nah
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      11-07-2006, 02:31 AM   #21
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Jussi, our specialist here on the forums Thinks that BMWs dual cluth technology may be implement starting with the E92 M3s gearbox or it may not. But it is coming soon for sure.

Jussi also has a patented hybrid of the two a sequential manual and a dual clutch tranny. :rocks:
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      11-07-2006, 05:29 AM   #22
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Like I have said on other threads, at one point M GmbH was very interested in the dual-clutch technology that other units within BMW have been developing for the last 5+ years or so. That may indicate that the upcoming SMG IV box will have elements from the double clutch technology, and it may be something like what I speculated on (doing a direct shift with the SMG if your second clutch is at the wrong "speculated" gear.)

BMW has also said that the dual clutch technology is being developed and will begin to be widely available in "regular" BMW cars in 2007, starting with the E92 335si Coupé, and that M cars will always feature a faster SMG technology - because let's face it, no DSG-style shifting has ever come close to the shifting times that SMG offers on the most sportiest mode.

But truth of the matter is, in March, we'll know for sure. Some level of SMG will be there, and if there are M5 E60 manuals in the US already, then I am SURE there will also be a 6, if not 7 speed manual tranny as an option as well (at least for the US market - even the E46 M3 CSL only had a (beefed-up) SMG in Europe.)

Best regards,

Jussi
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