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      11-19-2010, 07:59 PM   #23
bruce.augenstein@comcast.
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And I respectfully disagree. I've been reading his recent articles in Car & Driver and I think he's slipping. (But that's not why I disagree).
Your opinion of Davis is immaterial - as is mine. However, your disagreement is interesting.

What is the downside of 50 more horsepower in your opinion? I personally can find no downside at all. None.

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You're headed in the right direction with the adjustable shocks. IMO it also needs more/better tire, a better auto transmission, a standard limited slip and the choice of a manual transmission. And hopefully they would retune the suspension to make it change direction better in hard driving, like the M3 manages (not sure what's involved here - roll centers maybe? is it a track issue?).
The one I'm driving (my son's) came stock with Pirelli sneakers, but now has PS2s on the rear. Traction is good, but of course you can overwhelm the tires at low speeds, just as you can in the M3. My son thinks the PS2s might be a tiny bit better than the Pirellis in that regard.

The automatic is terrific. About as good as it gets with a torque converter, and definitely better around town than any twin-clutch auto, including the M3.

The limited slip is an option. I think it ought to be standard, as well, but since it's there on the order form, this is a miniscule point.

It's not as agile as the M3 at speed, but the steering is better at low speeds, as is the auto, and of course the sounds it makes. Take your pick. Better and more lively around town in my experience, or better on track.

If you're a track junkie, M3, otherwise...

In my opinion (and as I've said recently in a fairly complete comparison), the cars are so close that my lack of maturity means I'd have to go with the M3 - in six-speed only, please.

If I actually were mature and would go for an auto, C63. Faster, better auto everywhere but on track. Better sound except when the M3 clears 7000 rpm (where it's a tie between the two, for me).
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      11-20-2010, 12:19 AM   #24
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However, your disagreement is interesting.

What is the downside of 50 more horsepower in your opinion? I personally can find no downside at all. None.
Makes it harder to control the car on throttle when driven really hard. Magnifies any existing chassis flaws. Does zero for the daily driveability of an already very powerful car. Shortens the life of the rear tires even more.

Really doesn't bring anything else to the table that wasn't already there. What's the point of more steak when you're full?


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Traction is good, but of course you can overwhelm the tires at low speeds, just as you can in the M3.
Try balancing it at the limit in the rain if you think the dry is not challenging at all.

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The automatic is terrific. About as good as it gets with a torque converter, and definitely better around town than any twin-clutch auto, including the M3.
That's where we completely disagree. I think any automatic is total crap, just completely kills the joy of driving. Here's a thought - maybe that's why you always need more power, to bring back some measure of excitement? So you're downgrading the fun quotient by a massive amount by choosing an auto, then you're trying to claw it back up meager point by meager point? Pointless.

At least the DCT is measurably faster than a manual around a racetrack (straight or bendy), so you can sort of justify it.


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Honestly, while I agree the car doesnt need more hp and could benefit from more/better tires and some suspension adjustment, I think most of you make the car seem so one dimensional, when its not.
At $60k - $70k for what amount to medium-small cars, we're talking degrees. The last 5% (pick your own percentage based on what's important to you). You buy or don't the car based on whether it's got it, or not. As far as I'm concerned the C63 hasn't got it.

There are other cars in that category. At least the CTS-V comes with a stickshift - I'd see myself in one of those well before the AMG.

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I personally think that just a manual in the car would make it much more appealing, all other things equal.
On that aspect we agree - even though other things aren't truly equal. Just close.
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      11-20-2010, 02:29 AM   #25
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And I respectfully disagree. I've been reading his recent articles in Car & Driver and I think he's slipping. (But that's not why I disagree).



You're headed in the right direction with the adjustable shocks. IMO it also needs more/better tire, a better auto transmission, a standard limited slip and the choice of a manual transmission. And hopefully they would retune the suspension to make it change direction better in hard driving, like the M3 manages (not sure what's involved here - roll centers maybe? is it a track issue?).

It would steal quite a number of M3 sales that way. There is absolutely zero rationale for Mercedes not providing these, other than being smugly pig-headed and conservative about certain things.
Besides the fact that many people already consider the current C63 more fun to drive than the M3 - not nearly as technically competent a car, but lots of fun if you're not trying to set an absolute fast lap.

There are other aspects of "better" and the many satisfied C63 owners support that.

And of course they're focusing on the motor - it's a beast. But if MB improves the rest of the car as significantly as they did the current C63 from the previous gen, every other aspect of the car you highlighted will take a noticeable step forward.
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      11-20-2010, 03:17 AM   #26
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The 2011 C63 will have the 5.5 TT?

If yes then bye bye M3, hello C63!

Anyone know?
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      11-20-2010, 09:16 AM   #27
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There are other aspects of "better" and the many satisfied C63 owners support that.
Well then, more power to them. (Pun intended, I guess).

So we've discovered that different people like different things and their driving priorities are not the same. So why do all these satisfied C63 owners lurk on these boards, I'll never understand. They will never get the validation they seek because M3 owners might not see the C63 in the same light.

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      11-20-2010, 10:48 AM   #28
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agreed, both great cars, struggled mightily with the decision, to me it's analogous to the bikes 750 vs. 1000's. some people just want the 1000 to say they have it, but 99% of people have no idea how to drive it, its an ego play, and after all, being an m3 forum what'd you expect.... converts? Good luck with that
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      11-20-2010, 03:56 PM   #29
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Makes it harder to control the car on throttle when driven really hard.
Can't picture this. We already know that the steroided C63 makes no more torque than the standard model - just that the torque curve tapers off less abruptly. Therefore, it won't pull any harder. Apexing any given corner, you'll almost certainly have more power than you can fully use with either version (same with the M3), so you smoothly begin adding throttle as you exit. At the power peak, the hot one pulls about 7% harder, and less than that anywhere between the torque and power peaks. Below the torque peak, no difference.

So, after apexing, it's harder to squeeze the throttle to, say, 50% than it is to 53.32%?

Gimme a break.

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Magnifies any existing chassis flaws.
Nope. As mentioned, won't pull any harder around any given corner because you're gradually adding power anyway. No change, except you're using anywhere from the same amount of throttle (at torque peak and below), to as much as around 7% less throttle (at the power peak). Of course, I don't know of any given corner where you're rolling on the throttle at the power peak with only 400 rpm in hand - a very rare event indeed.

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Does zero for the daily driveability of an already very powerful car.
Agreed - but this is hardly a downside. Just not an upside.

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Shortens the life of the rear tires even more.
Nope. Same amount of torque.

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Really doesn't bring anything else to the table that wasn't already there. What's the point of more steak when you're full?
Bad analogy, and disagree completely. The car is faster while being no harder to control.

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Try balancing it at the limit in the rain if you think the dry is not challenging at all.
Have actually done that. Really, really fun.


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That's where we completely disagree. I think any automatic is total crap, just completely kills the joy of driving. Here's a thought - maybe that's why you always need more power, to bring back some measure of excitement? So you're downgrading the fun quotient by a massive amount by choosing an auto, then you're trying to claw it back up meager point by meager point? Pointless.
As I've mentioned, I am not yet ready for an automatic, but that doesn't mean that they're all the same - and in that context the C63 auto is extremely competent.

There's also the fact that any good automatic is faster and more responsive than a stick in everyday driving. Hell, even a mediocre auto is still quicker.

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At least the DCT is measurably faster than a manual around a racetrack (straight or bendy), so you can sort of justify it.
Expected to see this in terms of road course times, but really haven't yet. Is there some good data on this?
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      11-21-2010, 12:13 AM   #30
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Can't picture this. We already know that the steroided C63 makes no more torque than the standard model - just that the torque curve tapers off less abruptly. Therefore, it won't pull any harder.
Are you talking about adding 30BHP (current Perf Pack, no torque increase), 50BHP (hypothetical, with some hypothetical torque increase? or not?), or 100BHP (new engine)?

You may be right about the first one, but not the last one. The middle one is well, hypothetical.


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Gimme a break.
Go ahead, take a break.


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There's also the fact that any good automatic is faster and more responsive than a stick in everyday driving. Hell, even a mediocre auto is still quicker.
Bullshit.

You mean it's better for lazy drivers, that I understand.

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Expected to see this in terms of road course times, but really haven't yet. Is there some good data on this?
Not sure, but it stands to reason. It has the same drivetrain losses as a manual, but shifts A LOT faster - this, I have experienced myself.

Ultimately don't really care one way or another, since my wallet has already spoken for the manual transmission. I was just making conversation.
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      11-21-2010, 12:19 PM   #31
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Are you talking about adding 30BHP (current Perf Pack, no torque increase), 50BHP (hypothetical, with some hypothetical torque increase? or not?), or 100BHP (new engine)?

You may be right about the first one, but not the last one. The middle one is well, hypothetical...
I was obviously talking about the two C63s, but it turns out it's just not important.

Here's the deal. Your position in regard to Davis' comment about 50 more HP in effect says that that adding power has clear downsides, which is ridiculous on the face of it. I remind you that Davis said nothing about torque.

Furthermore your position leads one to consider that the M3 might be a better car with 364 HP because it would be more easily controlled around corners.

What?

Clearly the M3 is a better car at current power levels than if it had 50 less HP.

Silly.

Is the 997S2 a better car than the 997 2?

Part of the entertainment factor of driving a powerful automobile is the challenge of getting the most out of it. Pretty much the more power the better.

As an example, one of the slams against the Nissan GT-R is that it's got such outstanding chassis and control control algorithms that it's boring to drive it at the limit.

OK, I'm completely done with this particular topic, as it's all so obvious.


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Bullshit.

You mean it's better for lazy drivers, that I understand...
OK, this is reference to my statement that pretty much any automatic is faster than its stick equivalent in everyday driving.

You clearly haven't thought about this, probably because you're prejudiced against autos, so here's the (pretty obvious) deal:

My mom always told me that gentlemen didn’t discuss politics or religion in public venues, because it wasn’t polite, and those discussions would often lead to arguments.

Well (and leaving politics out of it), here goes.

In everyday driving, automatics are faster and more responsive than sticks - period. They’re simply better.

I hate this fact, because I much prefer (and mostly drive) sticks, but it's undeniable.

Point by point, here's why.

Leaving a light in your stick M3, you'll smoothly juggle clutch and throttle and pull away at maybe a quarter G. (That's moderately brisk acceleration, which if continued, will get you to 60 in about 11 seconds.) However, when you start approaching your shift point (say, 3000 rpm, although it doesn't matter much), you'll begin tapering off on the gas for maybe a second or a bit more, eventually getting back to zero G. As you reach zero G you'll push in the clutch, move the lever and wait for revs to drop back to where they need to be in second at this point (around 1800 rpm). Then you’ll smoothly release the clutch as you start feeding gas again, taking acceleration back up to a quarter G in a smooth and controlled way over perhaps a second or so.

You'll do this because you want to be smooth, and if you have passengers aboard, they'll all nod forward and back if you're abrupt. Of course your passengers will say nothing about this - unless they're friends, in which case they'll ride you unmercifully, which is what friends are for.

The whole process (meaning time away from accelerating at a quarter G) may take something as much as three seconds or thereabouts. Less if you’re accelerating mildly, but still at least a couple of seconds.

You'll do the same procedure in second, third, fourth, etc., except it takes less and less time as you go up in the gears, because they're closer together (less waiting for rev match), and because you're typically pulling less G as you approach cruise, so you can spend less time easing off and easing back on the gas.

Meanwhile, the other guy in the automatic M3 pulls out the same as you did, except the bastard just stays on the gas while the automatic power shifts up through the gears (the rev changes smoothed by the managed clutches, or a torque converter in other cars), and he's car-lengths ahead when you both reach cruise.

At cruise, if you want to downshift to get around somebody, you push in the clutch, move the lever and smoothly release and feed gas - taking what, a second or so? Meanwhile, that SOB just moves the gas pedal down fairly quickly, and the drive-by-wire system senses a fairly sudden voltage change. It’s smart enough to then tell the electronically controlled automatic that he wants to downshift, NOW, so he starts motoring away in maybe a half second or less. Once more, you see his taillights.

What's that? You say you're better than that, and can plan ahead to be in the correct gear beforehand when you're planning to pass? Guess what, so can he, and with the best of today's automatics rev matching on downshifts, he'll be at least as smooth as you are.

I'll tell you, it's getting tougher and tougher for doddering old wrecks like me to justify indulging ourselves with clutches and snick-snick levers when the autos are so damned *good*. The only thing we can typically use to console ourselves is that, flat out on drag strip or road course, well-driven sticks are faster.

Except - Audi has done us in with the DSG box, which is faster EVERYWHERE. Ditto with the M3, and the big-inch supercharged Caddy, etc.

I'm about to start sniffling."


Bruce

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      11-21-2010, 12:55 PM   #32
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I'd like to compliment all of you guys contributing to this thread. Well thought out and great arguments on both sides of the coin. It's a good example of what makes this forum so good.
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      11-21-2010, 02:57 PM   #33
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Here's the deal. Your position in regard to Davis' comment about 50 more HP in effect says that that adding power has clear downsides, which is ridiculous on the face of it. I remind you that Davis said nothing about torque.
Ah, a technicality. Yes, I agree that adding power up in the rev range may not have adverse effects.

Adding torque, boatload of torque, as with the new AMG twin turbo engine, will be different. Just wait and see.

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Furthermore your position leads one to consider that the M3 might be a better car with 364 HP because it would be more easily controlled around corners.

What?

Clearly the M3 is a better car at current power levels than if it had 50 less HP.

Silly.
Agreed. I guess what I meant is any additional power on top of what the chassis can smartly deploy. It's a fine line between having just enough to move the car at the limit of tire adhesion and having too much where adding even more will not make any difference.

And when I mean power, I mean both power and torque.

IMO the C63 AMG already has more power and torque than the chassis can smartly manage. That is probably the main reason that it cannot post better lap times than a bone stock M3 with the clearly inferior 6sp manual.

So in the context of the article which seems to imply that starting next model year they will plonk a heavily massaged twin-turbo engine in it, I think that it will not have any positive effects on the driving experience. I could be wrong of course, and time will tell.

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Part of the entertainment factor of driving a powerful automobile is the challenge of getting the most out of it. Pretty much the more power the better.
I subscribe to the first sentence. Not the second.

I'm coming from a modified 335i and fell in love with the M3 because of the characterful engine (sound, throttle response, upper range) and the sublime balance of the chassis - not the acceleration, which is similar to the 335. It has made me a better driver even in my short time with it because it communicates the limits so well that you learn to trust it and start leaning more and more into it. It's a car you grow with, a car that works with you every step of the way and over the limit.

(Perhaps that's what they all say before they hit the wall).

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As an example, one of the slams against the Nissan GT-R is that it's got such outstanding chassis and control control algorithms that it's boring to drive it at the limit.
It's boring to drive because the electronics take care of everything, the steering doesn't communicate anything, and the engine is character-less. At no point in my test drive did I think, oh boy this car would be sublime with another 200BHP under the hood.

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OK, this is reference to my statement that pretty much any automatic is faster than its stick equivalent in everyday driving.
Your story was funny, well written and - fictional.

That's not my driving style - if I want to toodle around then I do just that, and it doesn't matter how quickly I get to 60 mph or how fast the guy with the automatic M3 in the next lane is going.

On the other hand when I want to drive briskly then I do so - and I'm alert and in it the entire way.

And the only thing separating one mode from the other is a well executed downshift with a nice rev match.
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      11-21-2010, 03:32 PM   #34
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...Your story was funny, well written and - fictional.

That's not my driving style - if I want to toodle around then I do just that, and it doesn't matter how quickly I get to 60 mph or how fast the guy with the automatic M3 in the next lane is going.

On the other hand when I want to drive briskly then I do so - and I'm alert and in it the entire way.

And the only thing separating one mode from the other is a well executed downshift with a nice rev match.
What I get from this is that you've learned something. You started with "Bullshit", and now you're saying you just don't care that automatics are faster and more responsive in everyday driving. That's fine with me. I don't like them either. But, generally speaking, faster and more reponsive is a positive, no matter the venue.
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      11-21-2010, 09:20 PM   #35
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What I get from this is that you've learned something. You started with "Bullshit", and now you're saying you just don't care that automatics are faster and more responsive in everyday driving. That's fine with me. I don't like them either. But, generally speaking, faster and more reponsive is a positive, no matter the venue.
You're putting words in my mouth.

The automatics are not faster in normal driving conditions - you were describing some very specific driving scenarios that require so many conditions along the way, as to be totally irrelevant to real world situations.

What I'm saying is that whatever car I happen to be driving at the moment, when I'm in a mellow driving mood I simply won't step on that throttle. So the wonderful automatic would have zero chance to leave everyone else behind - instead, it would quickly shuffle into 7th gear and move along with the traffic.

Rest assured, when I drive my M3 quickly you would be very hard pressed to keep up, power deficit or not.


What I did say before is that a DCT transmission like the one available in the M3 can ultimately be made to react faster than a manual if you select the sportiest mode (plus there's no interruption in torque transmission). An automatic like the one in the C63 simply is not very fast - by any standards.

But you go ahead and be impressed by it, I don't care.
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      11-22-2010, 12:48 AM   #36
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2011 seems to still be the same N/A according to the website.

http://www.mercedes-amg.com/?lang=usa#/c63-overview
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      11-22-2010, 01:01 AM   #37
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...The automatics are not faster in normal driving conditions - you were describing some very specific driving scenarios that require so many conditions along the way, as to be totally irrelevant to real world situations...
I have described a standard, every day in every way driving condition that we all participate in - unless we are totally sloppy in our use of a gearbox and clutch, or unless we are in a hurry.

You either haven't thought through this, are in a hurry all of the time, or...
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      11-22-2010, 12:13 PM   #38
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Makes it harder to control the car on throttle when driven really hard. Magnifies any existing chassis flaws. Does zero for the daily driveability of an already very powerful car. Shortens the life of the rear tires even more.

Really doesn't bring anything else to the table that wasn't already there. What's the point of more steak when you're full?




Try balancing it at the limit in the rain if you think the dry is not challenging at all.



That's where we completely disagree. I think any automatic is total crap, just completely kills the joy of driving. Here's a thought - maybe that's why you always need more power, to bring back some measure of excitement? So you're downgrading the fun quotient by a massive amount by choosing an auto, then you're trying to claw it back up meager point by meager point? Pointless.

At least the DCT is measurably faster than a manual around a racetrack (straight or bendy), so you can sort of justify it.




At $60k - $70k for what amount to medium-small cars, we're talking degrees. The last 5% (pick your own percentage based on what's important to you). You buy or don't the car based on whether it's got it, or not. As far as I'm concerned the C63 hasn't got it.

There are other cars in that category. At least the CTS-V comes with a stickshift - I'd see myself in one of those well before the AMG.



On that aspect we agree - even though other things aren't truly equal. Just close.






A bit of a handful but very very fun. Even in the wet it was very predictable, just a tad twitchy on corner exists in the wet.
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      11-22-2010, 10:03 PM   #39
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adc... i gotta say... I REALLY love the M3... but personally... it 'sucked' for me... to know that in a straight line... the car is 'bleak' at best. For a 'level' of car at this caliber.

I don't think the C63 is falling... unless you consider the CTS-V a fail as well. Very few people track these cars (very few!) I'm one of those few... and still sold my M3...(More so due to I like a different car every 6 to 12 mos) and have been strongly considering the c63... but i just can't justify my prior M5 type gas mileage in a 'smaller sedan'... So I prefer the IS-F & M3 only because I drive my car every day... and I like to be in the 20+ MPG range, and still be able to carve them corners.

So for me... today the M3 is still the better car... but the C63 is something I'd prefer for an autobahn run... where I'm sure they run all over the M3's.

Just Preference IMO. If the next M3 isn't making 450+ HP... Wouldn't you be disappointed?

1 More statement... I find amusing... is 'everyone's' love for the 6 speed in the M3... it is by far the WORST manual transmission of ANY performance car I have owned! You cannot shift the car 'fast' at all... everyone knows about the 1 - 2 grind issue... and if you ever wanted to 'drag race' the car... you'd feel the gears grinding all the way through to your 3-4 shift. Personally... the biggest reason I sold my M3 was due to an inferior transmission for a wonderful car. Only way I would buy another M3 is with the DCT... and I think most have started to figure this out... as 6 speeds sit when for sale used... and DCT's get scooped right up.

Again... coming from a guy who road races 'real race' cars on weekends... that are Manual trans... but when I owned the M3... it was clear (IMO) that BMW is not a fan of the Manual trans any longer.

Peace,

Dave
__________________
2010 ZR1 3ZR Wht/Blk 10.7 @ 132
2011 C63 AMG P31 Car Blk/Blk 11.8 @ 117
2010 Nissan GT-R 10.8 @ 129 (Sold)
2008 Lexus IS-F (Sold) 12.5 @ 113 / 2008 Shelby GT500 (Sold) 11.3 @ 126
2008 e90 M3 6MT 12.8 @ 111 (Sold) / 2006 e60 M5 12.4 @ 114 (Sold)

Last edited by SCCAForums.com; 11-22-2010 at 10:18 PM.
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