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      07-02-2012, 12:32 PM   #23
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      07-02-2012, 12:49 PM   #24
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I am honestly thinking about canceling my F30 order and getting myself an E46 M3 after watching this. That's always been my favorite car but I needed a daily driver and decided on getting the M3 after I paid the F30 off. Now, I'm having second thoughts...
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      07-02-2012, 01:30 PM   #25
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Sold my 135i for an E46 M3. No turning back. Newer does not always equal better.
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      07-02-2012, 01:45 PM   #26
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I'll have to wait until I get home to watch this but, I just wanted to add my 2 cents.

I've got an 09 335i now and, I find myself missing all the things a cheaper 06 e46 M3 would have provided me more than I miss the increased power and speed. I want to add an LSD, M3 suspension links, sway bars and struts way more than I want a tune. A 20k e46 M3 woulda given me that, for quite a bit less. O well........
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      07-02-2012, 02:15 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlterZgo View Post
I don't know about that. After all, Porsche did develop the 7 speed manual transmission for their latest 911. I think Porsche is a company that understands purists will always want a manual transmission and will continue to improve the technology.

They are a rather stubborn company when it comes to tradition/heritage, i.e. insists on pushing the rear engine platform as their top end model despite the fact that the mid-engined Boxster/Cayman actually handles better.
Actually, Porsche is just the oppossite in treating their development with their heritage and customers. Most of the time, they use their "heritage" as a marketing gimmic: see 911 Sport Classic and the Boxster S Spyder (the original 2006 version, not the 2010).

Porsche requires their customers to change, and their customers are too loyal not to buy a Porsche: water cooled 911, all wheel drive 911, 7 speed, drive by wire steering, paddle shifters, etc. In fact, the 928 was supposed to be a complete replacement for the 911 in the 80's.

I can guarantee you, if Porsche had their way, there would be no more 911, the Cayman would be it's replacement and the Cayman would get the technology and power it really deserves.

Bottom line, with all this new technology, it's like slam dunking on one of those height adjustable basketball hoops and claiming to be better than Michael Jordan.
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      07-02-2012, 03:56 PM   #28
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It's nice to be on an enthusiast board with other like minded drivers. Little bit of a vent here, but hey, where else other than a race or track day do you get a group who don't give you a dirty look when you talk about speed.

It's unfortunate, but unavoidable, that car design and government regulations are geared towards the lowest common denominator of driver skillset. And as the cycle continues, with driver skill replaced by automotive automation, the skill of the average driver will continue to decline. The comments above about the rain simply reveal that the driver hasn't learned that his right foot is analog, not digital.

No shame in it, none of us were born knowing how to drive, I was the same way once. But after almost 20 years of racing (superbikes, cars, endurance, karting-all of them in the rain btw), and as CDI for BMW and Porsche, it's something I see all the time. With traction control, drivers of "assisted" cars simply have no feeling for the throttle or brake, because they don't have to. TC/ESC and ABS does it for them. Thus, their driving skill is reduced.

Making cars easier to drive is making bad drivers.

E90's comments are close, but require slight correction:

Track car: Manual
Race Car: DCT or some other variation (Rather be fast)

Automatics can be faster around a track. If I'm looking for the top spot on the podium, the fastest technology wins, period.

For driver involvement and enjoyment however, assuming you can drive a stick, a manual is the more challenging and thus more rewarding.

Despite what the automotive marketers try to convince you of (to alleviate your girlish guilt that you, just like your grandfather, just bought an automatic) if a car can shift by itself, it's an automatic, whether the power is transmitted through a torque converter or clutch(es). Just because it's flappy paddles, 8 speed, sport mode, GT/Forza wheel-like, whatever, it's an auto. Don't believe me, research the difference between transmission and clutch. I can't believe how the Munich/Detroit/etc Mad Men have been able to convince a decade of car buyers that swapping a torque converter for a clutch magically transmogrifies your transmission from an auto to a manual... it doesn't.

But other than C&D's "Save the Manuals", and Porches (and possibly BMW's) new 7/8sp manuals, the vast majority of the automotive manufacturers have already chosen their path. Ferrari doesn't offer a manual anymore. AMG/Merc has long since made their bed, basically producing fat auto Nazi-Mustangs for those that don't know any better, or don't care. Although given the new E63 AMG is lighter than the M5 & S6 is either a good sign for Merc, or another in a growing list of bad signs for BMW. Audi's are always fat, and well on their way down the same automatic-only road (i.e. RS5), and have basically built a "quattro" brand around instilling fear in people that are driving "challenged" that RWD's are dangerous, AWD are safe. Says a lot about their target demographic that their marketing strategy is to pray on the fear of being behind the wheel. That having been said, I'd buy an Audi AWD for my wife, it's the best drivetrain for her skill. And damn if the RS4/5 isn't the best looking sedan/coupe out there this side of an Aston.

But for us enthusiasts, the pickings are getting slimmer, to be sure, with few examples left of driver centric cars. Fewer and fewer companies are even allowing full disabling of their controls, luckily BMW is still one that does. Manual offerings are slim and getting slimmer. Selective brake systems replace LSD's. When your requirements include manual, RWD, full TC/ESC disable, 300+hp, the Euro options in North America quickly distil to very few cars. Although surprisingly Detroit has brought a number of options to the table, although unfortunately most still focus on the drag strip, rather than the curvy return road.

What was completely missed in their discussion is rubber. One of, if not the most important factor in the increased performance of vehicles today is something the car makers conveniently ignore, because they had little to nothing to do with it. The performance of tires has increased dramatically. We demonstrated this locally with the lap times of an old Honda Michelin series car, on original race spec tires, vs roughly equivalent new rubber. The lap time difference accounted for the vast majority of the advances in the last decade. Put another way, equip an E46 & 6sp E90 M3 equally with modern PSS's & BBK's, drop an S54 in the E90, and I wouldn't want to bet against the E46 (especially with the E90's substantial weight disadvantage).

Like Chris said, most people outside this room don't care, and manufacturers design for sales, not dreams. I see more M3's at the track than any other performance sedan, by an order of magnitude or more. Yet still, the % of total M3 owners that go to a track is minuscule. The sad truth is that motorsports, and performance cars, are out of fashion, and in many circles are a dirty subject.

The answer may just be that the E46 is the best M3, simply because it was designed at the right period in history, before technology wedged itself between the driver and the drive, and when performance and feeling were still socially acceptable and exciting.

Personal opinion, having raced many BMW's from the 2002 chassis up to the E90's, is that the manual E46, while unquestionably slower than a DCT M3, is certainly the more rewarding to drive.
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      07-02-2012, 05:40 PM   #29
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I am surprised nobody mentioned the introduction of electric steering vs the conventional power steering setup
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      07-02-2012, 06:10 PM   #30
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e46 ftw

If something ever happens to my e46, I would replace it with.......... Another e46...
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      07-02-2012, 07:43 PM   #31
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Not EXACTLY what we are talking about here, but it brings up a really good point...


skip to 4:43

Yes, we do have government regulations to keep fuel consumption/carbon foot print down. This is necessary. Fossil fuels will eventually be depleted, so saving it is the most important.

This may dumb down cars, but at the same time, they are essential for the survival of the good ones. Technology will be the SAVIOR of the cars that we love, that we have a passion for.

Cars like the Honda Clarity (full hydrogen) can be used as tools for modes of transport, while we can hold onto the gasoline driven sports cars that we can enjoy during a weekend.

Hybrids, electric cars, electric steering, start/stop this, regenerative braking that... this is just practice. These are all technologies that are only a warm up to the real future of personal transport: Hydrogen fuel cells. This will replace the internal combustion engine... leaving car companies to have fun and really build vehicles for the car enthusiast, while at the same time, allowing us to keep the old ones that we cherish so much.
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      07-02-2012, 08:03 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZMM_OMG
This was an excellent and timely discussion and I think they nailed it on a couple of key points:
  • Manufacturers seem to be substituting performance for driveability
  • The vast majority of people couldn't care less

The horsepower wars are in full effect. Shift once and blink twice and cars are bombing along at hyper-legal speeds. Joe and Jane Driver needn't worry though, because if they drive beyond their capabilities the car will send up a cacophony of warnings, apply the brakes, reduce power, and bring them neatly back in line so they'll live to terrorize another stretch of rush hour traffic without spilling so much as a drop of their Starbuck's coffee.

Perhaps that's a good thing though, because the vast majority of drivers could care less about things like progressive handling limits and steering feel. After all, steering feedback is just something that distracts people from the text message they were banging out. Regrettably, the trend is likely to continue because human beings are "maximizers". Need proof? Look at all the GLOWING reviews of the BR-Z and then consider the biggest complaint: lack of horsepower. It does 0 - 60 faster than my e46 fer Pete's sake.

In a quest to continually push an apathetic driving public from the perfectly capable car they have into the manufacturer's "latest and greatest", cars have become homogenized products that are expected to be all things to all people. At the end of the day, for whom should the manufacturers build cars? The 10 "every man" consumers who want more features and power, or the 1 enthusiast driver who wants 3 pedals and RWD? Exactly. So new cars have more doo-dads, more power, and more electronic nannies that make Joe Driver feel like an auto-x champ when he's running to the grocery store for diapers.
You hit the nail on the head with this one, although it's that one involved driver that requests feel and involvement that they are allegedly catering for when they speak of their "improvements".

I know that when I'm beyond being able to see down a stretch of road, my hand eye coordination aren't in sync and I can no longer perceive hazards, there will be a gadget riddled vehicle to do it for me but, is that what I really want?

This may sound very irrational and even stupid but is it not the potential dangers coupled with the efforts and skill of the person at the helm that enhance the driving experience?

We are heading closer and closer to vehicles like the ones in "Minority Report".

Cars like the Ferrari 260 GTO command greater premiums than any Bugatti can command and why? Because they represent what driving is really about (besides it basic function), the organic, involving and enveloping experience of man and machine at one in harmony. Be it that split second where traction breaks at the rear and the driver feels it, instinctively correcting as if it were an extension of their own limb or, the feel of a gear shift once the oil in the box has warmed up, driving should be a mechanical and physical experience.

It may seem as if I'm blabbering but, I feel really passionately about this.

The "Playstation" generation of driving is here and I'm not too fond of some it's key elements.

What would you rather drive, a Pagani Zonda F or a Nissan GTR?
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      07-02-2012, 11:19 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danniexi View Post
Not EXACTLY what we are talking about here, but it brings up a really good point...


skip to 4:43

Yes, we do have government regulations to keep fuel consumption/carbon foot print down. This is necessary. Fossil fuels will eventually be depleted, so saving it is the most important.

This may dumb down cars, but at the same time, they are essential for the survival of the good ones. Technology will be the SAVIOR of the cars that we love, that we have a passion for.

Cars like the Honda Clarity (full hydrogen) can be used as tools for modes of transport, while we can hold onto the gasoline driven sports cars that we can enjoy during a weekend.

Hybrids, electric cars, electric steering, start/stop this, regenerative braking that... this is just practice. These are all technologies that are only a warm up to the real future of personal transport: Hydrogen fuel cells. This will replace the internal combustion engine... leaving car companies to have fun and really build vehicles for the car enthusiast, while at the same time, allowing us to keep the old ones that we cherish so much.
I agree, and I'm hopeful that we can arrive at a time (soon) where the majority of people have very efficient modes of transport while those of us who enjoy driving can also have the sports cars we want. The problem is, the governments of the world are passing regulations that require all cars to be more efficient so it's getting hard for companies to sell us the pure sports cars we wish we could buy.

The three BMWs I've owned were an E36, E90 base model with skinny tires and an E82 with fatter, much stickier tires. Each successive car has made me a worse driver because it is harder to tell exactly what the car is doing and there are more layers filtering out my inputs as a driver. I miss my E36 all the time, even though it was by far the slowest of all the cars I have ever owned it was also by far the most fun.

I wish car companies would offer continuation models of their best cars, how fantastic would it be to go down to a BMW dealer and have them build you a brand new E46 M3? I love older cars but the main problem with them now is the fact that I have to buy them used with tens of thousands of miles on them.
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      07-03-2012, 12:01 AM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ManiacGT
Good to drive.. bad for reliability! So many things in modern cars, so much to go wrong.. and it does go wrong!
+1
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      07-03-2012, 12:14 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Levi View Post
However the MP4-12C did not win any comparision test against the 458 Italia.
You're insinuating one review encompasses the entire technological debate.

The MP4-12C falls short in two categories: aural sensation and design. Its forced-induction engine has no chance in matching the 458's atmos flat-plane V8, obviously. Engine noise and high-rev power delivery always pose the ideal 'enthusiast' powerplant proposition. Second, the body style is simply generic and calculated by comparison. This has little to do with technology, and everything to do with design direction and company choice.
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      07-03-2012, 12:29 AM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrivenByE30 View Post
The question is: why would any lady need to haul around town going grocery shop in a 500hp sedan??
.... and drive at 10 below speed limit !?
That's the buyer's choice. Most cars these days are so damn capable that the performance variant is elected by passion rather than necessity (which admittedly has usually been the case). It still bothers me to see a trophy wife babying a supersedan/supercar, but that's just how things roll when said products are introduced to the public.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neph View Post
+100

the manual trans offers a relationship btwn driver and car which a soulless automatic/DCT/manumatic can NEVER touch.

the addition of unnecessary technology simply offers another layer of barriers between driver and car.

unfortunately, the rulemaking beuracrats and marketing/focus group leaders all the same transmission with all the same tech goodies - guess which ones?
Many manumatics aren't 'soulless', and I can attest from an objective point of view seeing as I've sample many transmissions from both camps. My first manual-equipped car I learned on was a 300Z (followed by a 300ZX). The clutch was unassisted, and the gate was hard to shift with...that doesn't mean that all the 6MTs on sale today—what with their featherweight clutches and lightweight gear actions—aren't soulless, despite their ease of operation.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sumithb13 View Post
I am honestly thinking about canceling my F30 order and getting myself an E46 M3 after watching this. That's always been my favorite car but I needed a daily driver and decided on getting the M3 after I paid the F30 off. Now, I'm having second thoughts...
I'm sure you'll find nothing wrong with the F30, with maybe some impartiality towards the steering.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonjt View Post
I'll have to wait until I get home to watch this but, I just wanted to add my 2 cents.

I've got an 09 335i now and, I find myself missing all the things a cheaper 06 e46 M3 would have provided me more than I miss the increased power and speed. I want to add an LSD, M3 suspension links, sway bars and struts way more than I want a tune. A 20k e46 M3 woulda given me that, for quite a bit less. O well........
Hard to compare a more hardcore M car to a plebeian 335i.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeokimster View Post
I am surprised nobody mentioned the introduction of electric steering vs the conventional power steering setup
This is a subject of huge debate that I love to discuss. A lot of people don't understand that EPS is a different version of assisted steering; many people think that there's virtually no relation to the rack and pinion. It's an entirely different, yet familiar source of steering boost. The chassis it's put into will largely determine its overall effectiveness, much like a hydraulic rack.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Imola.ZHP View Post
e46 ftw

If something ever happens to my e46, I would replace it with.......... Another e46...
I would expect no less, and neither should anyone else, if they knew who you were on this forum.
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      07-03-2012, 12:32 AM   #37
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Here we go again... I am sure when the hydraulic power steering first came out, people were complaining about power steering ruining the steering feel of a unassisted steering. In fact, it's not even about new technology. Rather, it's about who are better at implementing the new technology. A lot of car maker just sucks at implementing new technology while others are great at it.
Technology evolves for the better. Keep up with the time or get left behind.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeokimster View Post
I am surprised nobody mentioned the introduction of electric steering vs the conventional power steering setup
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      07-03-2012, 01:53 AM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZMM_OMG View Post
This was an excellent and timely discussion and I think they nailed it on a couple of key points:
  • Manufacturers seem to be substituting performance for driveability
  • The vast majority of people couldn't care less

The horsepower wars are in full effect. Shift once and blink twice and cars are bombing along at hyper-legal speeds. Joe and Jane Driver needn't worry though, because if they drive beyond their capabilities the car will send up a cacophony of warnings, apply the brakes, reduce power, and bring them neatly back in line so they'll live to terrorize another stretch of rush hour traffic without spilling so much as a drop of their Starbuck's coffee.

Perhaps that's a good thing though, because the vast majority of drivers could care less about things like progressive handling limits and steering feel. After all, steering feedback is just something that distracts people from the text message they were banging out. Regrettably, the trend is likely to continue because human beings are "maximizers". Need proof? Look at all the GLOWING reviews of the BR-Z and then consider the biggest complaint: lack of horsepower. It does 0 - 60 faster than my e46 fer Pete's sake.

In a quest to continually push an apathetic driving public from the perfectly capable car they have into the manufacturer's "latest and greatest", cars have become homogenized products that are expected to be all things to all people. At the end of the day, for whom should the manufacturers build cars? The 10 "every man" consumers who want more features and power, or the 1 enthusiast driver who wants 3 pedals and RWD? Exactly. So new cars have more doo-dads, more power, and more electronic nannies that make Joe Driver feel like an auto-x champ when he's running to the grocery store for diapers.
The future is looking too much like we will be driving cars like Will Smith's Audi in iRobot...and just like that car, we will get warning signs when we try to drive "manually".
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      07-03-2012, 02:47 AM   #39
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Iam not a fan of how the technology is taking the fun out of driving. There is nothing like going thru the gears in a manual gearbox or even on a twisty road. This is why I personally fell in love with BMW M's with a 6 speed (E46). They nailed it when they said that the E46 M3 with a true 6 speed is the greatest car to own.
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      07-03-2012, 03:10 AM   #40
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Haven't had a chance to watch the video yet but hasn't BMW already said that they won't ever discontinue manual transmissions in the M3?

Plus isn't there a rumored 7-spd manual in the works.
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      07-03-2012, 05:12 AM   #41
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As with many people here, i've owned a great number of cars over the years from a mercedes 190E, old ford escorts through to more recent cars like a Nissan Primera GT, a 530D, a couple of E46's and now my E90 325i.

I can say hand on heart, that as a driving experience, I think the E90 is the best I've had yet. Its the one thats been by far the most fun to drive, the most planted and the most precise on the bends. The technology stays out the way mostly, and means that if all you want is a fun drive along some country roads without needing to worry about the limits of your own talent, then its superb. I've rarely had so much fun driving a car.

I think that although technology and an ongoing pressure on manufacturers to make ever more economical cars can have negative impacts, there are still plenty of great cars out there.

Put it this way. The E90 325 is faster, lighter, more powerful, more economical, stiffer, more stable and better specified than the car that came before it. It hasnt lost any of the magic that made me love my E46, but its taken away all the things that drove me mad about my E46.
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      07-03-2012, 05:41 AM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Year's_End View Post
You're insinuating one review encompasses the entire technological debate.

The MP4-12C falls short in two categories: aural sensation and design. Its forced-induction engine has no chance in matching the 458's atmos flat-plane V8, obviously. Engine noise and high-rev power delivery always pose the ideal 'enthusiast' powerplant proposition. Second, the body style is simply generic and calculated by comparison. This has little to do with technology, and everything to do with design direction and company choice.
The 458 has a real mechanical limited slip diff(via the Maninetto on the steeringwheel, ectronically adjustable/operated) . The Macca doesn't. It has a sort of e diff /open electronic diff whatever , but it doesn't work quite well as Tiff Needell found out. And all the other futuristic electronic gadgetry the Macca is overloaded with....

The design of the Macca imho has nothing to do with which is a better car. I know a lot of car enthusiasts who don't like the 458 design. At all.

Cheers
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      07-03-2012, 10:47 AM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrivenByE30 View Post
Technology is making cars less engaging... less fun... less pleasurable and/or less rewarding...

but it's not making it worse...
To me those parameters mentioned in your post define whether it's a good car or a bad car.

Last edited by Soorena; 07-03-2012 at 02:05 PM.
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      07-03-2012, 11:15 AM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IS3andME View Post
The future is looking too much like we will be driving cars like Will Smith's Audi in iRobot...and just like that car, we will get warning signs when we try to drive "manually".
LOL! I can't allow you to rev match, Dave...
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