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Luxury Performance Sedans

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  • markcincinnati, they generally don't use manual transmissions in those schools because they would be changing clutches after each class. They would rather you burn out your own clutch!

    Sounds like that was a lot of fun anyway ........ one of these days my wife will be giving me one of those for my birthday!
  • This is my fifth class and the first one that used automatics.

    Full disclosure: the first four were actually IN Germany/Austria.

    I mean, c'mon, they are BMW's -- and I am of the [former]persuasion who would [past tense] remark: why get a BMW if you are NOT getting a manual?

    Before you attack that remark, do recall that I am driving an A6 6speed tiptronic. However, at THAT time, I woulda got a stick would one have been offered in that class car WITH AWD. Alas, no 530xi was "on sale" on June 23rd, 2005.

    NOW, however, I think I am either a kool aid drinker or the new breed of 6, 7 and 8 speed autos have all but banished the problems I can all well attest to with EVERYONE's 5 speed autos (at least everyone's from Europe!)

    Sorry if you own one, it is one person's opinion.

    My 2003 allroad was quite possibly my last stick shift.

    On the bright side -- I am becoming of a mind where I can actually think I might NOT even miss it other than for completely "joy of driving" (via shifting) reasons. Other benefits may -- probably -- offset the drawbacks.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    NOW, however, I think I am either a kool aid drinker or the new breed of 6, 7 and 8 speed autos have all but banished the problems I can all well attest to with EVERYONE's 5 speed autos (at least everyone's from Europe!)

    Infiniti's rev matching 5-speed is VERY good for an autobox. The new TL TypeS also offers a 5-speed, paddle-shifted rev matching automatic. I don't think its the 5-speeds thats the problem.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Based on the R & T October edition there is no mention of an upcoming twin turbo 535i series?

    I find that somewhat strange especially when there is a twin turbo BMW 335 coupe and sedan?


    That will likely have to wait until the 5-Series facelift, probably next spring as early 08' models.

    M
  • tayl0rdtayl0rd Posts: 1,938
    Not to mention a 300HP 530i would severely cannibalize 550i sales at this point.
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    Not to mention a 300HP 530i would severely cannibalize 550i sales at this point.

    Good point. In the 3 series categorty a 335i will not cannibalize sales from the new V8 M3.

    After hundreds of test drives I've never felt as excited about buying a car as the BMW335i. I hope I can negotiate a reasonable deal this week.
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    That will likely have to wait until the 5-Series facelift, probably next spring as early 08' models.

    No need yet for such a face lift with the 5 series outselling the E Class.

    Also I would like to point out that we are soon approaching the deadline for our E Class vs. 5 series sales bet. I am kind of disappointed that this was only a gentlemen's bet with no legal tender wagered. ;)
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Not to mention a 300HP 530i would severely cannibalize 550i sales at this point.

    At least in BMW's case the 550i would still have more horsepower. The 2007 GS430 has 290hp with the new SAE spec. The GS350 has 303hp. According to Lexus, 0-60 is identical between the two, 5.7 seconds, and 1\4 mile times are also an identical 14.2 seconds. The GS430 starts at a little over $8K more. For that you get... uh..
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    No need yet for such a face lift with the 5 series outselling the E Class.

    Ha, ha Dew!

    Also I would like to point out that we are soon approaching the deadline for our E Class vs. 5 series sales bet. I am kind of disappointed that this was only a gentlemen's bet with no legal tender wagered.

    Yeah can you feel me sweating? I'm starting to cringe as I read the sales reports, but I won't lose faith until Jan 1 and the sales figures are released! ;)

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    That makes me think there will be a 2008 GS460 on sale around Jan 2007, there has to be IMO. The GS lineup doesn't make sense as it stands for "2007".

    M
  • CNN Money has interesting article on trends for both auto and manny transmissions. Very favorable comments on Audi's DSG.

    CNN Tranny
  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    I drove a manual there in the Z4 M roadster. :)

    Stupid fast comes to mind, along with an ear to ear grin. Now if there were some way to justify it. :)

    As for LPS wheels, looking at wheel choices, I agree with Mark that many of us would like to upgrade our wheels to those offered on the sportier (M, AMG, S-Line, etc) versions. I'd LOVE to put M5 wheels on a regular 5 as the other wheel choices leave me less than happy. Things like this can make or break how a vehicle looks.

    Not an LPS vehicle, but consider the BMW 6 Series. The ellipsoid wheels on the Sport package look rather goofy. I can take or leave it. Slap some M6 wheels on there and the look of the vehicle changes entirely.

    A la mode ordering would be sweet, but I suspect the technical workings and relationships between some features dictate that other things need to be there. Not that that is an excuse, just an observation and guess.

    -Paul
  • Uh, yea, I'll have my Bimmer with vanilla, French Vanilla, ice cream.

    You meant, perhaps, a la carte?

    :shades:
  • Seriously, I can see very few instances where one feature or option depends upon another, especially in the areas of wheels, tires, ground effects, colors of paint and colors of the interior.

    Now, I do understand WANTING to keep some degree of exclusivity with the high zoot wheels and full-on RED leather ONLY being offered in the M versions.

    Yet, I can't help but wonder, if there would be an offset of MORE than the lost sales of an M car with an increase in the sales of a "regular" 3 or 5, were BMW to offer that snazzy red leather interior (for a price with a profit, of course) in a more pedestrian 530 or 330, etc?

    Let's say I am willing to pay an additional $1,000 (and I made that amount up) over the cost of the Premium Package for Red leather and Black Pearl Paint (for an additional premium paint charge of another $500 over the upcharge for metallic paint, etc.)

    Let's say, however, that I am not able or willing or even if both able and willing, my spouse says "no M5 for you, baby cakes!" And I say, "I'd be a happy camper with a 530 with sport package, premium package, technology goodies, pushbutton start, M5 wheels, red leather sport seats and black pearl paint for a total up charge of perhaps $2999 over the 530 otherwise normally equipped.

    Why not allow me to "give you my money?"

    I look at Audi, now, and I'm starting to understand their S-Line grouping. S-Line for those who are not deep into Audis, is a combination trim and suspension, tires, wheels and even some ground effects (and some badging and a glitzy steering/sport/wheel, bla bla bla.) It adds less than $3000 to the price of the car, which is somewhat of a bargain considering that the sport package alone used to be priced at $1250, so this is about a $1600 upcharge which, as far as I can tell is probably quite profitable.

    I don't think I will confuse or reconsider an S6 simply because there is an S-Line A6 3.2. I know the difference, I know the $20,000 upcharge for the S6 includes the V10, the brakes and a whole host of other stuff that even an S-Line A6 4.2FSI doesn't even rival.

    But, the S-Line A6 is, if you already like the looks, a "real looker" in the A6 family.

    Likewise, the M5 is a "looker" and an M-Line 530 should drive additional revenues overall for BMW. I would think the M5 would not suffer one whit.

    Packages are great ideas, don't get me wrong. It is just that for some folks wanting a backup camera and being forced to spring for a sunroof just doesn't compute.
  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    Nah, I want my BMW, and cake, and ice cream too. :)

    I meant ala carte, but it was early. :) heheh

    My dependencies was more from a technical standpoint, like needing MMI for certain features or iDrive to enable others. Other than that, I agree, single options would be a great way to get those niche buyers who want a specific configuration.

    Is boutique buying a future opportunity for car makers? Who knows, but it would sure be fun to do! I could imagine the level of service could be upped a bit too to offer a VERY personal car shopping experience.

    BMW now offers active steering as a standalone option, so there are some VERY small signs of progress.

    -Paul
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    There are rumors that the upcoming generation of the TSX will have AWD.

    If that is the case then the Acura TL will definitely have SH-AWD.

    Also Honda is very serious about diesels in North America. The likeliest N. American diesel Acura will be the TSX since that is what is currently being sold in Europe as an Accord.

    Read some British mags and the diesel Acura TSX received rave reviews contrarty to the dismal reception of the diesel Lexus IS220d

    image
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    There are rumors that the upcoming generation of the TSX will have AWD.

    Count on it getting the RDX powertrain then as well. There's no way Acura would downsize the engine to 2.3L on a car that is already too slow and due for a significant weight increase without slapping a turbo on it. 240hp and 260ft.lbs of torque compares very favorably with the IS250 and 328i. That torque especially would be up 100ft.lbs over the outgoing TSX.
  • rayainswrayainsw Posts: 2,476
    " I am (and my wife is too) ALMOST to the place where I can imagine an auto trans equipped car is not some sort of punishment for some past misdeed, or almost feel that nothing is being given up with an automatic. "

    I read your posting(s) on the X3 board - very interesting - but please ( please ) elaborate on this aspect?

    Thanks,
    - Ray
    Manumatic driver since 1999 . . .
  • The BMW performance driving school -- details over on the X3 forum -- was our fifth school. The first four were with Audi and were all with A4's with manual transmissions.

    Out of some 30+ German cars, only 4 or maybe 5 have been automatics and all of them except my '05 A6 have been unimpressive even though I cannot say I hated them as much as some folks. I don't think I hated them at all, in fact, I just didn't like them, thought they reduced control, were never in the gear I would've selected and the manumatic functions were slow to engage. I have and could go on and on about the 3, 4, and 5 speed automatics that I have had experience with in my nearly 40 years of driving.

    The current tip @ 6speeds and the step also @ 6 speeds and I am certain the Mercedes 7 speeds have all but banished the bad things from auto trans. I am also CERTAIN that Audi's DSG transmission once it is widely available will push manual transmissions largely into the history books.

    If you read what we did at the BMW performance school you will note it was 100% with auto trans. My wife has largely but not yet completely come to the conclusion that the instructors' commands over the walkie talkies to "increase" the speed of your hands in the exercises were able to be obeyed due to the fact that one hand did NOT have to be on the gear shift. Two pedals and ONE wheel. I drove during my turns at the wheel in S mode with BMW 4.4L V8's underfoot.

    I, too, can attest that the Audis on snow and ice tracks doing the exact same exercises DID indeed feel fine with stick shifts. And even though the laws of physics that affect the cars applies equally on ice as it does on dry pavement, there are differences that have to do with the VIOLENCE level.

    At 20kph on ice it is possible to experience understeer, oversteer, power slides, abs on/of braking, slalom runs, etc etc etc and have the behavior of the cars translate to 80kph on dry pavement. What works on ice at 20kph works with the same reaction on dry pavement but to achieve that reaction you must be going about 400% faster.

    When you are careening out of control on ice, the speed and "attitude" of the car is smooth and almost in slow motion. When you are IDENTICALLY careening out of control on a 30 foot wide concrete track, the speed and "attitude" of the car are anything but smooth and everything is in fast forward motion.

    The tires are clawing at the concrete and you are jarred, your muscles are jostled and your reaction (required) is to squeeze the controls with greater force and so on.

    Were I to need to press on a clutch (to prevent stalling, for instance), a gas and/or brake pedal, plus have one hand (sometimes) on the shift lever and one hand all the time on the steering wheel, I (and my wife too -- and even the instructors who elect to drive M cars ONLY with autos) can now see how being able to keep two hands on the wheel can possibly (since I am NOT a pro race driver) improve my ability to control the car in a "violent" lane change and panic stop.

    I would LOVE to try EVERYTHING we learned at the BMW day one performance school with my A6 3.2 tiptronic AND / OR a BMW 3 or 5 series with a stick shift -- to further educate and possibly convince myself of what I have just written.

    The instructors were high on BMW's (and AUDI's and PORSCHE's) steering wheel mounted paddle shifters for the "current breed" of auto trans, too.

    I have only briefly test driven cars with these paddles and have no opinion at this time -- but it makes sense, in any case. The proof of the response time would be the proof I am seeking. The BMW X5's in manual mode were worse than any Audi manumatic I have known -- "same day" response time, I would suggest, is how it felt. Even my A6 tip is very fast in comparison.

    I did not get to try an M car, for instance, with a Steptronic 6speed so I assume I would be pleasantly surprised.

    At this point, my wife is probably 51% into the "auto could work" attitude and paradigm shift.

    I am probably 65% -- but a new Audi S4 with a 6speed stick still has a huge attraction.

    Hope this "rationalization" is of some help at least in understanding how my wife, Ms. Stick Shift, forever, Auto Shift never, is morphing into an Auto-Believer.

    She IS NOT there, YET -- but she has, as of last week, crossed over the 50% line.

    :surprise:
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    The instructors were high on BMW's (and AUDI's and PORSCHE's) steering wheel mounted paddle shifters for the "current breed" of auto trans, too.

    Paddle shifters are definitely much better than the various flavors of "buttons" that preceded them. I like them most when they are attached to the column and don't move with the wheel, so that left is always down, etc.
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