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BMW M3

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Comments

  • jmarounjmaroun Posts: 139
    Am I the only one out there brave enough
    to admit..I can't drive stick shift? :)
    I tried several times and found the whole
    clutch concept retarded. I mean..we should
    be past this primitive clutch thing by now.

    I welcome the SMG with wide open thumbs!
  • shanti1shanti1 Posts: 3
    >"I tried several times and found the whole
    clutch concept retarded. I mean..we should
    be past this primitive clutch thing"

    Says who ...

    Since you do not drive manual - you cannot pronounce yourself on this, nor could other drivers be interested whether MT appears to your limited experience as "retarded" or not. It is a connection with the car (and an understanding of how it works) that comes strictly from the driving experience, a connection with the road which is alien to you. You have not experienced or enjoyed what we are talking about. So it will be of all too little a value how someone like you finds the concept.

    If you buy an M3 but you are not able to drive manual you buy it so you look cool inside it, but deep down you are not a sportscar driver. Buy a sedan if you are only able to enjoy automatic. I hope you realize it is far beyond your competence to comment on manual transmission.
  • drfilldrfill Posts: 2,484

    I know a lot of girls who roll in 'Vettes!

    If I knew one who could drive stick......

    But that's all pie in the sky. :P

    I think BMW learned their lesson on the M5 (why do I feel like I'm repeating myself?). :confuse:

    DrFill
  • jmarounjmaroun Posts: 139
    BMW engineers themselves have decided that SMG is not
    only better than manual transmission, but it is so superior that NOT ONLY put it in the M5, but they eliminated your beloved stick altogether. That is a Power statement by BMW, not me. They know better than I, and certainly YOU given your ridiculous assumptions, how best to connect with the car and they've concluded that SMG is better. Having worked with German engineers in Munich, I know very well that such decisions are based upon FACTS.

    All formula one sports cars today use some form of SMG..and these are sports cars..so your statements are ridiculous and baseless.

    Joseph
    San Diego
  • dhamiltondhamilton Posts: 873
    If you like SMG then more power to you. Most enthusiasts that I know and read prefer 3 pedals as well as a lot of F1 drivers most notably M schumaker of Ferrari [excuse the probable misspelling of his name] would prefer a return to a traditional manual for the reasons stated by most manual fans here. A more connected experience with the car.
    Also for your information,BMW has decided to bring a manual M5 starting soon due mostly from pressure coming from "enthusiasts" and the fact that most auto journalists bash SMG. So it seems that the 3 pedal fans have spoken..
  • drfilldrfill Posts: 2,484
    And won't make the same mistake twice with the M3. Period!

    Lesson learned: Don't be so bloody arrogant! Sell the people what they want! When you stop selling manuals, you lose 30% of your buyers.

    DrFill
  • I wholeheartedly agree with the fact that the second meaning of "M" is manual control of the transmission (the first being motorsport for the uninformed). However my biggest worry is where the compact sport sedan segment is headed as a whole.

    It was long said that the mantra echoing through the halls of the motorsport division was that the suspension must be faster than the engine. This fact barely applied to the E46 M3, which achieved it's numbers largely due to it's asymmetrical tire selection. Granted, the S52B32 is an awesome engine(if a little thirsty for oil), but without the advent of the aftermarket there wouldn't have been a lot of ways to bring the suspension up to the engine's performance.

    With the advent of this V8 engine, did BMW ditch the mantra, or are they planning on running some type of active/progressive suspension to keep pace with the speeds this engine will be capable of producing?

    The last M3 was a beast in and of itself with the straight six. Why make the move to a V8? I guess it was easier to develop than come up with a new straight six. Hang on, BMW just got done developing a magnesium block six cylinder engine for the new 3 series. Why not an design that engine to be suitable for M duty? It's already lightweight and they could've spaced the bore centers enough for it to be punched out to up to 3.8 liters. Combined with some valve tricks, we're talking over 100bhp/liter output.

    My fear is that the compact luxury sport sedan market is going to end up loaded with +3700lb, V8 little monsters.

    The fact that these cars were lightweight and light handling is what made them appeal to the sports car enthusiast in all of us.
  • jmarounjmaroun Posts: 139
    To the "true sports enthusiasts" out there, who all supposedly drive manual; please define the term "sporty". After which, I'd appreciate if someone could explain how a manual transmission, even though it provides inferior sports performance compared to SMG, can somehow translate to providing a more sporty ride?? I just can't fathom the logic behind such an idea and I'm a very reasonable guy. I mean, What is so good and inherently sporty about having to use both feet instead of just one? What is so fun about having to take one hand off the wheel, especially during critical manuvours, just to shift to the optimal gear? Isn't it better to have both hands on the wheel at all times? I would imagine that it would be appealing and of great interest to true sports enthusiasts out there that SMG provides almost instant shifting, faster than any expert could do with a manual. Curiously, this has not been the case so it seems. Perhaps it is more "Sporty" to be hindered and perform less aggressively. Maybe to manual lovers out there, and I know there's a whole lot of you, the drive is less about mastering the road, than about mastering the car? BMWs are beautiful machines, but is the point of driving merely to be amused by marvels of the machine? Or is it something else? Please enlighten your point of view. From my prospective, as a non-manual sports enthusiast, a car is a tool. I use it to engage the world ahead of me. I yearn for a car that enables me to master the road in front of me while enjoying all of it's character. I can't see why a manual is inherently necessary for this task. I can only see that it might distract from the task at hand.

    Maybe I just gotta bite the bullet and learn how to drive stick to find out what many are bickering about.
    As of now, I just don't see the logic of it.

    Joseph
    in San Diego
  • lopzlopz Posts: 22
    Your second paragraphis absolutely correct!
  • The clutch pedal found in a manual tranny affords the driver a level of control over the behavior of the car that any type of sequential mechanism just can't achieve. It allows the driver to precisely meter how much power to put on the ground at any given time, in any gear of his/her choosing. A manual transmission does this best.

    Granted, for racetrack use, a sequential transmission offers gear change speeds that most drivers can't match. However most drivers don't drive their cars on a racetrack, reducing the appeal of having the SMG on the street. That transmission is then relegated to use by those who either are manual drivers and want faster gear changes while relying on the throttle as the sole mechanism for getting power to the ground; or automatic drivers who want more control over their car and think that the SMG is the holy grail of powertrain/driveline control.
  • acbrbmwacbrbmw Posts: 19
    For those of you who love a manual the M5 will have one availble for 2007( but only a six speed). I'm a bmw salesman in pittsburgh and a big fan of both manual and sequential gearboxes. having driven everthing from m3's and 650's to the e60 m5 i think i can provide a unique and unbiased oppinon of what is better.

    if we were talking about the m3 smg i would say manual without hesitation. why? the first two versions of smg seen on the e46 m3 were not true smg, but re worked versions of the 6 speed. this explans why the felt unrefined, jerky, and annoying. I would only ask for it on a car that would be going to the track.

    the new m5 has SMG3, the latest version, a true sequential from the ground up, designed by the man who worked on the bmw wiliams f1 setup. how did they address the above listed problems with smg1&2? .....the M5 now uses twin clutches that are not only smooth as silk but make the car capable of unbelievable launches and seamless shifts, and when in shift program 6 they make it feel like the power never lets up to shift...just never-ending thrust. the transmission now can shift in 80 miliseconds!!
    it is so advanced that if you're crusing down a road at 40 mph in second gear the sincros will always have 1st gear and 3rd gear spinning up to match rev's if-at any point-you would want to upshift or downshift. to make it even sweeter the car instantly blips to match the engine's speed with the gears so perfectly there is no lurching because it is off. part of the reason why it is perfect is beacuse the computer is releasing the clutch in the perfect manner for every situation-it is super human.

    to all those maual fans, yes there is more control with a clutch being able to do exactly what you want in every shift. by how quick you drop the clutch, or where in the pedals range you apply the power you have infinite control over how the car shifts. yes you can change shift speeds in the smg but that does not match the endless shifting capabilities you have in your mind.

    BUT, the new smg engages in a civil and almost telapathic way...knowing what you need at any given time, and exicuting these changes with incomprehesible speed. The M5, what a brute, but this sweet heart has good manners.

    from a manual fan every day of the week, this car wouldn't be what it is with out the smg.

    i end with this thought:

    do you think the SMG puts 500 hp to the ground well????

    the 2900lb corvette zo6 500 bhp...0-60 in 3.9 seconds

    the 4040lb M5 500 bhp...0-60 in 4.1(4.1 road and track, 4.2 car and driver)

    lamborgini gabrialgo 1/4 mile speed: 117mph

    M5 1/4 mile speed: 118mph
  • acbrbmwacbrbmw Posts: 19
    i read some one saying that BMW thinks that SMG is better than a manual....thats simply not true.

    yes it is on the track but BMW knows that some people prefer sticks, thats why in most BMW's the choice is up to you, both the m6 and m5 will have a stick.

    is the clutch pedal going out the door?

    no, in fact BMW won't be offering smg in the M Roadster. i assume that they will put a version of the the e90 m3's smg in it once the motorsports divison is done developing SMG 4 FOR The new 4.0 v-8.

    why do you think that bmw put a stick in the x5 and x3 standard?? their prorities are pure.

    people always forget that BMW's arn't luxury cars, they are sport cars with luxury built in some. they are drivers cars, that means the are always looking for ways to enhance the driving experince with new ideas, otherwise you wouldn't ever hear about SMG. But it is because of the fact that they are drivers cars that they are keeping 6-speeds around-they recognize that alot of people prefer that.

    BUT just like it was said before, you can't talk about something you've never experinced....so if you havn't driven SMG 3 in the M5 than its hard to make a correct assesment.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Do the dealers have M5 demos, and will they be offering the new SMG on the non-M cars?
  • acbrbmwacbrbmw Posts: 19
    ultimatedriver talked about how the m cars always had better suspension than power....this is very true.

    the e46 engine is a beast even today after 5 years in production and 5 "international engine of the year" awards there are only 3 other normally aspirated engines that put out more hp per liter. handling was great in the e46 but not awesome like we expect .89 g's on the skid pad.

    is M now focusing back on handling?? you bet!
    the new m5 is almost 1000 lbs heavyer than the e46 m3, but almost pulls the same numbers .88 g's.

    so you ask what will they do with the m'3?? the e90(2006 3series) is so much better on the track than the e46 sedans and coupes. how? a new patened 5 link aluminum fron suspension, and a new extremley low and flat 5 link rear suspension that doesn't allow any toe-in change in the rear, eliminating any trail-brake rotation. with performance tires car and driver recorded several runs mesuring .94 g's and even saw .95 g's out of a sport pkg 330i(for those of you who don't know how good that is-the porsche boxter s is .95 g's .....and the 3 series is a four door sedan!!!!!.

    i'm confident that the m divison will be able to put the new 4.0 v8 in the m3 and keep the same results with some suspension tuning.
  • acbrbmwacbrbmw Posts: 19
    i have a m5 avalible to drive, and of course...buy.....but there is still a wait list for 90% of the dealers, only a few cars are out there that arn't sold.

    yes they do offer smg in other cars, the 325ci, 330ci, 325i, 330i, 530i, 550i, 650i, and the z4
  • acbrbmwacbrbmw Posts: 19
    i was reading alot of questions posted earlyer in the first pages and i'd like to take the opportunity to set the record straight about the new m3.

    it will not be a m4 as some suggest, but rather a 4 door m3 like the e36 body style 4 door m3. bmw has hinted that they might do a coupe version, but 4 you coupe lovers BMW has said that the will build a twin turbo 335i coupe with 300 hp and 300 lb ft torque. expect a 0-60 time of 5.0 sec. that car will hit show rooms this sept. along with a 328 coupe that performs better than the outgoing 330ci.

    the new m3 engine is the same as the m5's but a V8 so it displaces 4 liters. BMW has been telling us that to expect 400-425 bhp and rumors hint at a 0-60 time in the mid to high 3 second range.

    the new convertible will likley come in late winter 2007 and all evidence points to a hard top.

    the new m3 will be out some time in the summer of 2007 as a 2008 model year with a base price around 52-56 grand.

    the new 335 is to be a more affordable car than the previous m3 so we expect a base price around 43k. pricing will be out on the new coupes mid summer.

    also the new 328 coupe will be all-wheel drive, expect awd on the 335 in a year.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    yes they do offer smg in other cars, the 325ci, 330ci, 325i, 330i, 530i, 550i, 650i, and the z4

    Thanks, I realize that. But what I asked is if the new SMG 3 WITH IMPROVED TECH will be available on those cars too. From my understanding, they currently have the jerky and much-slower-shifting SMG, nothing like it is on the M5 & M6.
  • acbrbmwacbrbmw Posts: 19
    yeah the one on those cars now is not as refined. BMW hasn't told us of any improvements, although i'd expect to see a new version on the new 335i, m roaster and m3 in 2008 model years....i don't know if the will inprove the othe cars for another 3 or 4 years when they do a mid-bodystyle update on the 3
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Really looking forward to the 335 coupe and M3 now that they released pics of the coupe. Love it. Where are you located? Are there any brochures available yet for the coupe?
  • acbrbmwacbrbmw Posts: 19
    we are suppose to get the brochures in late june and pricing in july. i work for bobby rahal BMW in pittsburgh. what kind of car do you have now
  • cdwing16cdwing16 Posts: 1
    Okay the m3 is quicker around the track against some awd cars, try it against the audi RS4, or hmmmm the new porsche 911 turbo?
  • jmarounjmaroun Posts: 139
    Hey, I REALLY appreciate the posts by ultimatedriver #74 and especially by acbrbmw #75! Thanks a bunch for the very convincing and detailed info. I'll be reading acbrbmw's post several times in fact. I'm open and eager to learn which type of transmission to get on my next purchase. If I pay alot of money for a car, I wanna choose the right transmission (SMG or manual) that will make me happiest. This probably means, I'll have to learn stick well enough to compare.

    The M5 is out of my price-range. The M3 however is on my radar for my next lease/buy in 2.5 years after my current 06 330i lease is up. A few questions,
    will the 08 M3 have the smooth SMG III (like the current 06 M5)? Is it possible to lease an M3 and also, is it necessary to be on a waiting list for the up and coming new M3?? I don't wanna be stuck with a rental or worse, forced to get a lesser car due to availability in 2.5 years. Also, I wonder what your (everyone's) thoughts would be on how the new M3 will fare against Audi's RS4.

    Until then, I'll be enjoying my 06 330i.
    I must mention that the handling on the 06 330i with sports package is a real joy. I love churning through some of these roads here in San Diego, especially this one leading to Pacific Beach from Lajolla Village Drive. I just gotta feel that road every day after work.

    Joseph
    in San Diego
  • Nice hypothetical, cdwing. There are a lot of variables at work here. As any racer knows, stats and numbers don't tell the whole story.

    Both companies field very accomplished racing programs. It's obvious that they can't trickle down all the technology of a mega-buck single seater into a compact sports sedan. However BMW seems to understand the factors that are required for production car-based road racing a bit better than Audi ever has. These factors include weight distribution, low weight engineering(not just replacing steel pieces with aluminum ones), powertrain/drivetrain engineering, polar moment of inertia, steering quickness, etc.

    Not that Audi doesn't know about these things, but it doesn't reflect in their product nor has it since the Quattro coupe in the 80's.

    That's also dependent on what type of track these cars have it out on. If it's a tight track, I'd say their numbers are going to be closer(with the BMW on top, of course) because of the Four Ringer's ability to put the power down more efficiently out of the tighter corners.

    However if BMW decides to leave well enough alone, the Variable M differential will remain. Anyone with technical knowledge of the automotive market's offerings will tell you that this is one of the best differentials on the market today and it makes all the difference in the world when your trying to go around a corner. Hopefully the one in the new M3 will be the same unit(or updated) used in the E46, as that one was flawless and can handle insane amounts of torque.

    As far as the Porsche 997 Turbo is concerned, I'm not sure if the M3 will be able to beat it around a big track. The shear speeds the Turbo is capable of producing would overtake the M on the straight(I should know, I just crashed my 993). It would definitely shut it out around a smaller track if this new one is anything like the 996 series(the AWD system didn't act fast enough in the tighter, faster transitions).

    If BMW decides to do a CSL version of the E90 M3, I'll have my money on the M. With the tighter suspension geometry, a warm set of Michelin Primacy Sports(used on the E46 CSL) and the Variable M differential, BMW can definitely send the 997 S packing and the 997 Turbo sweating.

    Everyone racing fan here should remember how much noise Porsche made the last time BMW put a V8 in an M3(please refer to below, hehe).
    :mad: :cry:
  • dhamiltondhamilton Posts: 873
    a very storied racing heritage of it's own. Ultimate driver thinking that a new M3 will beat a 911 turbo around a "smaller track" reminds me of a certain DC mayor smoking crack. I'm not even sure it could beat a new Lancer evo but that's neither here nor there. I got nothing bad to say about bimmers. They make awesome cars. You have to consider that these companies are going in separate directions. [eerrrr with the exception of BMW putting all wheel drive in everything to get Audi customers, and Audi working hard to better weight distribution to get bimmer customers.] The biggest issue to me is that Audi builds a more complete GT car IMO as well as great rally and now endurance racing car being added to the list. BMW has it's own list of accomplishments but lets not get ahead of ourselves. All of these companies do what they do well but back to the original point....The new M3 will "shut out" a 911 turbo around a short track :confuse: :sick: Let's wait till it comes out before we make ridiculous statements.
  • acbrbmwacbrbmw Posts: 19
    first off a the new m3, if it does infact have 425bhp out of the 4.0 V8....look out! the e46 currently puts out 104 bhp per liter in the smooth easy reving straight six set up. if m can pull of 425 in the e90 thats 106 bhp per liter out of a 90 degree V8, wow! look out porsche.

    yes the new m3 will have a twin clutch smg, its in the works right now and although bmw is tight on releasing info with all their upcomming cars, rumor has it that it will be a 7 speed.

    just my thought, the V8 will bring the m3 up to play with the porsches, but a 7 speed smg will make it king on the short circuit. also the fact that bmw is now putting the compound floating rotors off the m3 csl on all m cars makes me think that the m3 will out brake the porsche.

    with concern to weight, the e39 m5's v8 is actually heavyer than the v10. that takes engineering! so i'm confident m can pull of a v8 4 door m3 and make it under 3600 pounds.
  • I really hate quoting myself, but here goes nothing. My words read as follows:

    "It would definitely shut it out around a smaller track if this new one is anything like the 996 series(the AWD system didn't act fast enough in the tighter, faster transitions)"

    I'm a Porsche enthusiast through and through. However I've also been behind the wheel of my own BMW against numerous rwd Porsches in the GT2 category of the SCCA. I don't even consider replying to a statement if I think it doesn't hold water.

    The 996 Turbo is an awesome street car, whose limits are hard to experience. That being said, on the track the Turbo isn't as good a tool as it's rear-drive stable mates because the all wheel drive system is set up to kill understeer. This makes the car harder to set a rhythm with, leaning towards a "slow in, fast out" cornering style.

    The new M3, with it's redesigned suspension, , M differential, sticky tires, high compression V8, etc. will undoubtedly be able to walk the Turbo on a short track if it acts like the last generation Turbo in tight, quick transitions.

    Remember that horsepower doesn't win races as much as being able to maintain momentum and achieving rhythm. I'm not saying one is better than the other, but the M3 is no stranger to the track. The Turbo? Not so much a track car as it is one of the best street cars money can buy.
  • acbrbmwacbrbmw Posts: 19
    The new M3, with it's redesigned suspension, , M differential, sticky tires, high compression V8, etc. will undoubtedly be able to walk the Turbo ...............

    i can't argue with that since i'm a bimmeraholic.

    ultimatedriver, have you had a chance to drive a sitck and smg in a m3. have you had the chance to compare that with the new m5's smg????
  • Yes and yes, acbr. I've tasted all three generations of SMG in various M machines and I must say that the 7 speed unit takes everything to a whole new level. I think it's because it's hooked up to such a fabulous powertrain. I haven't driven the M5 yet, but I've been to hell and back in the M6.

    I'm not going to review all the positives in this post, as they've been lauded upon many times in this forum. I appreciate the SMG at this level of horsepower and speed; helping novices contain supercar levels of horsepower and torque, taking the semi-professional to professionals and allowing them to truly challenge the chassis, and then turning the dial back down to 1 for the long drive home.

    In my personal opinion, the E46 M3 never needed SMGII. Maybe the Competition Package and definitely the CSL(awesome!). I leased a 2004 for a few months and automatically ordered up a short shift kit for the 6 speed. This change alone put the car two notches below nirvana (an accomplished clutch artist can shift in about 90-150 milliseconds with this kit).

    All M drivers should know what the program is before they even think about taking a test drive. Manual transmissions belong on M cars. I'll never stop believing that.

    Yet the third generation SMG is cheaper to manufacture in-house than it is for BMW to contract out to Getrag. It's also lighter, less complex and less of a bear on the other driveline components (anyone want to replace the clutch on the new 6 speed M5?).

    However when the M3 is packing a V8 and 400+ horses, the evolution of SMG will become a necessary evil to us purists. Unfortunately, BMW customers shopping in the Motorsport division no longer want the task of knowing how to operate a manual transmission, but they still have money to spend. And since more money is better than less money, BMW will continue to make a positive business case for the SMG.
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