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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I test drove the M5&6 today. How are they? Was there ever any doubt? BMWs drive great and Ms drive even better. So the bad news for those wanting a scandalous discussion is: get ready for more of the same- a LOT more! :)

Unfortunately we had several factors working against us: #1- we are all jet lagged; #2- the train got us to M over an hour late; #3- We don't speak German and don't know the roads.

Despite all this I think the M5 is a worthy successor to the outgoing model. Its a very modern take on the super sedan, and the SMG is fantastic. In automatic mode it is 95% as smooth as a regular automatic, unless you stomp on it and then its a little rough. In sequential mode all the issues of the old system have been refined and resolved. Gear changes were very fast IMHO. My take on the stick shift vs. SMG is this: if this was to be my only car then I would think hard about ordering it as a stick shift, but if I have a stick shift car already, maybe its wise to get the SMG as a way of having variety. The thing here is the car is so user adjustable and the SMG is part of that. The auto mode is so good that I could see slipping into it if I were lost or in a new area (like today) it was nice to not even to consider any shifting requirements.

The acceleration is very powerful and from the mid-RPMs up to redline it is crazy fast. Everything works as advertised and the changes in EDC, power, etc all produce real differences that allow you to customize the car to your liking. Btw- there is power everywhere in the rev range (certainly more in the upper though) and the engine revs like crazy. Very fast revving. I am very impressed.

Between the two, I could feel the difference between the M5&6 quite easily- the M5 is wonderful, but the M6 really does feel a little more tied down and nimble. The M6 drives better in a way that Id say if you can afford it and the packaging (eg 4 doors vs 2) is not an issue, this is the one to pick. Anyone picking the M5 will not be disappointed- even if you give a M6 a test drive you will still be very impressed by your M5.

BMW M delivers again :thumbsup: :M5launch:
 

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MEnthusiast said:
and the SMG is fantastic.
Check for other signs of the apocalypse. :cheers:

Glad you enjoyed the car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks- btw- in terms of shift speed, I felt that in some circumstances I could out up shift the SMG2 in the M3, but although this was a limited drive, I don't think I could ever out upshift (or downshift) the SMG3. And unfortunately I did not try out LC. The steering was very, very good also.

I want to also add a big "thank you" to the people at BMW M for being so generous and wonderful to us. I know everyone is buying the M cars because they are so good, but its nice for you to know there are nice people behind the products too.
 

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MEnthusiast said:
Thanks- btw- in terms of shift speed, I felt that in some circumstances I could out up shift the SMG2 in the M3, but although this was a limited drive, I don't think I could ever out upshift (or downshift) the SMG3.
The technology is there. It looks like BMW is committed to this path, thats a good thing. They have some things to work out but it will happen.

How would you compare the steering to the E39 / E46?
 

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m_five said:
To me the question is, why is BMW developing a dual clutch (ZSG) trans? And why are they not offering SMG on the E90 in the US? Do they see SMG as an interim solution?
Once BMW develops a dual clutch system then the could discontinue normal automatics. Its the single clutch that makes it impossible for a SMG to be a smooth shifting as an automatic. If their goal is to replace autos then this is the path (or CVT) they have to take.

Twin clutch setups have a downside. They are heavy and have more rotating mass both of which reduce performance.

My guess is long term BMW sees it this way.
Automatic -> dual clutch SMG like system or CVT (see Mini).
Manual -> Performance orentaties SMG like system. Possibly able to shift clutchless in some modes.
 

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MEnthusiast said:
Between the two, I could feel the difference between the M5&6 quite easily- the M5 is wonderful, but the M6 really does feel a little more tied down and nimble. The M6 drives better in a way that Id say if you can afford it and the packaging (eg 4 doors vs 2) is not an issue, this is the one to pick. Anyone picking the M5 will not be disappointed- even if you give a M6 a test drive you will still be very impressed by your M5.

BMW M delivers again :thumbsup: :M5launch:
Hey Jerry,

Great write up. I have driven the New Beast on the track back to back with some M3's. I liked the New Beast better.

I also drove a 645 and it was terrible. I am eagerly awaiting a chance to see and drive the ///M6. I assume it is considerably better than the 645. The 645 maybe a nice car on the road, very comfortable, but it did not enjoy being on the track. It was a fish out of water on the track. They sound good though.

Imagine combining a new Beast with an ///M3. Would you get an E90 V-8 ///M3. It looks promising.

MJ
 

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MEnthusiast said:
I test drove the M5&6 today. How are they? Was there ever any doubt? BMWs drive great and Ms drive even better. So the bad news for those wanting a scandalous discussion is: get ready for more of the same- a LOT more! :)

Unfortunately we had several factors working against us: #1- we are all jet lagged; #2- the train got us to M over an hour late; #3- We don't speak German and don't know the roads.

Despite all this I think the M5 is a worthy successor to the outgoing model. Its a very modern take on the super sedan, and the SMG is fantastic. In automatic mode it is 95% as smooth as a regular automatic, unless you stomp on it and then its a little rough. In sequential mode all the issues of the old system have been refined and resolved. Gear changes were very fast IMHO. My take on the stick shift vs. SMG is this: if this was to be my only car then I would think hard about ordering it as a stick shift, but if I have a stick shift car already, maybe its wise to get the SMG as a way of having variety. The thing here is the car is so user adjustable and the SMG is part of that. The auto mode is so good that I could see slipping into it if I were lost or in a new area (like today) it was nice to not even to consider any shifting requirements.

The acceleration is very powerful and from the mid-RPMs up to redline it is crazy fast. Everything works as advertised and the changes in EDC, power, etc all produce real differences that allow you to customize the car to your liking. Btw- there is power everywhere in the rev range (certainly more in the upper though) and the engine revs like crazy. Very fast revving. I am very impressed.

Between the two, I could feel the difference between the M5&6 quite easily- the M5 is wonderful, but the M6 really does feel a little more tied down and nimble. The M6 drives better in a way that Id say if you can afford it and the packaging (eg 4 doors vs 2) is not an issue, this is the one to pick. Anyone picking the M5 will not be disappointed- even if you give a M6 a test drive you will still be very impressed by your M5.

BMW M delivers again :thumbsup: :M5launch:
Nice comments Jerry, good to hear your more impressed with SMGIII than you thought, I know you have had your reservations about it vs stick. I loved SMG II once you accepted the small compromises but SMGIII is IMO brilliant. Agree with you on the auto, in my earlier post after getting my car I also was impressed with auto mode. I have sometimes put it into auto if lazy and in unfamiliar area as you say, then at touch of a paddle your back to 'S' mode, brilliant.

regards

Peter
 

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MIB said:
Imagine combining a new Beast with an ///M3. Would you get an E90 V-8 ///M3. It looks promising.
Power numbers are still up in the air for the new M3. However, I expect it to be a huge leap forward from the current one. It seems like BMW learns, if slowly. They are working the anoyances out of SMG, reports are they have done the same with AFS for the E90.

I just hope that AFS and ARS are ready. ARS espically is perfect for the M cars if they can get the response times down.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Please remember this was a short test drive and I wanted to see- does changing the EDC make a difference? Yes. How about changing the drive logic in Drive or Sequential modes? I felt the biggest difference here when in Drive (automatic) mode. D1 requires you to hit the kick down button (behind the throttle) to get the transmission to kick down. I liked D3 for regular driving around. I found changing the drive logic in S mode did not produce drastic changes from S1-S5. I did not test S6 (I kept DSC in its ON position the whole time).

In terms of steering feel, Id say both cars had feel that is very similar to the E46 M3. It is an improvement over the E39 M5. I found the steering weighting in the M6 to be slightly heavier.

I also found, to my surprise, that I prefer P500 over P500 Sport- because the sport mode's throttle response is so fast that even the slightest lift off the throttle produces a little bit of a jerk of the vehicle.

When I shifted I both lifted/ feathered the throttle and did not. My brief impression is this system is much more refined than SMG2- when I did not lift for a shift, it seemed to me that the shifts were just as smooth. This is why I think the automode is more useful, because in auto you do not know exactly when the car will want to shift. IMHO, the big question on the auto mode is do I think someone who has never driven stick shift could get into this car and without any instruction just drive away and I think that answer is yes for 90% of those people now.

Ride quality in the cars is outstanding. I found I could leave the cars in comfort mode and there is almost no roll at all and the ride was surprisingly comfortable and yet very well controlled/ damped and sporty. I didnt sense that bringing the suspension into sport mode did much in terms of body roll, but now even small bumps are felt through the car. However, even in sport mode the ride was never jarring- it was just that much more sporty. A very impressive balance- which IMHO is BMW M's hallmark.

My advice to those who are curious about SMG, but want to live with it to be sure, is to get a lease on one of the first cars, get on the list for when your lease expires and then you will have the option for stick shift or SMG. I am glad they are giving the choice to the customers.
 

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Thanks Jerry for your comments.

I am getting even more excited about the e60 as well. I know that you had some earlier reservations as to whether or not the smg3 would be acceptable. It is good to hear that it has impressed you greatly. I can't wait to get my hands on one! :M5launch:
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
You are all welcome! Boy am I tired after a lot of travel and more tomorrow!

The suspension in any mode is more than acceptable. In comfort mode I would say the car feels like it absorbs bumps better than the E39 M5 and yet also still has less roll and feels like its more tightly sprung.
 
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