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Choose an option that best describes you.

  • I prefer manual, have never been to a track.

    Votes: 41 29.9%
  • I prefer manual, have some track experience.

    Votes: 34 24.8%
  • I prefer manual, have lots of track experience.

    Votes: 12 8.8%
  • I prefer SMG, have never been to a track.

    Votes: 18 13.1%
  • I prefer SMG, have some track experience.

    Votes: 22 16.1%
  • I prefer SMG, have lots of track experience.

    Votes: 9 6.6%
  • I prefer automatic, have never been to a track.

    Votes: 1 0.7%
  • I prefer automatic, have some track experience.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • I prefer automatic, have lots of track experience.

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    137
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I dont know what being on a track has to do with gearbox preferrence... Manual will always be manual and SMG will always be SMG track or no track!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Black M5 said:
I dont know what being on a track has to do with gearbox preferrence... Manual will always be manual and SMG will always be SMG track or no track!
If you look at the poll "gearbox" some members there said that it would be nice to know which driver prefers which gearbox, so here it is!

:cheers:
 

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This quote is from the other gearbox poll thread.

Wolverine said:
I will wager that the manual transmission folks have more experience with, and a better understanding of performance cars and technology than people who favor the SMG.
This theory I hear all the time is not holding up so far. Perhaps its just that SMG people have the real world experience and don't let their ego get in the way of accepting change?
 

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Enigma said:
This quote is from the other gearbox poll thread.



This theory I hear all the time is not holding up so far. Perhaps its just that SMG people have the real world experience and don't let their ego get in the way of accepting change?
I was going to say just that...
:cheers:

Robert
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Yes, very interesting indeed....
Looks like SMG technology has nothing to do with lack of skill after all.
Though there were quite few votes so far, the main trend seems to be quite clear.
So, can we consider this to the end of "manual = good drive, SMG = begginer" and similar debates? :)
 

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If this was a M3.. and/or I intended to track the M5... the answer would be SMG and lots of track experience...

but since it is not an M3 and I don't intend to track the M5.. the manual gets the nod.
 

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I prefer manual, have extensive road experience with both and some experience with both on the track. For track use, its no contest: SMG all the way. This is just my opinion.
 

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MEnthusiast said:
I prefer manual, have extensive road experience with both and some experience with both on the track. For track use, its no contest: SMG all the way. This is just my opinion.
thats typical to my opinion.. :M5thumbs:
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
vndkshn said:
If this was a M3.. and/or I intended to track the M5... the answer would be SMG and lots of track experience...

but since it is not an M3 and I don't intend to track the M5.. the manual gets the nod.
Thats the kind of answer you should click on.
So, MEnthusiast, you should really click the third option (manual, track) :flag: (because its obvious, 95% of manual users will prefer smg on trhe track ;) )

I cant belive, no one drives auto here???!!! :viking: what about E55AMG?? ;)
 

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I did the 2nd choice because I have some track experience. I traded my M3 SMG for a SL55 and I have not missed the M3 one bit. The SL is a better choice for my wife and I since she really hated SMG. For a fun car, Id much prefer a stick shift, but for a shared car, it has to be automatic. For my wife and I SMG turned out to be the worst of the manual world for my wife and the worst of the automatic world (boring) for me. Despite that I've found the SL is a fantastic vehicle which we started out thinking wed just lease it and turn it in when the lease is over, we now are talking about keeping it as MB is likely to go to an idrive style control system. :eek:
 

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Well, although I'm suprised at the results, I'm not too dissapointed since I'll be driving an SMG M5 next year. I'm a 'some track time' driver, and have driven the M3 SMG several times. I still much prefer the manual transmission, especially in the M3. Perhaps the M5 will convince me otherwise.

I'd like to hear from the people with track time (presumably higher level drivers) about what they like and dislike about the SMG, and why they would choose it over manual for an everyday driver. I've read a number of posts from people lauding SMG, but I think it would be useful to know what their driving experience and style is.

I've got a number of favorite turns in my area where I can heel-and-toe downshift and kick the back end out with the wheels spinning like a crazy person if I want in my 545. Call it ego or whatever you want, but I'll miss the control, and being able to have that kind of fun with the SMG.
 

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Wolverine said:
I'd like to hear from the people with track time (presumably higher level drivers) about what they like and dislike about the SMG, and why they would choose it over manual for an everyday driver. I've read a number of posts from people lauding SMG, but I think it would be useful to know what their driving experience and style is.

I've got a number of favorite turns in my area where I can heel-and-toe downshift and kick the back end out with the wheels spinning like a crazy person if I want in my 545. Call it ego or whatever you want, but I'll miss the control, and being able to have that kind of fun with the SMG.
I think I am about the biggest SMG advocate on this board. I have been competing in SCCA solo2 events for 3+ years now and visiting various tracks for 5+. The reason I think you see people with lots of track experience gravitate to SMG is they realize driving is well about driving and not shifting. People that tend to obsess about shifting tend to show less skill with the wheel and other two pedels.

You can always tell when a "shifting expert" goes to a track for the first time. They are usually shifting in lots of places where they shouldn't. The start thinking about shifting and then blow the next turn. Or they start shifting up to the next gear and then end up in the braking zone before they complete it rather than just riding the rev limiter for 100'.

Driving well is about driving the correct line and about car control. You mention kicking the back end of the car out. Why do you need a clucth pedal to do that? A real expert can kick an SMG car sideways just fine :)

A lot of the hatred of SMG comes from people that think they know more than they do. On this board we had someone last year predict that people would be crashing M3s and M5s because they couldn't control the power of the car with the clutch on on and off ramps. I though it was great when a CCA instructor posted and said when they see people doing that at a track event they pull them off the track and explain the clutch is ONLY for shifting. You control the power with the throttle.

I suspect many of those that get so much enjoyment from shifting are really just missing the enjoyment of driving the line, left foot braking, or makign the perfect apex. :cheers:
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Well... If we leave peformance for a while, i do understand people saying smg is not as much fun. Its just a matter of preference, right? sime people like oranges, others like apples ;) (i personaly prefer smg)

However, skill- and peformance-wise i comletely agree with Enigma

:cheers:
 

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Enigma said:
I think I am about the biggest SMG advocate on this board. I have been competing in SCCA solo2 events for 3+ years now and visiting various tracks for 5+. The reason I think you see people with lots of track experience gravitate to SMG is they realize driving is well about driving and not shifting. People that tend to obsess about shifting tend to show less skill with the wheel and other two pedels.

You can always tell when a "shifting expert" goes to a track for the first time. They are usually shifting in lots of places where they shouldn't. The start thinking about shifting and then blow the next turn. Or they start shifting up to the next gear and then end up in the braking zone before they complete it rather than just riding the rev limiter for 100'.

Driving well is about driving the correct line and about car control. You mention kicking the back end of the car out. Why do you need a clucth pedal to do that? A real expert can kick an SMG car sideways just fine :)

A lot of the hatred of SMG comes from people that think they know more than they do. On this board we had someone last year predict that people would be crashing M3s and M5s because they couldn't control the power of the car with the clutch on on and off ramps. I though it was great when a CCA instructor posted and said when they see people doing that at a track event they pull them off the track and explain the clutch is ONLY for shifting. You control the power with the throttle.

I suspect many of those that get so much enjoyment from shifting are really just missing the enjoyment of driving the line, left foot braking, or makign the perfect apex. :cheers:
Amen

cherrsagai
 

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I definitely cannot have an automatic, but while I enjoy a manual, I do get lazy at times (I live in a conjested city), and I think that's when the day-to-day benefits of SMGIII will be most practical. Juding by reading all the reviews and discussions, I am almost sure SMGIII is the right transmission for the M5/M6 given all the engineering dynamics of the car. The only thing left for me to do ... is ... DRIVE ONE!!! :flag: I do see driving and manual shifting as disjoint processes, that's why I think it's possible for me to enjoy driving without manual shift.
 

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Enigma said:
I think I am about the biggest SMG advocate on this board. I have been competing in SCCA solo2 events for 3+ years now and visiting various tracks for 5+. The reason I think you see people with lots of track experience gravitate to SMG is they realize driving is well about driving and not shifting. People that tend to obsess about shifting tend to show less skill with the wheel and other two pedels.

You can always tell when a "shifting expert" goes to a track for the first time. They are usually shifting in lots of places where they shouldn't. The start thinking about shifting and then blow the next turn. Or they start shifting up to the next gear and then end up in the braking zone before they complete it rather than just riding the rev limiter for 100'.

Driving well is about driving the correct line and about car control. You mention kicking the back end of the car out. Why do you need a clucth pedal to do that? A real expert can kick an SMG car sideways just fine :)

A lot of the hatred of SMG comes from people that think they know more than they do. On this board we had someone last year predict that people would be crashing M3s and M5s because they couldn't control the power of the car with the clutch on on and off ramps. I though it was great when a CCA instructor posted and said when they see people doing that at a track event they pull them off the track and explain the clutch is ONLY for shifting. You control the power with the throttle.

I suspect many of those that get so much enjoyment from shifting are really just missing the enjoyment of driving the line, left foot braking, or makign the perfect apex. :cheers:
Am I to understand that the entire shifting process using a clutch pedal is nothing more than a distraction from the ‘true appreciation of the driving experience’? ‘Driving well’ does not involve shifting? Interesting perspective. Some of us enjoy all aspects of driving including shifting with a clutch pedal.



I agree that the SMG is undoubtedly the best, most efficient, and probably the most enjoyable way to get around a racetrack and you can do some things with SMG far better than with a manual. However, for a daily driver, the clutch pedal connects me to the car, and removing it does not sit well with me. I’m hopeful that the SMG in the new M5 will be an improvement over the current versions.



If you can’t appreciate the how a true manual transmission connects you to the car then you have missed out on one of the joys of driving. I would put considerably more credibility in your opinion if you had some appreciation of the fun and satisfaction you can have shifting and driving with a clutch pedal.
 

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So far my experience is with either "manual" or automatic transmissions, and only a few miles with SMG II. I think it is clear from my experience and the comments of those who have greater SMG experience, that one can't really come to a conclusion about a given transmission without considerable driving time. It would be interesting to conduct a pole among those who have ownership experience with traditional manual transmissions and with BMW's SMG II for their preference. It could very well be that only a small proportion of those with or without track experience that prefer manual transmissions in this poll have actually had sufficient experience with BMW's SMG II.

Given a neutral bias between manual and SMG transmissions, it is very likely that a powerful engine with its peak torque developed in a fairly narrow, high rpm range is best mated to BMW's 7-speed SMG III.

Since I'm probably at least a year away from the opportunity to order an E60 M5, I'm giving serious consideration to buying a used SMG II M3, so that I'll have a better handle on my own reaction to SMG before relinquishing my E39 M5 and committing to the next M5. I understand that some significant upgrades have been made to the M3's SMG II along the way. Are these software or chip upgrades available to all SMG M3's, or must I look for specific M3 model years to get the best assessment of SMG II?

Richard
 

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Richard,
Maybe you could find a place in Atlanta that rents exotic cars and rent a SMG M3 for a week or two? It would probably be less expensive than the depreciation on a M3.

Wolverine,
Yes, in a way shifting detracts from driving. This usually occurs at the race track. As an intermediate level driver, I know that I can focus on the act of driving the correct line and applying brakes/ throttle at the right places more confidently and consistently with SMG. This makes track work easier and in some ways more enjoyable. However, I have discovered that its this constancy and precision of SMG that makes it less fun for me on the street, where I am never driving at 10/10ths and I don't need to execute heel/toe downshifts (I do rev match). There is a fun factor to SMG though, so no one can say as a universal statement that SMG is less fun than a stick shift for the street, but my own take on it, after living with SMG for many months, is it is not as much fun for me. Everyone will have to find out for themselves.
 
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