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    Thread: Autoblog: "The [F10] M5 is an impressive four-door supercar with the 7DCT, but the 6MT erases much of its fire."

    1. Banned SVTDanny's Avatar
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      10-10-2012 09:32 AM #101
      Quote Originally Posted by MCTB View Post
      Well, theres the answer. Thread over, right???
      Not yet, I'm still waiting to hear how a mis-shift on a V8 with 550ft/lbs of torque is more damaging than on an I4 with 100ft/lbs of torque.

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      10-10-2012 10:02 AM #102
      Quote Originally Posted by curvedinfinity View Post
      The MT is a US only option -- the F10 is DCT only in the rest of the world, so that scenario is what popped into my head. BMW tuned and validated the car on the DCT, and then just tossed the MT in for the US market. It works, but the rest of the car wasn't designed around it.
      The world has officially gone bat-isht crazy. The US gets the MT option...but the ROW gets DCT only?!?!?!

      Mind. Blown.
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      10-10-2012 10:10 AM #103
      Quote Originally Posted by Krazee View Post
      The world has officially gone bat-isht crazy. The US gets the MT option...but the ROW gets DCT only?!?!?!

      Mind. Blown.
      ROW is willing to change and realize that new technologies can deliver driver enjoyment and efficiency (with emphasis on the latter)
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      10-10-2012 10:21 AM #104
      Quote Originally Posted by MCTB View Post
      ROW is willing to change and realize that new technologies can deliver driver enjoyment and efficiency (with emphasis on the latter)
      I'll call mild bupkiss on that one. If anything, the US has been so enamored by tech, we are constantly looking towards new tech. We have embraced the autotrans and all its variants more than any other market, and mostly made fun of as a result. There are fewer manuals sold here than anywhere else in the world.

      If anything, our obsession with new tech has prevented us from realizing smaller, lighter, more efficient means of transports until recently.
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      10-10-2012 10:23 AM #105
      Quote Originally Posted by MCTB View Post
      ROW is willing to change and realize that new technologies can deliver driver enjoyment and efficiency (with emphasis on the latter)
      No. The fact of the matter is that until this past spring the US was BMW's largest market and we have the clout to tell them what they should produce. As everything else it boils down to money, BMW wants our money so they build what the market demands.

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      10-10-2012 10:25 AM #106
      Quote Originally Posted by stascom View Post
      The misconception of some people that manuals are needed to "ring out the power from a small engine" is getting annoying. If you don't get why people like manuals, stop saying the same stupid shti in every transmission related thread
      Actually, after 35 years of driving all kinds of cars, and owning all kinds of cars, I do believe that you need a manual to get the most power from a small engine car. In fact, I've driven small engine cars with automatics and will not buy one like that myself, as they suck too much power out of the engine. In cars like my old PT Cruiser, the automatic was nearly 4 seconds slower to 60 than the manual trans version (11.5 seconds vs just under 8 seconds). This is nto an issue with large engine cars with more torque, as teh torque converter can do it's job. I've driven and owned large engine car with automatics and they work just fine, easily matching their manual trans counterparts.

      So, yes, I'm going to continue to say that manuals are needed to wring the power out of a small engine. And will only buy manuals with small engine cars (say, under 3 liters).
      I love cars, but the problem is they are like schroedinger's hobby. They're always in a quantum superstate of being both awesome and a huge waste of time and money... until observation momentarily forces them into one state or another.

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      10-10-2012 10:26 AM #107
      Quote Originally Posted by Krazee View Post
      The world has officially gone bat-isht crazy. The US gets the MT option...but the ROW gets DCT only?!?!?!

      Mind. Blown.
      It's not limited to BMW. The S4 and S5 are no longer available in Europe with 6MTs.
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      10-10-2012 10:29 AM #108
      Quote Originally Posted by Chris_V View Post
      Actually, after 35 years of driving all kinds of cars, and owning all kinds of cars, I do believe that you need a manual to get the most power from a small engine car. In fact, I've driven small engine cars with automatics and will not buy one like that myself, as they suck too much power out of the engine. In cars like my old PT Cruiser, the automatic was nearly 4 seconds slower to 60 than the manual trans version (11.5 seconds vs just under 8 seconds). This is nto an issue with large engine cars with more torque, as teh torque converter can do it's job. I've driven and owned large engine car with automatics and they work just fine, easily matching their manual trans counterparts.

      So, yes, I'm going to continue to say that manuals are needed to wring the power out of a small engine. And will only buy manuals with small engine cars (say, under 3 liters).
      That's true. While the VR6 engine is amazing, something was definitely lost between my auto Passat and manual Corrado. My mom's 2005 Rav4 would undoubtedly be more entertaining with a 5-speed than the 3-speed auto. But I'd say my G8 was well suited with its auto - afterall, the manual GXP was only, yes only, 1sec quicker to 60mph. whoop-dee-doo.
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      10-10-2012 10:35 AM #109
      Quote Originally Posted by Chris_V View Post
      Actually, after 35 years of driving all kinds of cars, and owning all kinds of cars, I do believe that you need a manual to get the most power from a small engine car. In fact, I've driven small engine cars with automatics and will not buy one like that myself, as they suck too much power out of the engine. In cars like my old PT Cruiser, the automatic was nearly 4 seconds slower to 60 than the manual trans version (11.5 seconds vs just under 8 seconds). This is nto an issue with large engine cars with more torque, as teh torque converter can do it's job. I've driven and owned large engine car with automatics and they work just fine, easily matching their manual trans counterparts.

      So, yes, I'm going to continue to say that manuals are needed to wring the power out of a small engine. And will only buy manuals with small engine cars (say, under 3 liters).
      Modern automatics have come a long way, espeically if you consider dual clutch boxes.

      Many don't give up any performance to manuals, even with small engines.

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      10-10-2012 10:40 AM #110
      Quote Originally Posted by Krazee View Post
      I'll call mild bupkiss on that one. If anything, the US has been so enamored by tech, we are constantly looking towards new tech. We have embraced the autotrans and all its variants more than any other market, and mostly made fun of as a result. There are fewer manuals sold here than anywhere else in the world.

      If anything, our obsession with new tech has prevented us from realizing smaller, lighter, more efficient means of transports until recently.
      This is completely incorrect.

      We didn't adopt smaller, lighter, manually-shifted cars because of some technology fascination, rather it related to gas being cheap and we could afford larger, heavier, automatically-shifted cars.

      That's why the Accord and F-150 sell in huge numbers here and the VW Golf sells in huge numbers in Euroland.

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      10-10-2012 10:41 AM #111
      Quote Originally Posted by Shomegrown View Post
      Modern automatics have come a long way, espeically if you consider dual clutch boxes.

      Many don't give up any performance to manuals, even with small engines.
      I had the opportunity to drive an '11 MINI Cooper with the autobox while my '11 MINI Cooper (with manual) was having it's annual service. Absolutley horrid transmission, constantly hunting around and sucking all the life out of the car and was slower off the line by a bunch.

      Now, DCT setups are a different story. And they are getting better for small engines.

      One autobox that did surprise me in a small engine car was the one in the FR-S. Matched the power output and power delivery quite well.

      But too many of the autos in small cars, especially in economy cars, are still pretty bad.
      I love cars, but the problem is they are like schroedinger's hobby. They're always in a quantum superstate of being both awesome and a huge waste of time and money... until observation momentarily forces them into one state or another.

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      10-10-2012 10:58 AM #112
      Quote Originally Posted by patrickvr6 View Post
      No. The fact of the matter is that until this past spring the US was BMW's largest market and we have the clout to tell them what they should produce. As everything else it boils down to money, BMW wants our money so they build what the market demands.
      We also dont really care all that much about fuel efficiency and carbon emissions. You can control both much better with an auto than with a manual. Hence, in my statement I place emphasis on the efficiency argument for giving autos. They are opening up to automatics in Europe on a large scale. I just moved back from England and I saw many more autos than I did manuals. Most of the newer stuff I saw was automatic, unless it was a little 1.x liter car which was usually teamed with a manual transmission.

      We like tech here but only up to a point. If BMW offered auto only in their M5, I highly doubt that there would be a hit in sales. Especially once the word gets out in reviews that the auto, which the car was designed around, is better. Fewer and fewer people are choosing manuals in this country, and in others as well. Its just the way it is. "Clout" or not, there will be a time, and it might be beginning now, where the car designed for a high tech automatic will be better than the same car with a manual transmission. In a 4 door hipo grand tourer like the M5, a hipo auto only makes sense. Especially if the car was developed around that transmission.


      Quote Originally Posted by Chris_V View Post
      I had the opportunity to drive an '11 MINI Cooper with the autobox while my '11 MINI Cooper (with manual) was having it's annual service. Absolutley horrid transmission, constantly hunting around and sucking all the life out of the car and was slower off the line by a bunch.

      Now, DCT setups are a different story. And they are getting better for small engines.
      Small cars equal cheap cars so the money might not be there for a nice trans. I tend to agree with this. Exception being the new Focus. I wanted to like the DCT they have in it but it is absolutely terrible and sluggish. Its like it has been programmed to be the typical automatic instead of the quick shifter it wants to be.
      Last edited by MCTB; 10-10-2012 at 11:01 AM.
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      10-10-2012 11:07 AM #113
      Quote Originally Posted by MCTB View Post
      ROW is willing to change and realize that new technologies can deliver driver enjoyment and efficiency (with emphasis on the latter)
      To clarify the situation, in Europe mainstream cars have a high MT take rate, but high end cars have a very low MT take rate. Sports cars in particular have very low MT take rate compared to the US. Autos are steadily trending upwards across the board in Europe.

      The US and Australia from what I understand are the big markets for sports cars with manuals.

      Dual clutch autos are fine, but it's ridiculous to say people are wrong for liking manuals.

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      10-10-2012 11:16 AM #114
      Quote Originally Posted by curvedinfinity View Post
      but it's ridiculous to say people are wrong for liking manuals.
      Who has said that?

      Unlike the converse in every thread: saying automatics are for girls and for people who don't like to drive.
      I love cars, but the problem is they are like schroedinger's hobby. They're always in a quantum superstate of being both awesome and a huge waste of time and money... until observation momentarily forces them into one state or another.

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      10-10-2012 11:25 AM #115
      Quote Originally Posted by MrKevkevL View Post
      The thought of a world with no manuals saddens me
      It'll never happen, so cheer up, get happy that enthusiasts have more excellent affordable performance options (all of which, without exception, can be had with manuals) than we've had in the last 20 years, and don't worry too hard that $100,000 cars you'll never buy are dropping the manual option. Once the GTI, Focus ST, FR-S, Mustang GT, and Miata are not available with manuals, then you get to worry. 'Till then, simma down child.
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      10-10-2012 11:27 AM #116
      Quote Originally Posted by curvedinfinity View Post
      To clarify the situation, in Europe mainstream cars have a high MT take rate, but high end cars have a very low MT take rate. Sports cars in particular have very low MT take rate compared to the US. Autos are steadily trending upwards across the board in Europe.

      The US and Australia from what I understand are the big markets for sports cars with manuals.

      Dual clutch autos are fine, but it's ridiculous to say people are wrong for liking manuals.
      Don't project. It's the manualistas who are the ones being blatantly trollish, insulting, and dismissive of those who prefer the other transmission types, not those of us who don't mind autos in certain applications.
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      10-10-2012 11:37 AM #117
      Quote Originally Posted by curvedinfinity View Post

      Dual clutch autos are fine, but it's ridiculous to say people are wrong for liking manuals.
      Point out where I said that. I am curious. I like both but am not a "save the manuals" person. If thats what you are looking for, Im not your man. I bought my Focus with a manual because the DCT auto they offer is terrible. I like it less than the DSG and I never thought that I would say that. It was sluggish on the take up and wouldnt downshift when slowing down (like going around a corner, etc...). I could manually flip the switch up or down but whats the point in that? My first choice, since I live and commute around DC, was an automatic.

      In the M5, a 4300 pound sedan, a performance automatic developed and designed for the purpose only makes sense. So much so that that is exactly what the factory thought. BTW, the e60 was designed for an auto as well.
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      10-10-2012 11:41 AM #118
      Quote Originally Posted by Turbio! View Post
      Don't project. It's the manualistas who are the ones being blatantly trollish, insulting, and dismissive of those who prefer the other transmission types, not those of us who don't mind autos in certain applications.
      There are certain people in this thread who are saying people who like MTs are stuck in the past and I am responding to them. Personally I've bought plenty of autos, and I find the difference to be overblown. I find there is a small difference in throttle response in most cars from MT to Automatic, but otherwise it's just about whether the shift is a button or a lever.

      Quote Originally Posted by MCTB
      In the M5, a 4300 pound sedan, a performance automatic developed and designed for the purpose only makes sense. So much so that that is exactly what the factory thought. BTW, the e60 was designed for an auto as well.
      This is the type of message I believe is going too far. Who are you to say it doesn't make sense to me? It does make sense to me, and it's okay that I want something different than you.
      Last edited by curvedinfinity; 10-10-2012 at 11:45 AM.

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      10-10-2012 11:44 AM #119
      Quote Originally Posted by Krazee View Post
      The world has officially gone bat-isht crazy. The US gets the MT option...but the ROW gets DCT only?!?!?!

      Mind. Blown.
      This has been a long-standing trend. Even the last M5 was auto-only except for hte United States, where a manual transmission was offered, but the stability control on the manual model was nondefeatable and made the car slower than the automatic counterpart.

      In Europe, most hatchbacks and "utilitarian" cars are manual. There are a number of reasons for this, but a large one is that a 5-speed manual is generally the best way to live with a 1.2L engine with 78 horsepower (very common in Europe). In the U.S., even our lowest-end engines are much more powerful and can better support low-end 4-speed automatics and the like.

      However, higher end cars are increasingly only ordered automatic in Europe. I think it is partially a cultural thing -- Europeans TEND to be a liitle more open to embracing technological change. This may also be a byproduct of hte fact that the demographics of people who buy an M5 (or similar cars) are MUCH older in Europe. To be able to afford a car like an M5 in Europe, generally, you need to be a top-level executive or the equivalent. Given the country's tax rates, etc., and much more expensive fuels, you don't find too many 30-somethings blasting around in M5's. When people get older, they TEND to prefer automatics.

      IN the U.S., however, many people still cling to the image of the German guy driving his BMW 2002 around mountain roads in Austria, effortlessly shifting his manual transmission. Moreover, in the U.S., a much larger and younger demographic can afford high-end cars. I just turned 30 and I could easily afford an M5 (I don't want one, and I'd rather save some money). Such a situation is UNTHINKABLE in most of Europe unless a person inherits money. Cars like an M5 are the province almost exclusively of 60- and 70-something people who have spent their lives accumulating wealth. A demographic my age is far more likely to want to drive stick than a cohort of near-retirees, as a general principle.
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      10-10-2012 11:52 AM #120
      Quote Originally Posted by SchnellFowVay View Post
      This has been a long-standing trend. Even the last M5 was auto-only except for hte United States, where a manual transmission was offered, but the stability control on the manual model was nondefeatable and made the car slower than the automatic counterpart.
      Just a note- BMW later allowed for the stability control to be defeated, starting in 2008. They even offered a retrofit for pre-2008 models.
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      10-10-2012 11:54 AM #121
      Quote Originally Posted by curvedinfinity View Post
      This is the type of message I believe is going too far. Who are you to say it doesn't make sense to me? It does make sense to me, and it's okay that I want something different than you.
      He doesn't say it doesn't make sense to you. He said it doesn't make sense, which I read as a statement of personal opinion. He can defend himself, but it's a valid opinion.

      And it's one I agree with; there are certain cars that I do believe were designed around a certain drivetrain combination. Not many, but I think the M5 and the GT-R are two examples; the GT-R being the most extreme one, given how electronically controlled its AWD and torque management system is. The Veyron goes in that category too. Cars with a lot of weight, generous dimensions, and very high performance are commonly, in my observation, engineered with automatic transmissions from the get-go. And I imagine the reason for that is that they would be less able to access their performance limits with a human doing the shifting, or less pleasant and tractable to drive, as the review that kicked off this thread mentioned.

      But it's also a question of who buys them, as well...
      Last edited by Turbio!; 10-10-2012 at 11:57 AM.
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      10-10-2012 12:00 PM #122
      Quote Originally Posted by Turbio! View Post
      He doesn't say it doesn't make sense to you. He said it doesn't make sense, which I read as a statement of personal opinion. He can defend himself, but it's a valid opinion.

      And it's one I agree with; there are certain cars that I do believe were designed around a certain drivetrain combination. Not many, but I think the M5 and the GT-R are two examples; the GT-R being the most extreme one, given how electronically controlled its AWD and torque management system is. The Veyron goes in that category too. Cars with a lot of weight, generous dimensions, and very high performance are commonly, in my observation, engineered with automatic transmissions from the get-go.

      But it's also a question of who buys them, as well...
      I understand where you're coming from. The GT-R is one car I would rather have the auto in (versus a theoretical MT), because as you said, the auto is an integral part of the electronics package.

      However, you CAN engineer a MT into an effective electronics package. The PTM system on the Corvette, ZL1, and CTS-V are a good example of this. The ZL1 in particular has what is in my opinion the best MT performance electronics system to date.

      That BMW chose not to was a choice of resource allocation, not some law of physics.

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      10-10-2012 12:02 PM #123
      Quote Originally Posted by curvedinfinity View Post
      This is the type of message I believe is going too far. Who are you to say it doesn't make sense to me? It does make sense to me, and it's okay that I want something different than you.
      Who decided that I should only have a couple of colors available and all options should be packaged together and not available individually on the new Jetta? The factory did. Who decided that a quick, technologically advanced transmission should be programmed to mimic a converter type? Ford did. Who decided that a 7 speed, DCT was the right transmission for a high performance sedan and believed in it so much that they designed the car around it? BMW did. Is that me going too far or the manufacturer going too far?

      Its okay to want something different. This thread was never about that. It was about a high performance offering being better with a automatic than with a manual and the factory spec'ing it that way. It merely went down the path of "dont tell me which is better driving" that each and every single TCL thread inevitably goes down.
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      10-10-2012 12:04 PM #124
      Quote Originally Posted by MCTB View Post
      Who decided that I should only have a couple of colors available and all options should be packaged together and not available individually on the new Jetta? The factory did. Who decided that a quick, technologically advanced transmission should be programmed to mimic a converter type? Ford did. Who decided that a 7 speed, DCT was the right transmission for a high performance sedan and believed in it so much that they designed the car around it? BMW did. Is that me going too far or the manufacturer going too far?

      Its okay to want something different. This thread was never about that. It was about a high performance offering being better with a automatic than with a manual and the factory spec'ing it that way. It merely went down the path of "dont tell me which is better driving" that each and every single TCL thread inevitably goes down.
      What this is really about is some people apologizing for BMW's slapped together MT solution by saying all dual clutch autos are better than all manual transmissions for cars exactly like the M5. I disagree. I have a hunch BMW didn't put the MT through their normal product development cycle because they figured the take rate wouldn't be high enough to justify it.

      My opinion is this shouldn't be a cascading set of assumptions that because the BMW M5's MT isn't what it could be, that all big cars need an automatic.
      Last edited by curvedinfinity; 10-10-2012 at 12:07 PM.

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      10-10-2012 12:07 PM #125
      Quote Originally Posted by Chris_V View Post
      Actually, after 35 years of driving all kinds of cars, and owning all kinds of cars, I do believe that you need a manual to get the most power from a small engine car. In fact, I've driven small engine cars with automatics and will not buy one like that myself, as they suck too much power out of the engine. In cars like my old PT Cruiser, the automatic was nearly 4 seconds slower to 60 than the manual trans version (11.5 seconds vs just under 8 seconds). This is nto an issue with large engine cars with more torque, as teh torque converter can do it's job. I've driven and owned large engine car with automatics and they work just fine, easily matching their manual trans counterparts.

      So, yes, I'm going to continue to say that manuals are needed to wring the power out of a small engine. And will only buy manuals with small engine cars (say, under 3 liters).
      Despite being a manual "apologist" I would say this problem is not as pervasive as it once was. For example, our 2.3 liter automatic Mazda 3 is pretty decent despite not having a manual. I do think a manual would be better, but it doesn't feel like the automatic is sapping the power. I think we can thank the fact that most modern automatics have more ratios and that most compact cars are more powerful today than they were, say, 10-15 years ago.

      I agree with the PT Cruiser, we had one as a company car and the transmission was atrocious. It was slow and had very poor fuel economy because you needed to thrash it go anywhere.

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