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Old 11-26-2008, 02:03 PM   #1
AVANTI R5
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Default Shifty 2009 BMW M3 Dual-Clutch Transmission




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I’ve just spent a week in a BMW M3 with the much-anticipated M-DCT dual clutch automated manual transmission, and although it’s impressive for what it is, I can’t help but feel that for all the hype about this technology, it’s ultimately not as satisfying as a traditional manual or even a good automatic.

The M-DCT, and dual-clutch transmission in general, is just the type of thing to dazzle automotive writers. There’s the excitement of a new technology and impressive stats to throw around. (For instance, the M-DCT cuts 0.2 second off the M3’s 0-to-60 time!) Carmakers often show them off at a racetrack—yes!—where writers can indulge their race driver fantasies, particularly since their laps aren’t timed.

And it’s true, on a track, or even cranking along some empty, winding road, the paddle-shifted manuals are fun, with their instantaneous response, uninterrupted power flow, and rev-matched downshifts. But in real-world use, they’re less endearing. They’re slow to engage when shifting into reverse or first, and they’re not smooth when moving off from a stop.

So they’re not as polished as an automatic. And when you’re not attacking some canyon road or diving into the corkscrew at Laguna Seca, it kind of feels dopey paddle-shifting your way around the access road at the mall. It’s like wearing a Nomex suit to go to the grocery store. Particularly when you just need to pop the lever over into Drive, and the gearbox will shift for you.

With a real manual, you never get that ridiculous feeling—because you have to shift—and the act of shifting itself is also more involving, so you get the subtle, almost subconscious, satisfaction of doing something well. Sure, I’m happy to drive a dual-clutch gearbox on my next foray onto a track. But give me a real manual or a traditional automatic for those times when I’m leaving the Nomex at home
http://blogs.automobilemag.com/63626...ion/index.html
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Old 11-26-2008, 02:38 PM   #2
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hmm, id have to agree 100% with that article... If im just trying to enjoy a nice twisty road at my leisure, I would get MUCH more satisfaction from rowing my own gears and rev matching correctly... On the track, its obvious the DCT is the way to go.
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Old 11-27-2008, 09:42 AM   #3
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It seems that BMW are one of the only companies that understand that pulling back on the shift knob should go up a gear...

Every other manufacturer seems to think that you should push the shifter forwards to go up a gear... Not all that intuitive imo...
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Old 11-27-2008, 01:50 PM   #4
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^you make a very good point
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Old 11-29-2008, 06:15 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by jigga View Post
It seems that BMW are one of the only companies that understand that pulling back on the shift knob should go up a gear...

Every other manufacturer seems to think that you should push the shifter forwards to go up a gear... Not all that intuitive imo...
most of those are the fake, automatic transmissions with "sport" shifters.
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Old 11-29-2008, 11:58 AM   #6
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Don't all dual-clutch transmissions typically have a Drive setting that works just like a regular automatic? Only they shift faster and downshift better than a slushbox. So how exactly is a regular automatic better than that? Sounds pretty biased to me.
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Old 11-29-2008, 01:51 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Skunkers View Post
Don't all dual-clutch transmissions typically have a Drive setting that works just like a regular automatic? Only they shift faster and downshift better than a slushbox. So how exactly is a regular automatic better than that? Sounds pretty biased to me.
Apparently starting from a stop is more jerky with a DSG box than an auto. I never had the problem when I test drove a DSG GTI.
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Old 11-29-2008, 05:58 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Capt Crunch View Post
Apparently starting from a stop is more jerky with a DSG box than an auto. I never had the problem when I test drove a DSG GTI.
I have to call BS as well. I've driven my brother's DSG equipped Audi A3 numerous times and it's butter smooth and much better than any normal automatic I've ever driven.
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Old 11-29-2008, 09:16 PM   #9
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i don't care if it's dsg, dual clutch, pdk, paddle shift, whatever..i just want a regular 3 pedal set and a true manual shifter
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Old 11-30-2008, 02:44 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghosthound View Post
If im just trying to enjoy a nice twisty road at my leisure, I would get MUCH more satisfaction from rowing my own gears and rev matching correctly...
Agreed. A computer and a fancy gearbox may be able to change gears at the speed of light but you’ll get no satisfaction out of it, at least I don’t. One of the things I’m with Clarkson on.
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Old 11-30-2008, 06:23 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jigga View Post
It seems that BMW are one of the only companies that understand that pulling back on the shift knob should go up a gear...

Every other manufacturer seems to think that you should push the shifter forwards to go up a gear... Not all that intuitive imo...
Actually the new Evo's dual clutch is the same way, pull +, push -.
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Old 11-30-2008, 06:41 PM   #12
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Before we knock it...how's the manual in the new M3?

The getrag in the E46 is an abomination.

That's right, an abomination.
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Old 11-30-2008, 07:09 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by doylfish View Post
i don't care if it's dsg, dual clutch, pdk, paddle shift, whatever..i just want a regular 3 pedal set and a true manual shifter
This. I love driving stick.
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