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View Full Version : Dealer says $500 "SPORT Transmission" option adds just the paddle shifters. True?


xsi123
10-23-2010, 11:20 AM
According to a dealer that I visited today, the $500 "8-Speed SPORT Automatic Transmission" option on a 550i xDrive gives you just the paddle shifters on the steering wheel compared to the standard "8-Speed Automatic transmission". He said it is exactly the same transmission. Both have Adaptive Transmission Control (ATC). There is no difference.

Is this true?

If they are different transmissions, does anyone has the gear ratios?

pharding
10-23-2010, 11:24 AM
No.

jimefam
10-23-2010, 11:31 AM
According to a dealer that I visited today, the $500 "8-Speed SPORT Automatic Transmission" option on a 550i xDrive gives you just the paddle shifters on the steering wheel compared to the standard "8-Speed Automatic transmission". He said it is exactly the same transmission. Both have Adaptive Transmission Control (ATC). There is no difference.

Is this true?

If they are different transmissions, does anyone has the gear ratios?

From my understanding they are in fact the same transmission. But the SPORT Automatic has more agressive programming so it should hold you in gear longer and shift faster. Absolutely worth the $500 if you want the sportiest possible.

cmorv
10-23-2010, 11:56 AM
Same transmission, just the paddles are added.

markl53
10-23-2010, 12:03 PM
No, it has 8 gears but is programmed differently with faster shifts, as mentioned above, according to literature.

DXK
10-23-2010, 12:35 PM
I am never able to understand why some dealers refuse to learn about the product they're selling.

Kamdog
10-23-2010, 01:06 PM
Not for nothing, but, well, both of you seem to be right.

It is the same transmission.

It is programmed differently.

Sounds pretty much like your typical Steptronic transmission, D is programmed differently from DS, yet, it is the same transmission.

Now, I am not saying that the SAT is simply a Step with DS mode on all the time, but, I am saying it could very well be the same physical transmission with different programming.

jimefam
10-23-2010, 01:31 PM
Not for nothing, but, well, both of you seem to be right.

It is the same transmission.

It is programmed differently.

Sounds pretty much like your typical Steptronic transmission, D is programmed differently from DS, yet, it is the same transmission.

Now, I am not saying that the SAT is simply a Step with DS mode on all the time, but, I am saying it could very well be the same physical transmission with different programming.

It's the exact same transmission. Kind of like the new m5 is gonna be the same as the 550i but tuned.

nealh
10-23-2010, 01:36 PM
gear shift looks different as well

DXK
10-23-2010, 01:38 PM
Okay guys, for the last time, here is what sport auto does:
It tightens the steering, effects throttle respons (makes it faster), and speeds up transmission shift points.

richschneid
10-23-2010, 02:26 PM
From what I read the sport transmission also shifts faster. I would have to do a direct comparison back to back and decide. I can say the sport transmission on my car shifts much, much faster then the steptronic on my 650i even with my 650i set to "sport" which did change the shift points and the throttle response as well. It might not be just the programming but might also be different clutches in the standard 8 speed ZF and the sport version. There was a good write up on the new ZF 8 speed in one of the car magazines last spring or summer.

richschneid
10-23-2010, 02:29 PM
Okay guys, for the last time, here is what sport auto does:
It tightens the steering, effects throttle respons (makes it faster), and speeds up transmission shift points.

I think the DHP even without the sport transmission changes the throttle response, the shift points, and the steering effort in the different modes. I think the sport auto tramission just adds the paddles and shifts faster.

Here's the link to the December 2009 article:

http://www.caranddriver.com/features/09q4/zf_s_8-speed_automatic_transmission-tech_dept

The box at the bottom indicates there are three options in the mechanics of three different versions. One has a "wet multiplate clutch pack" which "minimizes shift times" which is used in high performance vehicles. I think this may be the difference between the standard and sport automatic. The sport automatic on the F10 may have the wet plate clutch package which shifts faster than the standard 8 speed.

markl53
10-23-2010, 02:35 PM
Okay guys, for the last time, here is what sport auto does:
It tightens the steering, effects throttle respons (makes it faster), and speeds up transmission shift points.

I don't think the sport transmission alone affects the steering or throttle response, have you read this specifically somewhere? That's the job of DHP.

DXK
10-23-2010, 02:43 PM
what I said is true; i've read technical papers and made an extensive research. By the way, the sport tranny on e60 does similar thing.
I also found an extensive discussion on the subject here:

http://f10.5post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=416668

raleedy
10-23-2010, 02:47 PM
There are more buttons and switches, too. Not just the paddle shifters. The Sport Auto includes the control on the center console to the left of the shifter. (Of course, if you order the Dynamic Handling Package, it comes with the same switch).

DXK
10-23-2010, 02:58 PM
There are more buttons and switches, too. Not just the paddle shifters. The Sport Auto includes the control on the center console to the left of the shifter. (Of course, if you order the Dynamic Handling Package, it comes with the same switch).

Correct. It activates the sport mode which tightens the steering and accelerator responses even more. And when you have DHP they work together

pharding
10-23-2010, 03:20 PM
According to a dealer that I visited today, the $500 "8-Speed SPORT Automatic Transmission" option on a 550i xDrive gives you just the paddle shifters on the steering wheel compared to the standard "8-Speed Automatic transmission". He said it is exactly the same transmission. Both have Adaptive Transmission Control (ATC). There is no difference.

Is this true?

If they are different transmissions, does anyone has the gear ratios?
Sport Automatic Transmission is well worth while.

cmorv
10-23-2010, 03:36 PM
The paddle shifters, only add the ability to shift with the paddles, that all you get for your $500!

Kamdog
10-23-2010, 04:36 PM
Okay guys, for the last time, here is what sport auto does:
It tightens the steering, effects throttle respons (makes it faster), and speeds up transmission shift points.

(Geeez, you're gonna hate me for this.)

No. I does not EFFECT throttle response. Not at all.


It might AFFECT throttle response, but it does not Effect throttle response.

Thank You
(the linguistic police)

You are now returned to your regular programming.

richschneid
10-23-2010, 05:01 PM
The paddle shifters, only add the ability to shift with the paddles, that all you get for your $500!

I love the paddle shifters. When I'm driving hard and fast in the twisties I can downshift or upshift without having to take my hands off the steering wheel or even reposition them. In addition, if I shift the car when it's in Drive it will automatically revert to drive in several seconds. If I put the tranmission into manual mode it will hold the gear until I shift out of it. To me this is just fantastic engineering with the enthusiast driver in mind. To be able to do that for only $500 is amazing.

The analysis by DXK is excellent and explains exactly why no one should judge the steering or sportiness for exthusiasts unless they include DHP, sport transmission, sport package AND integral active steering in the car they are referring to. The fact that the sport tranmission also increases steering effort is something I didn't know and factors into an accurate analysis. In addition, one should also factor into the analysis the fact that on the xDrive cars like mine, in which IAS is not available, the hydralic steering is also different than the electric version.

My car has hydralic steering, DHP, sport transmission and the sport package. Maybe that's why I think BMW has made a car with decent steering "feedback" for the enthusiast while other vocal members of this website do not. I'll bet the "feedback" will be even better if I replace the grand touring all season tires with max performance summer Potenza RFTs next spring.

I do not think BMW has lost it's commitment to the traditional BMW enthusiast. I think the sophisticated analysis on this thread is just further evidence for this. I just can't imagine switching to a different brand. Perhaps those who don't like the steering on the F10 don't really understand what BMW has made available to F10 buyers who want an enthusiast's automobile. I guess we all need to be sophisticated buyers in addition to being enthusiastic drivers. Clearly the salesmen who sell these cars can never understand them the way we do. :thumbup:

richschneid
10-23-2010, 05:04 PM
(Geeez, you're gonna hate me for this.)

No. I does not EFFECT throttle response. Not at all.


It might AFFECT throttle response, but it does not Effect throttle response.

Thank You
(the linguistic police)

You are now returned to your regular programming.

That's why I LOVE NEW YORK and can't wait to return home. Seriously. I really mean that. I don't "hate" you for that. If anything quite the opposite. :thumbup:

DXK
10-23-2010, 05:22 PM
(Geeez, you're gonna hate me for this.)

No. I does not EFFECT throttle response. Not at all.


It might AFFECT throttle response, but it does not Effect throttle response.

Thank You
(the linguistic police)

You are now returned to your regular programming.

Sorry. It's Saturday night and I entertain people at my place, so I am lucky I can string words together that have any meaning :)

DXK
10-23-2010, 05:24 PM
It's actually BMW's fault that customers are confused; they need to be more descriptive about the features.

richschneid
10-23-2010, 06:57 PM
It's actually BMW's fault that customers are confused; they need to be more descriptive about the features.

Maybe that's why customer's are confused, but the automotive press also has a responsibility to understand the features and explain them to their readers. What explains the confusion of automotive reporters and writers?

jimefam
10-23-2010, 07:42 PM
Maybe that's why customer's are confused, but the automotive press also has a responsibility to understand the features and explain them to their readers. What explains the confusion of automotive reporters and writers?

Lets not turn this into another steering thread, but its the reviewers responsibility to only express an opinion about what is given to them to test drive. Its not for them to assume any perceived issue will be resolved by something that wasn't given to them to test. That's like a restaurant critic he can only critique what he is served not whats on the menu. That is the nature of reviews and why they are not reliable.

Kamdog
10-23-2010, 07:52 PM
Lets not turn this into another steering thread, but its the reviewers responsibility to only express an opinion about what is given to them to test drive. Its not for them to assume any perceived issue will be resolved by something that wasn't given to them to test. That's like a restaurant critic he can only critique what he is served not whats on the menu. That is the nature of reviews and why they are not reliable.

+1

Especially with the way BMW (and no others come to mind) allows you to pick exactly what you are looking for. Do you want a luxo sporty cruiser? Do you want a sporty luxury car? Your choice of options takes you from adequately powered, well featured luxury, all the way to rip snorting, 450 lb-ft torque monster that shifts in a flash, flattens out curves, and can cut and thrust like a car weighing a thousand pounds less.

Who else offers that range in choice?

jimefam
10-23-2010, 07:59 PM
Try optioning a Porsche!

markl53
10-23-2010, 08:30 PM
There are more buttons and switches, too. Not just the paddle shifters. The Sport Auto includes the control on the center console to the left of the shifter. (Of course, if you order the Dynamic Handling Package, it comes with the same switch).

Interesting. I don't think I knew about the sport switch being included with the sport transmission, unless I missed that somewhere along the way. So are we saying for $500 you get a "watered down" version of full-blown DHP along with the paddle shifters and modified transmission profile? Hmm, I might have given more thought to investing in that option had I realized it would give some control over the driving dynamics. Oh but wait, I think you need at least the basic sport package to get the sport trans.

jimefam
10-23-2010, 09:08 PM
Yes the Sports Auto gives you the toggle switch that has Normal, Sport, and Sport +. DHP gives you comfort setting but your right you need to order the sports package with the Sports trans so it would be $2700.

xsi123
10-24-2010, 05:51 AM
So...... I plan to order the M Sport package which includes (among other stuff): Dynamic Damper Control, Adaptive Drive and Active Roll Stabilization. This gives me the Normal/Sport buttons on the center console.

Based on the answers here and reading elsewhere, the $500 Sport transmission will give me:
- 1) The paddle shifters (everybody agrees on that)
- 2) Maybe... one more option in the Normal/Sport switch (Comfort option?)
- 3) Maybe with the Sport transmission the system adjusts the accelerator and steering column
- 4) Different programming on the transmission to shift higher on some modes but it is the same transmission. I guess currently it is not possible to program the transmission at a later time.
- 5) A different looking shift stick (based on bmwusa.com, when you configure the 550 xDive and select the sport transmission option you will see that the shift stick changes, even if you already have selected the Sport or M Sport package)

I just wish BMW somehow made all this more clear....

Having said all that, I am more that willing to pay the extra $500 on a $65K+ car just to get whatever I get with this option providing that there is no downside of having it. My only problem is the paddle shifters. 1) I don't like how they look on this car (definitely personal thing) and b) (another personal thing and this might sound strange) the way I hold the steering wheel and because I have long fingers, these paddle shifters are always on the way even when I don't want to use them.

Anyway.. it looks like I need to do a little bit more research on this and maybe find a knowledgeable dealer that has a definite answer.

DXK
10-24-2010, 06:42 AM
Just FYI: When I need an answer to some technical questions related to BMW performance, feature, or any issue like HPFP, I arrange to see a foreman at the dealership and usually get good answers. I prefer to deal with a dealership which has pleasant sales and knowledgeable service departments.

cmorv
10-24-2010, 06:44 AM
I too have ordered a 535i M-Sport. All the "Sport" functions come with this option, except the ability to shift from the wheel. If you have the M-Sport option, for an extra $500 you get ONLY the paddles, and no other "Sport" function.

pharding
10-24-2010, 07:01 AM
I too have ordered a 535i M-Sport. All the "Sport" functions come with this option, except the ability to shift from the wheel. If you have the M-Sport option, for an extra $500 you get ONLY the paddles, and no other "Sport" function.

That is not correct for the non-M-Sport cars. You get as a minimum improved transmission response in addition to the paddle shifters.

BMW should explain explain how the sport stuff works together, including the M-Sport suspensions in Europe and the US.

cmorv
10-24-2010, 07:08 AM
You might be correct, I was only stating what the option provides on car with the full sport package or the m-sport package.

DXK
10-24-2010, 07:21 AM
I too have ordered a 535i M-Sport. All the "Sport" functions come with this option, except the ability to shift from the wheel. If you have the M-Sport option, for an extra $500 you get ONLY the paddles, and no other "Sport" function.

Msport or not makes no difference. Why do you insist on posting incorrect info? You're confusing those who are trying to make an educated choice whether to order this option.
At least refer to your owners manual under dynamic drive around p98.

cmorv
10-24-2010, 08:25 AM
Incorrect Info!! Pease; The "Driving Dynamic Control", part of the "DHP" option controls the transmission. From the 5 series Brochure, page 34, "adjust shock firmness, engine throttle response, transmission shift characteristics and power steering assist". You MUST order this option to get the "true" sport auto, not the paddles only. It is possiple to order the paddles, that require the basic sport package, without ordering the "DHP" option. This will NOT give you the sport characteristics of the transmission. If you order either the "DHP" or "M-Sport" option without the paddles, you still get the "Sport" transmission. FIRE AWAY!!

jimefam
10-24-2010, 08:34 AM
Incorrect Info!! Pease; The "Driving Dynamic Control", part of the "DHP" option controls the transmission. From the 5 series Brochure, page 34, "adjust shock firmness, engine throttle response, transmission shift characteristics and power steering assist". You MUST order this option to get the "true" sport auto, not the paddles only. It is possiple to order the paddles, that require the basic sport package, without ordering the "DHP" option. This will NOT give you the sport characteristics of the transmission. If you order either the "DHP" or "M-Sport" option without the paddles, you still get the "Sport" transmission. FIRE AWAY!!

Your Wrong. If you order Msport you get the Sports package and the DHP. But you dont get the Sports Auto transmission that still remains a $500 option which if not chosen will net the regular eight speed with the slower shifting. Build one on BMWUSA.com and test this yourself.

pharding
10-24-2010, 08:34 AM
From the BMW NA web site. http://www.bmwusa.com/Standard/Content/vehicles/2011/5/550isedan/ModelHighlights/550iSedanPerformance.aspx?enc=CKZrCA0nnDmXbbHTspjw vg==

Sport Automatic Transmission
Enjoy quick, comfortable gearshifts, using the gear selector lever or steering wheel-mounted gearshift paddles. The close spacing of the eight gears optimizes acceleration while improving efficiency and shift comfort.

Adaptive Drive
Part of the Dynamic Handling Package, Adaptive Drive combines performance-elevating Active Roll Stabilization (ARS) and ride-enhancing Dynamic Damping Control (DDC). With ARS, active stabilizers at the front and rear axles significantly reduce body roll. You experience greater contact with the road when cornering, and your passengers enjoy a more level ride.

Integral Active Steering
With Integral Active Steering, at speeds up to 30 mph, a small turn of the steering wheel yields a greater turn of the front wheels for more direct response. It also steers the rear wheels up 2.5 degrees in the opposite direction, giving the effect of a shortened wheelbase for enhanced maneuverability. When changing lanes at speeds over 50 mph, both front and rear wheels turn in the same direction, giving the feel of an extended wheelbase. While you experience greater responsiveness and directional stability, your passengers enjoy greater ride comfort from reduced body roll.

xsi123
10-24-2010, 08:53 AM
I don't know if that says anything but here is the link to the owners manual:

http://pdfservicemanual.com/automotive/2011-bmw-5-series-528i-535i-550i-f10-sedan-owners-manual?dcdnd=2011-bmw-5-series-Sedan-owners-manual.pdf

There is only one place that the Sports Automatic Transmission is listed individually and that is to explain the paddle shifters (page 68). Everywhere else, the Sports Automatic Transmission is listed together with the standard Automatic Transmission.

So... if you keep in mind that in order to get the Sports Automatic transmission, you need either the M-Sport package or the Sport package (and you can also add with the Sports package the Dynamic Handling Package to get all the DDC, ARS etc...), it looks like in terms of options the $500 Sports Automatic Transmission it give you just the paddle shifters and nothing else...

unless...

it is still unclear if the transmission is programed differently as it is suggested on the BMW site (pharding's latest comment). To me, it looks like more marketing stuff but maybe I am wrong.

pharding
10-24-2010, 08:54 AM
The transmission is programmed differently.

abmwc
10-24-2010, 11:22 AM
Your Wrong. If you order Msport you get the Sports package and the DHP. But you dont get the Sports Auto transmission that still remains a $500 option which if not chosen will net the regular eight speed with the slower shifting. Build one on BMWUSA.com and test this yourself.
So even w/ the M-sport pkg on a 550i xdrive I have to have paddle shifters to get Sport AT? And this is different from the Sport mode on the "8-speed automatic transmission with Sport and Manual shift modes and Adaptive Transmission Control (ATC)"?

Thanks,
abmwc

pharding
10-24-2010, 11:26 AM
yes and yes.

cmorv
10-24-2010, 11:56 AM
xsi123, I'm in agreement with you 100%. Marketing only, the DHP package is all you need for the "Sport" transmission.

pharding
10-24-2010, 12:00 PM
The manual is not comprehensive in describing what is in the car's software which is continually changing. SAT is a great must have option. It is more than $500 paddle shifters.

cmorv
10-24-2010, 12:14 PM
Agree, BMW does not make it very clear, could there be different software with the paddles, regardless if you order "DHP" or not? This is the question that is proving difficult to get a clear answer.

DXK
10-24-2010, 12:18 PM
Some of you guys are really dense. But as long as you can affort the $70k car it shouldn't matter.
Enjoy $500 paddle shifters which is part of DHP and add nothing :)

markl53
10-24-2010, 12:44 PM
Some of you guys are really dense. But as long as you can affort the $70k car it shouldn't matter.
Enjoy $500 paddle shifters which is part of DHP and add nothing :)

Dude, you're simply wrong. The paddles are tied to the sport transmission. Period. The sport transmission is not a standard feature of DHP. The 535i with DHP still comes with 6-spd stick standard. You have to add either the regular steptronic (without paddles) or the sport auto trans (with paddles) to go to automatic transmission. The choice is yours, $0 for the regular steptronic and no paddles, or $500 for the sport trans with paddles.

jimefam
10-24-2010, 12:47 PM
He was being sarcastic.

markl53
10-24-2010, 12:51 PM
He was being sarcastic.

Oh. :eek:

cmorv
10-24-2010, 01:08 PM
Paddles shifters are not part of the DHP package. You can get paddles, with or without DHP, and some people here believe you get the "sport" function regardless of DHP. I don't know, but the "sport" functions of the DHP and the "sport" 8-speed transmission, with or without the paddle option are very confusing. BMW marketing should have been clearer with this one.

Stanesq
10-24-2010, 01:25 PM
Dude, you're simply wrong. The paddles are tied to the sport transmission. Period. The sport transmission is not a standard feature of DHP. The 535i with DHP still comes with 6-spd stick standard. You have to add either the regular steptronic (without paddles) or the sport auto trans (with paddles) to go to automatic transmission. The choice is yours, $0 for the regular steptronic and no paddles, or $500 for the sport trans with paddles.

I ordered the MSport package which I was told gives me the Sport Transmission. The Sport Paddles are just an alternative way to shift if I dont feel like using the shifter.

That is what I was told by the dealer I ordered from as well as two others where I have posed the question.

cmorv
10-24-2010, 01:26 PM
Thank you!

wenw80
10-31-2010, 11:16 AM
Just took delivery of my 535i with sports package and sports auto transmission (no dhp), here is some more confirmation and questions:

It includes paddle shifters as well as the buttons next to the shifter (normal, sport, sport+)

questions:

can't tell the difference between using the shifter knob to put into sports mode vs using the buttons to put into sports mode. Can someone clarify?

W

DXK
10-31-2010, 12:22 PM
If I understand your question correctly, here is how it works: The tranny has a regular auto mode and a manual mode, so if you pull the shifter to the right you enagage a manual mode and can then use the shifter or paddles to change gears. The buttons change the driving dynamics, they tighten the steering and throttle response, but not the suspenssion. I don't have the car, so someone can verify if it's correct.

cmorv
10-31-2010, 01:34 PM
I notice no difference between useing the "sport" button, in the default setting, or moving the gear lever to DS "mode". They seem to have the same sport characteristics of throttle response and gear selection.

richschneid
10-31-2010, 01:39 PM
If I understand your question correctly, here is how it works: The tranny has a regular auto mode and a manual mode, so if you pull the shifter to the right you enagage a manual mode and can then use the shifter or paddles to change gears. The buttons change the driving dynamics, they tighten the steering and throttle response, but not the suspenssion. I don't have the car, so someone can verify if it's correct.

It is more complicated than that. You can use the paddles with the shifter in the normal position or in the left position. The car will automatically shift back to the D setting after a few seconds if not shifted again. If you put the shifter in the left position the trans will hold the gear indefinitely after a shift with either the shifer or the paddles. It also affects the steering and throttle response and shift points. There are so many combinations and permutations that I haven't figured them all out yet. But they are so intuitive and driver friendly for sporty driving that I am continually impressed.

BTW, the sport tranmission also has some different internals that make it shift faster.

richschneid
10-31-2010, 01:47 PM
I notice no difference between useing the "sport" button, in the default setting, or moving the gear lever to DS "mode". They seem to have the same sport characteristics of throttle response and gear selection.

I don't think putting the shifter into DS mode will change the steering effort or suspension setting. I can have my car in "comfort" mode for the steering and suspension and still put the transmission into DS mode. Then I get the higher shift points and more rapid throttle response and still have the lighter steering and softer ride.

This car really allows the driver to choose all these different combinations depending on the situation. Sometimes driving around the city I want the softer suspension and lighter steering at the same time that I want the higher shift points and more rapid throttle response. The BMW engineers understand this and make it all driver selectable. It is just amazing. In addition the steering is speed sesitive for ratio and assist in all the other settings. I don't think anything offered by any other manufacturer is anywhere close to this.

Rafa
10-31-2010, 02:04 PM
This car really allows the driver to choose all these different combinations depending on the situation. Sometimes driving around the city I want the softer suspension and lighter steering at the same time that I want the higher shift points and more rapid throttle response. The BMW engineers understand this and make it all driver selectable. It is just amazing. In addition the steering is speed sesitive for ratio and assist in all the other settings. I don't think anything offered by any other manufacturer is anywhere close to this.

+1. and the more you use your car and experiment with its settings, the more flexibility and choice you will discover and have at your fingertips. The F10 is truly an amazing, state of the art production car.

Needsdecaf
10-31-2010, 06:35 PM
I am glad that this is as confusing for everyone else. I drove a 535i Sport, no DHP or Sport auto trans...but it had the selection buttons next to the shifter. The sales guy tried to tell me they were for the suspension...

richschneid
10-31-2010, 07:13 PM
I am glad that this is as confusing for everyone else. I drove a 535i Sport, no DHP or Sport auto trans...but it had the selection buttons next to the shifter. The sales guy tried to tell me they were for the suspension...

I think when buying a BMW never listen to the "sales guy". One really has to do one's own research. I would start with the "build your own" on the BMW website www.bmwusa.com.

dadesidon
10-31-2010, 07:13 PM
i have owned both a sport automatic and STEPTRONIC automatic car. The transmissions are different. The STEPTRONIC is much smoother than the SAT, but the SAT certainly shifts more aggressively. I think that the fuel economy on STEPTRONIC is slightly better than the SAT (though that may be because of driving style as I haven't gone through enough miles).

my $.02

richschneid
10-31-2010, 07:19 PM
i have owned both a sport automatic and STEPTRONIC automatic car. The transmissions are different. The STEPTRONIC is much smoother than the SAT, but the SAT certainly shifts more aggressively. I think that the fuel economy on STEPTRONIC is slightly better than the SAT (though that may be because of driving style as I haven't gone through enough miles).

my $.02

I have had several STEPTRONIC BMW cars. I think the 8 speed ZF auto is by far smoother than the previous 6 speed steptronic. And I have the sport transmission version. In DRIVE mode the sport auto is not agressive at all and is as smooth as silk. Have you owned the new 8 speed ZF sport automatic? This is the only "sport automatic" available on the F10. Any previous "sport automatic" you may have owned on prior BMWs is a completely different transmission.

The ZF 8 speed on the 2011 F10 has never been available on any BMW previously except for the 2010 12 cylinder 760Li. The 2010 750i and Li had the old 6 speed Steptronic similar to the one on my 2006 650i and the E60 5 series. To the best of my knowlege these transmissions had a sport mode but not an optional "sport transmission".

Here's the link to a technical write up on the new ZF 8 speed transmission from the December, 2009 issue of Car and Driver.

http://www.caranddriver.com/features/09q4/zf_s_8-speed_automatic_transmission-tech_dept

The sport automatic has a distinct "wet plate clutch pak" that is used in performance cars, which I assume is what you get for the extra $500 in addition to the paddle shifters.

Needsdecaf
11-01-2010, 10:20 AM
I think when buying a BMW never listen to the "sales guy". One really has to do one's own research. I would start with the "build your own" on the BMW website www.bmwusa.com.

Yes, but even that is confusing. The 535 I drove that time had Sport, no DHP, no sport auto trans...but had the selection buttons next to the shifter. I knew not to listen to the sales guy, but between the build sheet, the manual and the literature, it's still confusing.

I looked at a 528 this morning. Sport, no DHP, had sport auto and had the selection buttons. So what exactly do they do? Put the transmission in sport mode (same as moving the lever from D to S?0 and lower the threshold on the stability control? It has no IAS, so what else could it affect?

Needsdecaf
11-01-2010, 10:24 AM
The sport automatic has a distinct "wet plate clutch pak" that is used in performance cars, which I assume is what you get for the extra $500 in addition to the paddle shifters.

i do not believe that the BMW's get this clutch pack (in place of a torque converter) in this transmission. The only one I have heard of who is using this element is MB.

cmorv
11-01-2010, 10:35 AM
I agree, you do not get "wet clutch plate pak", when you order the paddles. For $500, you get the Paddles only. No different than moving the gear lever to DS mode AND shifting manually with the gear shifter. Same results as using the paddles. It is more a personal perference on how you want to shift manually; gear shift or paddle shift.

Needsdecaf
11-01-2010, 11:24 AM
I agree, you do not get "wet clutch plate pak", when you order the paddles. For $500, you get the Paddles only. No different than moving the gear lever to DS mode AND shifting manually with the gear shifter. Same results as using the paddles. It is more a personal perference on how you want to shift manually; gear shift or paddle shift.

As others have said, I do not believe that to be true.

MooseF10
11-01-2010, 01:05 PM
I ordered the MSport package which I was told gives me the Sport Transmission. The Sport Paddles are just an alternative way to shift if I dont feel like using the shifter.

That is what I was told by the dealer I ordered from as well as two others where I have posed the question.


Careful listening to your dealer. I have an M Sport on the way and it does not include the sport trans. Sport Trans is still a $500 option with the M Sport pkg. Nowhere does it list the M Sport pkg including the paddle shifters and sport transmission programing.

cmorv
11-01-2010, 03:41 PM
Yes, I have the M-sport option, and it does not come with Paddles option, this is true. I have demo both cars, paddles and no paddles. With no paddles the performance in the DS mode and shifting manually is the same. The bigger difference comes with the DHP option, in Sport or Sport+ mode. This changes steering, suspension, throttle response.

Needsdecaf
11-07-2010, 12:54 PM
I looked at a 528 this morning. Sport, no DHP, had sport auto and had the selection buttons. So what exactly do they do? Put the transmission in sport mode (same as moving the lever from D to S?0 and lower the threshold on the stability control? It has no IAS, so what else could it affect?

No answer to this? I am intrigued.

DXK
11-07-2010, 01:06 PM
See link in post #14 or user manual. Normal, Sport, Sport+, adjusts steering, throttle, shift points.

Needsdecaf
11-07-2010, 01:23 PM
See link in post #14 or user manual. Normal, Sport, Sport+, adjusts steering, throttle, shift points.

I've re-read the manual a dozen times. It does not shed much light on this.

That post, however does. Thanks. Did not know you could adjust the steering on a car without IAS.

xsi123
11-10-2010, 03:04 PM
This is what autoblog said on their review of the 550i ( http://www.autoblog.com/2010/09/24/2011-bmw-550i-review-road-test/ ) :

"...As we alluded to earlier, our test car is missing the "Sport Automatic" option, a serious omission. This $500 upgrade adds proper paddle shifters and remaps the transmission for faster shifting (plus, it allows you to further tune the steering and throttle response through the Driving Dynamics Control)..."

Their test car had the following options: Convenience Package (comfort access entry), Dynamic Handling Package, Premium Package 2 (rearview camera, rear sunshades, heated front seats, iPod and USB adapter, satellite radio and premium hi-fi audio), Sport Package (19-inch alloys, sport steering wheel and multi-contour seats) and split fold-down rear seats.

5Xwen
11-10-2010, 05:10 PM
This is what autoblog said on their review of the 550i ( http://www.autoblog.com/2010/09/24/2011-bmw-550i-review-road-test/ ) :

.

The autoblog review is the best and most thorough review I have read on the new F10. Well done.:thumbup: