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-   -   No Manual?? What happened?! (http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=670177)

fabiani 01-15-2013 03:49 AM

No Manual?? What happened?!
 
I traded my 2002 E46 coupe for a TSX back in 2010... Lease is ending and I'd like to come back to BMW. But I'm finding that in the intervening time BMW is beginning to jettison the manual transmission completely for the US market.

But what's more shocking is that there's no talk of it here. I've been pouring through the threads and either I'm missing it, or no one cares.

Really? No 328xi with a stick? Really?? Not even for European delivery? Jesus H Christ.

People, we need to start a letter writing campaign, show up with pitchforks, start building voodoo dolls. Whatever. This is awful. Is Audi or Mini all that's left? Is there no way to speak up?

Steve

SARAFIL 01-15-2013 03:58 AM

There is a manual available. It's called 335xi. BMW isn't dumb- they know that most of their manual buyers that choose manual for fun/performance also prefer the larger engine. Those folks also prefer RWD. That's why they dropped the manual option from 328xi, 528xi.

And the "not even for ED?" comment is a little silly. Not to single you out as many others make that point too. ED cars are the same exact thing you would get in the US. They can't slip in engine/transmission choices that were not federalized for the US market just because you happen to be picking up at the Welt. lol

JoeFromPA 01-15-2013 05:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by fabiani (Post 7314260)
I traded my 2002 E46 coupe for a TSX back in 2010... Lease is ending and I'd like to come back to BMW. But I'm finding that in the intervening time BMW is beginning to jettison the manual transmission completely for the US market.

But what's more shocking is that there's no talk of it here. I've been pouring through the threads and either I'm missing it, or no one cares.

Really? No 328xi with a stick? Really?? Not even for European delivery? Jesus H Christ.

People, we need to start a letter writing campaign, show up with pitchforks, start building voodoo dolls. Whatever. This is awful. Is Audi or Mini all that's left? Is there no way to speak up?

Steve

Steve,

I agree with you and I'll also add that I feel BMW stopped advancing the manual transmission circa 2007 for their line-up. I've seen no press releases on advanced new syncro design, nothing new on clutch or flywheel design and lightening, no rev-matching on downshift feature that's coming out on Nissan and Porsche. Heck, Porsche is doing a7-speed manual nowadays - at least they are trying something.

To be fair, I don't know how much it costs to federalize a model with a different engine/transmission combo. I can look at other manufacturers and see, even at far lower volumes, they do it - so I imagine the never-before-been-as-profitable BMW could do it. Heck, do it on just ONE model every THREE years and tell enthusiasts it's coming and going, so they can buy/lease.

I agree with the sentiments that the modern automatic is a joy to behold and drive in terms of speed, efficiency, and even weight is coming down. I still want a 3rd pedal in cars I'm driving for fun.

If you start a campaign, let me know. I'll lend some money and some effort. I want each 1 and 3 series available with a manual. I want a manual 5-series wagon, if one ever comes back. I want an x3 with a manual. And so help me God if they take away our manual-trans M3's!!!

CALWATERBOY 01-15-2013 05:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by fabiani (Post 7314260)
People, we need to start a letter writing campaign, show up with pitchforks, start building voodoo dolls. Whatever. This is awful. Is Audi or Mini all that's left? Is there no way to speak up?


There is but one way to sway BMW: Show them the money!

If you can't demonstrate a financial advantage, you're still constitutionally guaranteed your right t'yak away. Good luck on that.

Guessing M will offer a manual.

JoeFromPA 01-15-2013 06:07 AM

BMW could always try a low-production model offering an upcharge for a manual trans on it - i.e. a 328xi manual adds +$1k to the bill.

If federalizing is, say, $100k to add such a model then the breakeven point would be fairly low.

Michael Schott 01-15-2013 06:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JoeFromPA (Post 7314356)
Steve,

I agree with you and I'll also add that I feel BMW stopped advancing the manual transmission circa 2007 for their line-up. I've seen no press releases on advanced new syncro design, nothing new on clutch or flywheel design and lightening, no rev-matching on downshift feature that's coming out on Nissan and Porsche. Heck, Porsche is doing a7-speed manual nowadays - at least they are trying something.

To be fair, I don't know how much it costs to federalize a model with a different engine/transmission combo. I can look at other manufacturers and see, even at far lower volumes, they do it - so I imagine the never-before-been-as-profitable BMW could do it. Heck, do it on just ONE model every THREE years and tell enthusiasts it's coming and going, so they can buy/lease.

I agree with the sentiments that the modern automatic is a joy to behold and drive in terms of speed, efficiency, and even weight is coming down. I still want a 3rd pedal in cars I'm driving for fun.

If you start a campaign, let me know. I'll lend some money and some effort. I want each 1 and 3 series available with a manual. I want a manual 5-series wagon, if one ever comes back. I want an x3 with a manual. And so help me God if they take away our manual-trans M3's!!!

We need to understand that BMW does not make sports cars. Porsche and the Nissan Z are sports cars and this makes it feasible to invest in r and d for sporty transmissions. BMW makes family sedans that at least in the 3 series are sporty. The market for a 3 series with some new advanced MT is tiny and not worth the investment.

OP, there are numerous threads here about manual vs automatic transmissions. But the truth is that at least 95% of 3 series buyers opt for automatic transmissions. If you want a car with a MT, you may need to order one.

samualcc 01-15-2013 07:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by fabiani (Post 7314260)
I traded my 2002 E46 coupe for a TSX back in 2010... Lease is ending and I'd like to come back to BMW. But I'm finding that in the intervening time BMW is beginning to jettison the manual transmission completely for the US market.

But what's more shocking is that there's no talk of it here. I've been pouring through the threads and either I'm missing it, or no one cares.

Really? No 328xi with a stick? Really?? Not even for European delivery? Jesus H Christ.

People, we need to start a letter writing campaign, show up with pitchforks, start building voodoo dolls. Whatever. This is awful. Is Audi or Mini all that's left? Is there no way to speak up?

Steve

Meh... if it means that much, you need to go to another brand, or buy a non XI model.

SergioK 01-15-2013 07:36 AM

The mindset across the pond is one of wonder and amusement when viewing our American love of manual transmissions. Remember the M5? They came out with a manual transmission model just for US.

The direction of the auto industry seems to be leaning to car doing everything vs the driver; just look at the automatic headlights and now automatic high beams. If people can't even push the stalk forward/backward to turn the highbeams on/off, how can they drive a stick shift?

lqaddict 01-15-2013 10:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Michael Schott (Post 7314429)
We need to understand that BMW does not make sports cars. Porsche and the Nissan Z are sports cars and this makes it feasible to invest in r and d for sporty transmissions. BMW makes family sedans that at least in the 3 series are sporty. The market for a 3 series with some new advanced MT is tiny and not worth the investment.

OP, there are numerous threads here about manual vs automatic transmissions. But the truth is that at least 95% of 3 series buyers opt for automatic transmissions. If you want a car with a MT, you may need to order one.

What? BMW, 3-series specifically, has invented sports sedan subclass and has established the yard stick it is fighting now with MB C-class, Caddy ATS, Infiniti G-series, etc.

namelessman 01-15-2013 12:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JoeFromPA (Post 7314416)
BMW could always try a low-production model offering an upcharge for a manual trans on it - i.e. a 328xi manual adds +$1k to the bill.

In UK nowadays the AT is still a 1500 option(same for many Euro countries). The same was also true for US-sold AT 10+ years back($1500 extra for AT). BMW still sells tons of MT in Europe and Asia. With all the advanced robotics and just-in-time production capabilities in the Munich plant it would seem the low-production argument is just an excuse used by BMWNA(in addition to the dealerships complaining low sales on MT).

Michael Schott 01-15-2013 01:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lqaddict (Post 7315112)
What? BMW, 3-series specifically, has invented sports sedan subclass and has established the yard stick it is fighting now with MB C-class, Caddy ATS, Infiniti G-series, etc.

The point is that none of these are sports cars and comparing them to cars like the Nissan Z, and the Porsche Cayman and 911 is apples to oranges. The market for the cars are not the same. Sport sedan is not sports car. You can invent all kinds of cool tranny tricks but if no one wants them then it's a waste of time and money.

SilverX3 01-15-2013 01:05 PM

New manual cars are disappearing very quickly .... not many manufacturers make manual gearboxes anymore

driveres on this planet are getting lazy

Zeichen311 01-15-2013 01:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JoeFromPA
... no rev-matching on downshift feature that's coming out on Nissan and Porsche. ... To be fair, I don't know how much it costs to federalize a model with a different engine/transmission combo.
...
If federalizing is, say, $100k to add such a model then the breakeven point would be fairly low.

The new M5 has downshift rev-matching (probably the M6, too).
Cost to federalize and obtain EPA approval for a drivetrain is well into seven figures, i.e., millions of dollars, per engine & transmission combination.

Quote:

Originally Posted by namelessman (Post 7315309)
With all the advanced robotics and just-in-time production capabilities in the Munich plant it would seem the low-production argument is just an excuse used by BMWNA....

It is a matter of sales, not production. Vehicles equipped with a manual transmission now account for 3% or less of 3 Series models sold in the US. The percentage of total sales across all models is far lower.

The problem with MT cars, as with other low-demand (in the US) models like the 5 Series Touring (wagon), is simply this: We say we want them, we wring our hands, we beat our chests and the tables, we storm and bluster on the Internet...and then we buy something else. BMW NA/AG have listened to letter-writing campaigns and such, but each time the demands are not backed up by large sales numbers, they are less inclined to accommodate the next one.

The previous-generation 5er wagon, despite a large and vocal following, sold fewer than 900 units nationwide in the last full calendar year it was available in the US. That's fewer than 75 cars per month. Wagon fans were failing to convince their friends to actually buy the darn things, while SAV sales kept climbing. So BMW said nein to bringing the next one.

Manual transmissions are headed the same way: A lot of people who want a manual option end up actually taking the auto instead, for a variety of reasons (spousal disagreement, aging joints, city commuting, etc.). Every such sale is another nail in the coffin. And this was happening when a manual cost $1000-$2000 less than an automatic. Now, it's merely a no-cost option and the slide continues. Add a $1000 premium to order a manual in a 3er and it will be gone overnight (i.e., in one generation).

An MT in a BMW is a tough sell in the US because most people here think of BMW as luxury first, sport second. We fans of the stick are a tiny, tiny minority of the US driving public. When I sold my E46, fully 50% of otherwise-interested parties hung up the phone when I told them it was a manual (never mind that I plainly said so in all advertising... :tsk:). I can't even imagine how many never even called, for an otherwise pristine car. I don't expect selling this one someday to be an easy task (in fact, I doubt I will even bother advertising it outside the BMW community).

jfox335i 01-15-2013 01:21 PM

I'm not a mechanic, so forgive me if this sounds unrealistic. With all the technology in vehicles these days, am I naive in thinking a true manual with an automatic mode should have been developed and in production by now? I'm not talking about a DCT, It would be your typical 6MT, but you would have a gate (maybe where a 7th gear could go, opposite side of shifter, how R works on the Getrag transmission), that you could shift into there, and then the car would behave like an automatic, with no need to manually shift. The gate could only be engaged while in Neutral for safety reasons. It could electronically disable the clutch pedal when this mode is activated, engage a torque converter, and even have it enable paddle shifters for those who enjoy using those with ATs. This way, manual drivers get what they want, automatic drivers get what they want, and everyone's happy. If they can program cars to drive themselves, is this really that much more difficult? Wouldn't there be a market for this type of transmission?

Michael Schott 01-15-2013 01:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jfox335i (Post 7315514)
I'm not a mechanic, so forgive me if this sounds unrealistic. With all the technology in vehicles these days, am I naive in thinking a true manual with an automatic mode should have been developed and in production by now? I'm not talking about a DCT, It would be your typical 6MT, but you would have a gate (maybe where a 7th gear could go, opposite side of shifter, how R works on the Getrag transmission), that you could shift into there, and then the car would behave like an automatic, with no need to manually shift. The gate could only be engaged while in Neutral for safety reasons. It could electronically disable the clutch pedal when this mode is activated, engage a torque converter, and even have it enable paddle shifters for those who enjoy using those with ATs. This way, manual drivers get what they want, automatic drivers get what they want, and everyone's happy. If they can program cars to drive themselves, is this really that much more difficult? Wouldn't there be a market for this type of transmission?

Nice idea but you are basically talking about a car with a clutch and a torque converter, 2 transmissions. This would be expensive and heavy. Also, since there is little demand for a MT in most cars, it makes little sense to develop such a technology especially when DCT's which already provide the same options already exist.

namelessman 01-15-2013 04:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Zeichen311 (Post 7315483)
And this was happening when a manual cost $1000-$2000 less than an automatic. Now, it's merely a no-cost option and the slide continues. Add a $1000 premium to order a manual in a 3er and it will be gone overnight (i.e., in one generation).

It would make sense to offer MT with a $1500 discount over AT in the US, but of course BMWNA can then say AT is a no-cost option.:)

BentZero 01-15-2013 04:49 PM

Even Ferrari is phasing out the manual transmission. It's a sad state of affairs. When I went to look at the 3 series I told the CA that I wanted a manual. He told me that it's the first time that he heard that in a long time. Then he had to hunt to find the one manual transmission vehicle they had on the lot. It was actually on their overflow lot about 2 miles away.

manicottiK 01-15-2013 04:56 PM

I just ordered my car tonight: 328i with 6MT. I'd have gone with the X-Drive if it had a stick, but it doesn't. (I'm a bit concerned about RWD when it's snowy, but that's not that often here.) With market trends, I suspect that this may be my last chance to get a manual in the U.S. Maybe I'll switch to a 9AT in 2016...

iamthewalrus 01-15-2013 05:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by fabiani (Post 7314260)
Really? No 328xi with a stick? Really?? Not even for European delivery? Jesus H Christ.

Steve, this is why it appears I've purchased my last BMW. I live in a northern climate (Seattle) and all-wheel drive is a huge asset. I also *love* driving manual. My 2006 BMW X3 3.0i (manual, m-sport, premium, xenons, pdc, servotronic, premium stereo) better last me a very long time, because there's no way to replace it. No X1, X3, or 328xi manual going forward.

Back in 2006 I bought my first BMW, a 330Cic. Why did I get a BMW over an Audi? Because the Audi A4 cabrio was tiptronic only. (Hear that BMW and Audi??)

Now, years later, I find myself in the same situation but with the brands reversed. If I can't get a manual all-wheel drive car (let alone the X1 that I really like!), I'll end up in an A4 or S4. Go figure...

Alternatively, if I'm going to settle for a two-wheel drive manual, then the new Mark 7 VW GTI looks really compelling. In snow I'd rather have front-wheel drive than rear-wheel drive. I expect the GTI will have 90% of the BMW's driving feel but at 60% of the price comparably optioned.

I hear you, Steve. It was a sad day when BMW threw us overboard. But by limiting the drivetrain options on the xDrive cars, BMW can now afford to bring the 320i to the US. Isn't that great? :tsk:

-James
Seattle, WA

Michael Schott 01-15-2013 05:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by iamthewalrus (Post 7316086)
Steve, this is why it appears I've purchased my last BMW. I live in a northern climate (Seattle) and all-wheel drive is a huge asset. I also *love* driving manual. My 2006 BMW X3 3.0i (manual, m-sport, premium, xenons, pdc, servotronic, premium stereo) better last me a very long time, because there's no way to replace it. No X1, X3, or 328xi manual going forward.

Back in 2006 I bought my first BMW, a 330Cic. Why did I get a BMW over an Audi? Because the Audi A4 cabrio was tiptronic only. (Hear that BMW and Audi??)

Now, years later, I find myself in the same situation but with the brands reversed. If I can't get a manual all-wheel drive car (let alone the X1 that I really like!), I'll end up in an A4 or S4. Go figure...

Alternatively, if I'm going to settle for a two-wheel drive manual, then the new Mark 7 VW GTI looks really compelling. In snow I'd rather have front-wheel drive than rear-wheel drive. I expect the GTI will have 90% of the BMW's driving feel but at 60% of the price comparably optioned.

I hear you, Steve. It was a sad day when BMW threw us overboard. But by limiting the drivetrain options on the xDrive cars, BMW can now afford to bring the 320i to the US. Isn't that great? :tsk:

-James
Seattle, WA

FWD will never drive as well as RWD when driven aggressively. Pulling the car through a turn is not the same as pushing and controlling the line with your rear tires. That said, the Mark 7 surely will be a hell of a car and well worth consideration at the price.

captainaudio 01-15-2013 06:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lqaddict (Post 7315112)
What? BMW, 3-series specifically, has invented sports sedan subclass and has established the yard stick it is fighting now with MB C-class, Caddy ATS, Infiniti G-series, etc.

Contrary to common belief BMW did not invent the sport sedan. The 1600/2002 popularized the concept in the US although they were 2 doors and could be considered coupes. But in that era there were cars that were referred to as "Two Door Sedans". The 3 Series has been the benchmark in the sports sedan segment for many years but it was not the original.

Jaguar, Alfa Romeo, Saab, Lancia and other (mainly European) manufacturers were making sport sedans years before BMW introduced the 1600/2002.

http://www.scorpiocars.net/images/fb_folder/10345.jpghttp://ipocars.com/imgs/a/a/h/b/t/al...1964_1_lgw.jpg

http://images2.wikia.nocookie.net/__...959saab93b.jpg
http://bringatrailer.com/wp-content/...an_Front_1.jpg

CA

408Racer 01-15-2013 06:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by iamthewalrus (Post 7316086)
I expect the GTI will have 90% of the BMW's driving feel but at 60% of the price comparably optioned.

Oh yes, GTI with Sunroof and Nav for under $25K is an excellent value. Interior on par with F30 and steering at street legal speeds better. But it does not have the pull of N20 and it does not pull the babes like my Bimmer.

vst335is 01-15-2013 06:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by iamthewalrus (Post 7316086)
Steve, this is why it appears I've purchased my last BMW. I live in a northern climate (Seattle) and all-wheel drive is a huge asset. I also *love* driving manual. My 2006 BMW X3 3.0i (manual, m-sport, premium, xenons, pdc, servotronic, premium stereo) better last me a very long time, because there's no way to replace it. No X1, X3, or 328xi manual going forward.

Back in 2006 I bought my first BMW, a 330Cic. Why did I get a BMW over an Audi? Because the Audi A4 cabrio was tiptronic only. (Hear that BMW and Audi??)

Now, years later, I find myself in the same situation but with the brands reversed. If I can't get a manual all-wheel drive car (let alone the X1 that I really like!), I'll end up in an A4 or S4. Go figure...

Alternatively, if I'm going to settle for a two-wheel drive manual, then the new Mark 7 VW GTI looks really compelling. In snow I'd rather have front-wheel drive than rear-wheel drive. I expect the GTI will have 90% of the BMW's driving feel but at 60% of the price comparably optioned.

I hear you, Steve. It was a sad day when BMW threw us overboard. But by limiting the drivetrain options on the xDrive cars, BMW can now afford to bring the 320i to the US. Isn't that great? :tsk:

-James
Seattle, WA

In addition to no X1, X3 or 328 manual there is no X5, X6 in manual either, not even X-M models!

408Racer 01-15-2013 06:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by vst335is (Post 7316340)
In addition to no X1, X3 or 328 manual there is no X5, X6 in manual either, not even X-M models!

M is no longer special. As someone said, M died when the X5M was produced. At least with AMG, everyone knows it is something special when a C63 revs its motor.

SilverX3 01-15-2013 07:15 PM

soon we have to pay premium when ordering a manual car


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