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E60 M5 (2006 - 2010)

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  #1  
Old 11-29-2005, 05:39 PM
BMW Fahrer BMW Fahrer is offline
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M5: 2006 SMG or 2007 6-speed

I'm conducting a survey here to see what everyone thinks about ordering an M5. I've been wanting a new M5 since I saw the first one roll into the local dealer last month. However, I'm divided between an '06 with the SMG or wait for the '07 with the 6-speed manual. Interestingly, the 6-speed has a longer wait list at a dealer. Seems that there are many die hards who still want to wrap their palms around a shifter knob while driving.

I've driven the M3 with an SMG at the BMW Nuerburgring school and agree that this setup is great for the track and eliminates missed gears for the wanna be Speedracers. On the other hand, the Gen 2 SMG causes serious whiplash at the track under the fastest shifting conditions. I sense that the M5's new SMG will shift differently and softer from the M3's SMG due to the weight of the vehicle an a few extra gears at the top end.

Question:
Would you buy the M5 with an SMG gearbox like the Bavarians intended from Day 1, or would you opt for the 6-speed version for us sporty Americans?


****

Last edited by BMW Fahrer; 11-29-2005 at 07:17 PM.
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  #2  
Old 11-29-2005, 05:45 PM
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bavarian19 bavarian19 is offline
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As a current manual driver and manual enthusiast (I guess), I would say I would want the 6 speed. The M5 to me is a great car on the road, but I dont think I would take it around the track. I enjoy rowing through the gears too much myself to let that go. If this were an M3 on the other hand, I would probably take it to the track occasionally. Being as that is the case, I would probably take the SMG.


Now, if the car were to be tracked or autocrossed regularly, I would without a doubt go with SMG (as long as it is on the M-models and not the SSG previously offered on non-M E46's). If it was a car to go around town, I would probably go with the 6 speed.
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  #3  
Old 11-29-2005, 06:05 PM
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Bruce Bruce is offline
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I have not driven a car with SMG.....but....I would lean towards the SMG.
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  #4  
Old 11-29-2005, 06:14 PM
philippek philippek is offline
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From all reports the 6 speed will be an inferior product from a performance standpoint. So as much as it would pain me to do so, I'd probably go with the SMG.
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  #5  
Old 11-30-2005, 09:09 PM
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I thought the whole point to the 7-speed SMG was to better utilize the 383lb-ft torque?

Even with two more cylinders and 100 or so more HP, wouldn't dropping down to a 6-speed defeat that power purpose?
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  #6  
Old 12-01-2005, 09:14 PM
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My opinion is possibly changing. I am a manual fanatic; every BMW I haved owned (3 so far) has been a manual. I was not happy that at first there was no true manual option on the E60 M5 and then very happy when it was clear there would be.

Since then I have been reading the impressions of the owners. The torque down low is seemingly not as much as in the E39 M5 and the engine needs and wants to be revved high to enjoy the amazing power band. Plus, the 7-speed SMG transmission was designed for this engine. So...

I am not in a hurry and based on BMW's reputation for getting the bugs out and doing a minor facelift during year 3 of production, I will await the first 6-speeds to arrive before making a decision. But I must confess, I am amazed I am even considering the SMG!
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  #7  
Old 05-03-2006, 09:46 PM
ky_soldier ky_soldier is offline
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I don't know if I love the SMG as much as I love the paddle shifting, and this coming from a manual guy. can't wait to see the new paddles on the 335 like the new z4's have
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  #8  
Old 05-04-2006, 07:20 AM
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I (obviously ) got SMG and I can only recommend it...
It's great to have the opportunity to drive this beast in Automatic as well.
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  #9  
Old 05-04-2006, 09:59 AM
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SMG!

Don't be a silly Wabbit. 6MT was not made for this V10, 8500rpm, 7-Speed (Natively), 501HP Beast.

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  #10  
Old 05-04-2006, 07:34 AM
Reefminis Reefminis is offline
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I had an M3 w/SMG before my M5..........there is no comparison. The SMG III (M5) is so much better than SMG II (M3) its unbelievable.

Go SMG..........the way BMW M GmbH intended.
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  #11  
Old 05-06-2006, 09:53 PM
silverstone silverstone is offline
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clutch versus videogame controller?

I own an E39 M5 and an E60 M5.

There is something more organic about communitcating with your car with a manual transmission. The E39 feels like it has more torque at lower RPMs and there is something about a clutch that is beautiful and raw. It is in many ways a more satisfying drive.

The paddles on the E60 are like using a videogame controller-- you push a button to change gears. There is obviously no clutch and I personally feel it is a less engaging way to access the 500hp engine. I only use auto mode when I am on the phone or in stop-and-go traffic because it blows. It really sucks to be in limbo mode between 1st and second gear. In the higher gear shifts it is relatively seamless.

On the more positive side of things; SMG shifts are cleaner, quicker, easier and downshifts sound fantastic! The car feels like it was meant for this transmission, period. When you drive the car you will know what I mean. You get used to the paddles and I would have to say that after driving the E60 for a couple of weeks now, a stick would feel out of place bigtime-- it's not right for the car regardless of how awesome it would be to control the V-10 directly. It would be like mating an atari joystick to a playstation two.

My great respect for the M division gave me no qualms about buying the SMG. They love what they make and they made the E60 M5 for SMG only, just like they made the E39 for a stick. They're the artists who created this gorgeous beast, I say go with the SMG.
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  #12  
Old 05-31-2006, 11:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silverstone
It would be like mating an atari joystick to a playstation two.
nice one here.. well being an owner of E39 and E60 M5 means you know ur stuff

anyways if i were to get an M5 i'll go for the SMG, but for the M Coupe i'm really glad they offer a manual
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  #13  
Old 06-03-2006, 05:44 PM
wolverine wolverine is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silverstone
I own an E39 M5 and an E60 M5.

There is something more organic about communitcating with your car with a manual transmission. The E39 feels like it has more torque at lower RPMs and there is something about a clutch that is beautiful and raw. It is in many ways a more satisfying drive.

The paddles on the E60 are like using a videogame controller-- you push a button to change gears. There is obviously no clutch and I personally feel it is a less engaging way to access the 500hp engine. I only use auto mode when I am on the phone or in stop-and-go traffic because it blows. It really sucks to be in limbo mode between 1st and second gear. In the higher gear shifts it is relatively seamless.

On the more positive side of things; SMG shifts are cleaner, quicker, easier and downshifts sound fantastic! The car feels like it was meant for this transmission, period. When you drive the car you will know what I mean. You get used to the paddles and I would have to say that after driving the E60 for a couple of weeks now, a stick would feel out of place bigtime-- it's not right for the car regardless of how awesome it would be to control the V-10 directly. It would be like mating an atari joystick to a playstation two.

My great respect for the M division gave me no qualms about buying the SMG. They love what they make and they made the E60 M5 for SMG only, just like they made the E39 for a stick. They're the artists who created this gorgeous beast, I say go with the SMG.

I agree with pretty much everything you've said. I have almost 20,000 miles on my E60 M5 now, and I have to say there is no way I would want a manual in this car. I'll also say I was one of the biggest critics of the SMGII (had driven and tracked exclusively manuals for 20 years) before I got this car. I can also say that it took me a good 10,000 miles to get to the point where the SMG became second nature.

Have you gotten out of the 'break-in' period yet? If you haven't, you are in for one hell of a surprise!
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  #14  
Old 06-09-2006, 11:51 AM
firstm5 firstm5 is offline
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The more miles I drive (nearly 4,000) the more the SMGIII becomes second nature and the more addictive it becomes. However, launch control would be nice!
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  #15  
Old 08-16-2006, 04:42 PM
wolverine wolverine is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silverstone View Post
I own an E39 M5 and an E60 M5.

There is something more organic about communitcating with your car with a manual transmission. The E39 feels like it has more torque at lower RPMs and there is something about a clutch that is beautiful and raw. It is in many ways a more satisfying drive.

The paddles on the E60 are like using a videogame controller-- you push a button to change gears. There is obviously no clutch and I personally feel it is a less engaging way to access the 500hp engine. I only use auto mode when I am on the phone or in stop-and-go traffic because it blows. It really sucks to be in limbo mode between 1st and second gear. In the higher gear shifts it is relatively seamless.

On the more positive side of things; SMG shifts are cleaner, quicker, easier and downshifts sound fantastic! The car feels like it was meant for this transmission, period. When you drive the car you will know what I mean. You get used to the paddles and I would have to say that after driving the E60 for a couple of weeks now, a stick would feel out of place bigtime-- it's not right for the car regardless of how awesome it would be to control the V-10 directly. It would be like mating an atari joystick to a playstation two.

My great respect for the M division gave me no qualms about buying the SMG. They love what they make and they made the E60 M5 for SMG only, just like they made the E39 for a stick. They're the artists who created this gorgeous beast, I say go with the SMG.

Well, I've got 25,000 miles now, and I'm getting my clutch and tranny replaced. The car stranded me in the middle of a 6 lane road on a Saturday night. I've driven manual tranny german cars for over 25 years, and until now, I've never had one single problem with the transmission.

Well, I love the SMG. That's saying a lot, since it stranded me for 2 hours on a Saturday night, and I won't have my car back for a week or so. You probably were expecting a rant, but I have to say that after about 25,000 miles in the M5, I wouldn't take anything else.

When I first got my M5, I test drove a 997S on some very twisty roads, then took the same route in the M5. I was very dissapointed in the M5 in terms of the 'connection to the road'. Two weeks ago I took the same test drive in a Cayman, and my modified (H&R springs and spacers) M5.

I was astounded at how much faster I was in the M5. I was hitting 75 mph in the Cayman in spots I was over 100 mph in the M5. I kept tapping the non-existant paddles on the Cayman to shift - I had gotten used to the effortless shifting of the M5. The end result was that I had more fun in the M5, because I could really thow the car around, and didn't have to worry as much about heel and toe braking and rev matching.

So, the SMG has it's problems, and will shortly be replaced with a DSG type tranny for smoothness (the SMG is awful in that respect). But paddle shifting is here to stay, and once you warm up to it, you can concentrate more on what the car is doing on the road, as opposed to what your feet are doing on the pedals. A big two thumbs up from a manual diehard!
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  #16  
Old 06-01-2006, 06:39 PM
DJ_INHALE DJ_INHALE is offline
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I would like to get the m3 down the road some where but the new m3 I guess could be SMG only I love the foot action and my right hand. This could be my last bmw if the M isnt aval in a convertible with a 6 speed
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  #17  
Old 06-10-2006, 03:15 PM
zeagle3 zeagle3 is offline
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I agree with the consensus. I was going to wait as well for 6 speed but took delivery on the M5 SMG last week and I am in love. My M settings are in and I am sure I will never look back .
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  #18  
Old 07-06-2006, 09:45 PM
Jerry Dunton Jerry Dunton is offline
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The SMG is fabulous....

I now have 7 months in my beast and now 10,000 miles and I have to say that it is a technological marvel that gives me a kick every mile. It just doesn't get any better and you really have to spend some time with this vehicle to fully appreciate the many benifits and performance advantages.

Jerry
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  #19  
Old 07-06-2006, 09:54 PM
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chuck92103 chuck92103 is offline
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The manual is the only tranny to give you full excitement and thrill. However, only 6 gears instead of 7.

The SMG is a great tranny but say goodbye to revving at the lights, disengaging the clutch easily, etc.

Tough call, but I would opt for the SMG.
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  #20  
Old 07-06-2006, 10:05 PM
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LoneStarM3 LoneStarM3 is offline
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Had the SMG (in M3) for about 8 months now and I wouldn't take for it!
I had the same concern before ordering, but after using it a while I like it better every time I drive it.

It takes a while to get a SMG habit pattern, i.e., where downshifts seem natural etc -
but it is quick and a blast....
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  #21  
Old 07-30-2006, 07:06 PM
kimchimofo kimchimofo is offline
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Seeing the 2007 M5's come out with a manual transmission is like seeing people actually buy M6's. What's the point? But I guess old habits die hard.

In the case of the M6, if I wanted a BMW coupe with no legroom in the back, I'd get an M3 rather than packing on the extra pounds of a bloated 6 chassis. Sure the M6 will smoke my "old" M3 off the line, but ahhh the handling of the M3, surgical ... and if you want more powerful coupe, then just wait for the new M3 ... I'm sure it'll smoke too. In other words, if you want a big car the M5 just makes sense. (Sorry y'all have to listen to me ... I saw 3 M6's today in San Francisco and I can't just walk up to the owners and start cr*! with them so you get to hear my gripes). Oh, and I think my M3 even had more room in the backseat than the M6.

In the case of the manual transmission, I've had my Interlagos Blue Metallic M5 for a few months now and can honestly say that neither I nor anyone I know work a manual transmission faster. Sure, I'm no pro, but I have friends who are and my blue beasty has made a believer out of all of them. I've been driving a manual transmission for 15+ years and I can relate ... I was reluctant at first too. And it's not like the dealers let you hammer the transmission on a test drive the cars beforehand. So, find a friend with one and have him/her take you for a ride. You'll know right away. Besides, the car accelerates so quickly that I'd feel safer knowing that all you maniacs around me have both hands on the wheel

... And if having a clutch pedal is so superior, then why have Ferrari and the F1 cars all moved over? Don't you think it's in their interest to pack the best performance into their cars too?

Sure the last gen SMG that they put in the e46 m3 wasn't a superb transmission as is the one in the M5. But it wasn't built from the ground up for the engine either ... I read the SMG controller was just a bolt-on to the existing manual transmission platform. Besides this, do you think that BMW put as much engineering into this new 6-speed as they did into the SMG? Where's the transmission coming from anyway? I even believe that, albeit not very graceful, the e46's SMG still shifted faster than humanly possible. I may be wrong. Go try and race one sometime and let me know.

I'm delighted with my SMG. If transmissions keep getting better like this, then I'll probably never go back to a clutch pedal. Oh, and I think I've only used the D program twice. I'm still a shifter. And, if those of you are wondering about the 2005 M3 in my profile ... It's a manual.

Last edited by kimchimofo; 07-30-2006 at 07:09 PM.
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  #22  
Old 07-30-2006, 08:11 PM
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760Lifan 760Lifan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kimchimofo
Seeing the 2007 M5's come out with a manual transmission is like seeing people actually buy M6's. What's the point? But I guess old habits die hard.

In the case of the M6, if I wanted a BMW coupe with no legroom in the back, I'd get an M3 rather than packing on the extra pounds of a bloated 6 chassis. Sure the M6 will smoke my "old" M3 off the line, but ahhh the handling of the M3, surgical ... and if you want more powerful coupe, then just wait for the new M3 ... I'm sure it'll smoke too. In other words, if you want a big car the M5 just makes sense. (Sorry y'all have to listen to me ... I saw 3 M6's today in San Francisco and I can't just walk up to the owners and start cr*! with them so you get to hear my gripes). Oh, and I think my M3 even had more room in the backseat than the M6.

In the case of the manual transmission, I've had my Interlagos Blue Metallic M5 for a few months now and can honestly say that neither I nor anyone I know work a manual transmission faster. Sure, I'm no pro, but I have friends who are and my blue beasty has made a believer out of all of them. I've been driving a manual transmission for 15+ years and I can relate ... I was reluctant at first too. And it's not like the dealers let you hammer the transmission on a test drive the cars beforehand. So, find a friend with one and have him/her take you for a ride. You'll know right away. Besides, the car accelerates so quickly that I'd feel safer knowing that all you maniacs around me have both hands on the wheel

... And if having a clutch pedal is so superior, then why have Ferrari and the F1 cars all moved over? Don't you think it's in their interest to pack the best performance into their cars too?

Sure the last gen SMG that they put in the e46 m3 wasn't a superb transmission as is the one in the M5. But it wasn't built from the ground up for the engine either ... I read the SMG controller was just a bolt-on to the existing manual transmission platform. Besides this, do you think that BMW put as much engineering into this new 6-speed as they did into the SMG? Where's the transmission coming from anyway? I even believe that, albeit not very graceful, the e46's SMG still shifted faster than humanly possible. I may be wrong. Go try and race one sometime and let me know.

I'm delighted with my SMG. If transmissions keep getting better like this, then I'll probably never go back to a clutch pedal. Oh, and I think I've only used the D program twice. I'm still a shifter. And, if those of you are wondering about the 2005 M3 in my profile ... It's a manual.
I totally agree...
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  #23  
Old 07-31-2006, 11:06 AM
wolverine wolverine is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kimchimofo
Seeing the 2007 M5's come out with a manual transmission is like seeing people actually buy M6's. What's the point? But I guess old habits die hard.

In the case of the M6, if I wanted a BMW coupe with no legroom in the back, I'd get an M3 rather than packing on the extra pounds of a bloated 6 chassis. Sure the M6 will smoke my "old" M3 off the line, but ahhh the handling of the M3, surgical ... and if you want more powerful coupe, then just wait for the new M3 ... I'm sure it'll smoke too. In other words, if you want a big car the M5 just makes sense. (Sorry y'all have to listen to me ... I saw 3 M6's today in San Francisco and I can't just walk up to the owners and start cr*! with them so you get to hear my gripes). Oh, and I think my M3 even had more room in the backseat than the M6.

In the case of the manual transmission, I've had my Interlagos Blue Metallic M5 for a few months now and can honestly say that neither I nor anyone I know work a manual transmission faster. Sure, I'm no pro, but I have friends who are and my blue beasty has made a believer out of all of them. I've been driving a manual transmission for 15+ years and I can relate ... I was reluctant at first too. And it's not like the dealers let you hammer the transmission on a test drive the cars beforehand. So, find a friend with one and have him/her take you for a ride. You'll know right away. Besides, the car accelerates so quickly that I'd feel safer knowing that all you maniacs around me have both hands on the wheel

... And if having a clutch pedal is so superior, then why have Ferrari and the F1 cars all moved over? Don't you think it's in their interest to pack the best performance into their cars too?

Sure the last gen SMG that they put in the e46 m3 wasn't a superb transmission as is the one in the M5. But it wasn't built from the ground up for the engine either ... I read the SMG controller was just a bolt-on to the existing manual transmission platform. Besides this, do you think that BMW put as much engineering into this new 6-speed as they did into the SMG? Where's the transmission coming from anyway? I even believe that, albeit not very graceful, the e46's SMG still shifted faster than humanly possible. I may be wrong. Go try and race one sometime and let me know.

I'm delighted with my SMG. If transmissions keep getting better like this, then I'll probably never go back to a clutch pedal. Oh, and I think I've only used the D program twice. I'm still a shifter. And, if those of you are wondering about the 2005 M3 in my profile ... It's a manual.
Almost 25,000 miles on my M5, manual transmission afficionado, moved from the M5 list to the M6, then back to the M5. I absolutely agree with everything you say, about the M6, M3, M5, and SMG. Good points.

In addition, the rumour is that the 6sp M5 will not allow you to turn off DSC! If this is true, there are going to be a lot of really pissed off people who have waited for the 6sp M5.
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2006 E60 M5 Silverstone II/Silverstone/Aluminum
All Options, 35% tint
Aluminum Pedals
V1 Hardwired
Blinder Xtreme M40
Michelin PS2's on 20 inch BBS RS-GT's
Blizzak LM 22's on OEM 19 inch wheels
Straight Pipes/No Resonator
Charcoal Filters Removed
H&R Springs and Spacers Installed
Dinan 3.91 Differential
BMC Air Filters
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  #24  
Old 07-31-2006, 11:06 AM
wolverine wolverine is offline
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Deleted duplicate post

Last edited by wolverine; 07-31-2006 at 11:42 AM.
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  #25  
Old 07-31-2006, 12:31 PM
sdbrandon sdbrandon is offline
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When folks continue to compare an M5/6 to an M3, it just really shows their ignorance and lack of understanding.

You cannot compare a consumer level track car to high performance luxury sedans and coupes. They are destined for totally different markets/customers.

Not sure why there is so much hatred towards those with M5/6's. I am sure there is some jealousy and income levels that must be dealt with.

The good news is, if you don't want an M5/6, you don't have to buy one. But please, don't bore us with rediculous comparisons.
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