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F30 / F31 / F32 / F33 (2012 - current)
The sixth generation 3 series, chassis code F30. 2013 model year 328i and 335i sedans now in production. Read the F30 frequently asked question thread for all your basic question and dive into all the details in the ultimate F30 information thread.

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  #26  
Old 01-15-2013, 07:50 PM
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soon we have to pay premium when ordering a manual car
And I will gladly pay for it!
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  #27  
Old 01-15-2013, 08:12 PM
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Originally Posted by jfox335i View Post
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 ...[snip] 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?
It is an interesting idea, perhaps even more so when you realize you came at it from the wrong end.

First, a DCT is a "true manual" insofar as it has much of the internal construction of a manual gearbox: constant-mesh gears on multiple shafts, synchronizers, dog clutches and most importantly, a friction-plate clutch (actually, two concentric ones, hence Dual-Clutch Transmission) instead of a torque converter. The sole intrusion of automation is computer control of the hydraulically-actuated clutches.

Bearing that in mind, the driving experience you describe could be achieved almost trivially with a DCT. Provide a clutch pedal connected to nothing but a microswitch and a suitably damped spring. Provide a gear lever with an appropriate gate pattern, a means to simulate shift effort and again, nothing but a set of microswitches at the other end of the lever. Use the clutch pedal switch to signal the computer to (de-)clutch and the gearing switches to signal gear selection. Provide a control button to switch between use of these input devices and full-auto mode and there you have it: A fully automatic or fully "manual" transmission.

None of that requires any innovative technology. The hardest design problem to solve would be how the transmission should react to a botched shift. If you let the "clutch" out too soon should it grind the gears? Protect itself and dump you in neutral? React like a video game by sounding a buzzer, vibrating the wheel and/or seat and then complete the shift anyway? Should it let you stall the engine by shifting into 6th at 5mph? Best of all: How should it respond to a simulated money shift?

Most of that is a matter of programming but with all that said--such a transmission is pointless. It would add expense, complexity and risk, yet still only be an emulation of behavior that is, in all honesty, done better, faster and more accurately by up- and downshift paddles (and the simple +/- selector lever on a DCT or Steptronic). One element of the joy of driving, and mastering, a manual transmission is the challenge to strive for a perfect shift, every time. You miss it, you own it; you break it, you bought it. It's why aids like a clutch-delay valve and auto rev-matching really p!ss off a lot of die-hard fans.

The fun of a manual is in the direct, mechanical control of a piece of complex machinery and the challenge to do it well. It is no longer faster or more fuel-efficient than a top-end automatic or DCT, and while you do have more control, you do not necessarily have better control. (The number of drivers who can drive a stick well dwindles by the day, and many of the remainder don't even know they're not very good.) Take away that connection and you might as well just use whichever tech makes your car better/faster/smoother than the other guy's--because if you don't, he sure will. Anything else is affectation.
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Last edited by Zeichen311; 01-15-2013 at 08:22 PM.
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  #28  
Old 01-15-2013, 08:23 PM
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Best of all: How should it respond to a simulated money shift?
Automatically and immediately transfer funds from your checking account to the nearest BMW service center.
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  #29  
Old 01-15-2013, 08:28 PM
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Automatically and immediately transfer funds from your checking account to the nearest BMW service center.

Perfect! And best of all, with all the telematics already present in the car, trivial to implement.
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  #30  
Old 01-15-2013, 08:46 PM
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You can get a manual & a Turbo on a BUICK !!
My local BMW dealer has 75-100 odd 3ers on the lot at any given time .. I haven't seen a manual in 5 years ...

DL
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  #31  
Old 01-15-2013, 08:52 PM
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You can get a manual & a Turbo on a BUICK !!
My local BMW dealer has 75-100 odd 3ers on the lot at any given time .. I haven't seen a manual in 5 years ...

DL
The last turbo Buick that impressed me was black and automatic from the 80's.

I think most 3 pedal BMWs are special ordered (I lucked into mine).
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  #32  
Old 01-15-2013, 08:58 PM
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soon we have to pay premium when ordering a manual car
It would be alright, but rather we will be told to get lost when we ask to order a manual car.

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  #33  
Old 01-15-2013, 10:06 PM
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Have a manual 328i (ordered). Funny someone mentioned selling them is hard. I've had my phone ring off the hook when I've sold manuals expressly because the enthusiasts seek them out... the few who want them, really, really want them.
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  #34  
Old 01-15-2013, 10:33 PM
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I frequently check out E9x when I see them parked in NY. I see a number of MT cars. Obviously far more ATs but I have seen a lot of MT E9x in NYC. Obviously the car has to be parked on the street or in an open lot to be able to tell but I would assume that they are a representative sample.

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  #35  
Old 01-15-2013, 10:45 PM
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Originally Posted by 408Racer View Post
The last turbo Buick that impressed me was black and automatic from the 80's.
Same here. Gonzo engineering at its finest.

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  #36  
Old 01-16-2013, 07:33 AM
jfox335i jfox335i is offline
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Originally Posted by Zeichen311 View Post
The fun of a manual is in the direct, mechanical control of a piece of complex machinery and the challenge to do it well. It is no longer faster or more fuel-efficient than a top-end automatic or DCT, and while you do have more control, you do not necessarily have better control. (The number of drivers who can drive a stick well dwindles by the day, and many of the remainder don't even know they're not very good.) Take away that connection and you might as well just use whichever tech makes your car better/faster/smoother than the other guy's--because if you don't, he sure will. Anything else is affectation.
That's sort of the point. I could care less that a DCT or an AT can shift faster/better/smoother then I can. If the car is 0-60 in 4.6 with a DCT and 5.4 with a 6MT, I'll take the 6MT, I don't need the fastest 60, or quarter mile. I don't race my car, I drive it with spirit, and it's not for anyone else, it's for me. and its more fun to row the gears, to find that perfect shift, and to have that control and feel connected. While the control may not make the car drive better, it makes it more enjoyable, hence why many prefer the 6MTs, when ATs/DCTs these days are better for driving quicker/faster.

I do see your point, that maybe given the technology of a DCT, maybe I did look at it backwards. If the DCT had the ability to use a clutch, and row the gears, i'd definitely have a look at it.

and on your point of the number of drivers and their MT skills, that's part of the reason why driving an MT is awesome. I don't claim to be the best MT drive, I'm efficient, I get a passing grade, but I know I can be better, and that's awesome that I know I can be a better manual driver and I can strive for that. With an AT, can you hit the gas? great, you can drive an AT transmission, off you go. No challenge to it, and no room to improve and have something to look forward to.
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  #37  
Old 01-16-2013, 07:59 AM
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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.
Steve, you live in Philly, your last cars were an E46 coupe and a TSX. Why do you suddenly need AWD now? Why is it now a deal breaker?

If nobody cares, it's because lots of BMW owners prefer their cars to be RWD and have been driving in winter on appropriate tires since forever.
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  #38  
Old 01-16-2013, 08:21 AM
Michael Schott Michael Schott is offline
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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.
The price on a 4 door 6 speed GTI with nav and sunroof is over $29K. And there is not much room for negotiation, same as on a BMW. Not sure where you are getting your info. And the lease residuals are poor compared to BMW's inflated residuals.
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  #39  
Old 01-16-2013, 08:47 AM
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The price on a 4 door 6 speed GTI with nav and sunroof is over $29K. And there is not much room for negotiation, same as on a BMW. Not sure where you are getting your info. And the lease residuals are poor compared to BMW's inflated residuals.
During the end of year specials...they were heavily advertising them here (Silicon Valley) at 5K off sticker.
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  #40  
Old 01-16-2013, 08:53 AM
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Same here. Gonzo engineering at its finest.


Ah yes, the mighty Grand National! I'm a diehard and devout 3 pedal guy but I will not withhold respect and admiration for a car designed to do one thing and did it exceedingly well.

And that's to be a decent daily driver with deliciously brutal acceleration. It had no Euro-style pretensions or ambitions, all it wanted was to lay waste to everything in a straight line. Sometimes a car can definitely transcend its transmission (and suspension).

My former Director's C63 reminded me of the GN, LOL. Just like Clarkson, he says he doesn't need Powerpoint slides to explain what the car is all about.
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  #41  
Old 01-16-2013, 08:56 AM
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That's sort of the point. I could care less that a DCT or an AT can shift faster/better/smoother then I can. If the car is 0-60 in 4.6 with a DCT and 5.4 with a 6MT, I'll take the 6MT, I don't need the fastest 60, or quarter mile. I don't race my car, I drive it with spirit, and it's not for anyone else, it's for me. and its more fun to row the gears, to find that perfect shift, and to have that control and feel connected. While the control may not make the car drive better, it makes it more enjoyable, hence why many prefer the 6MTs, when ATs/DCTs these days are better for driving quicker/faster.
+1,000,000 It is like playing a musical instrument instead of clicking through songs in an iPod....or watching your girlfriend in the hands of a professional masseur.
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  #42  
Old 01-16-2013, 08:59 AM
Michael Schott Michael Schott is offline
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During the end of year specials...they were heavily advertising them here (Silicon Valley) at 5K off sticker.
I see. Thanks for the info.
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  #43  
Old 01-16-2013, 10:57 AM
JoeFromPA JoeFromPA is offline
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Originally Posted by 1985mb View Post
Steve, you live in Philly, your last cars were an E46 coupe and a TSX. Why do you suddenly need AWD now? Why is it now a deal breaker?

If nobody cares, it's because lots of BMW owners prefer their cars to be RWD and have been driving in winter on appropriate tires since forever.
I'll just say to this that after spending this winter driving my m5 on winter tires, I'm pretty sure I want to own AWD next.

As I currently am with the m5, I have to change my driving dramatically 5 months out of the year. I can spin the rear tires in 4th gear at 3000 rpms if I just mash it. I have to throttle lift in aggressive corners 5 months of the year. DSC engages alot. And of course the other sacrifices of winter tires.

I think I'll have a better overall driving experience and joy out of an AWD car with some very serious UHPAS like michelin pilot sport a/s or similar. The tire technology is so good that those all seasons pretty much give the performance of a mid-level summer tire when it's 40+ degrees out.

I never thought I wanted the extra weight, parasitic drag, etc. of AWD after having owned some lower power AWD vehicles. Now, after owning a really torquey car and wanting even more power in the future, I can see why AWD is a better overall drivetrain for my climate and driving enjoyment.
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  #44  
Old 01-16-2013, 11:38 AM
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I'll just say to this that after spending this winter driving my m5 on winter tires, I'm pretty sure I want to own AWD next.

As I currently am with the m5, I have to change my driving dramatically 5 months out of the year. I can spin the rear tires in 4th gear at 3000 rpms if I just mash it. I have to throttle lift in aggressive corners 5 months of the year. DSC engages alot. And of course the other sacrifices of winter tires.

I think I'll have a better overall driving experience and joy out of an AWD car with some very serious UHPAS like michelin pilot sport a/s or similar. The tire technology is so good that those all seasons pretty much give the performance of a mid-level summer tire when it's 40+ degrees out.

I never thought I wanted the extra weight, parasitic drag, etc. of AWD after having owned some lower power AWD vehicles. Now, after owning a really torquey car and wanting even more power in the future, I can see why AWD is a better overall drivetrain for my climate and driving enjoyment.
Yes, but IMO those negatives don't apply to the 328i. You won't be spinning your tires in 4th gear and DSC shouldn't be engaging a lot, etc etc
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  #45  
Old 01-16-2013, 12:55 PM
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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.






CA
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  #46  
Old 01-16-2013, 10:19 PM
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Originally Posted by JoeFromPA View Post
I never thought I wanted the extra weight, parasitic drag, etc. of AWD after having owned some lower power AWD vehicles. Now, after owning a really torquey car and wanting even more power in the future, I can see why AWD is a better overall drivetrain for my climate and driving enjoyment.
I see an Audi S4 manual in your future. Enjoy it!
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  #47  
Old 01-19-2013, 01:21 AM
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The price on a 4 door 6 speed GTI with nav and sunroof is over $29K. And there is not much room for negotiation, same as on a BMW. Not sure where you are getting your info. And the lease residuals are poor compared to BMW's inflated residuals.
You mean at or below invoice? Before rebates? Not like the 3 series command anywhere close to MSRP.
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  #48  
Old 01-19-2013, 08:28 AM
iamthewalrus iamthewalrus is offline
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You mean at or below invoice? Before rebates? Not like the 3 series command anywhere close to MSRP.
Agreed there are discounts on both cars which makes it tough to compare. It's also difficult to option the 328i apples-to-apples with the GTI because of BMW's options packages. For example, to get xenons, leather, premium stereo, sports suspension, and moonroof, you end up adding all sorts of other bits on the BMW.
But the larger point is that there are some really compelling cars out there for $10-15 less than a 3-series, comparably equipped. If I'm going to pay $45K, I expect to get exactly what I want. At that price, I'm not willing to make compromises about fundamentals like the drivetrain.
When I bought my 2006 330Cic, I custom ordered to get manual, sports, premium, PDC on a sparkling graphite convertible with black leather and aluminum trim. There were no 330Cic available in inventory anywhere in the US that were manual and did NOT have navigation. So I custom ordered. I got about $1,500 off MSRP and arguably paid too much since it was a last-year 3-series. But I got exactly what I want and was really happy with it!
So, coming back to the manual transmission with all-wheel drive. I'll echo a post further up in the thread and say that I'd gladly pay more for the option. Luxury, to me, is getting what you want. Maybe (by this definition), BMW is no longer a luxury car...

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  #49  
Old 01-19-2013, 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by fabiani View Post
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
I too was considering a F30 stick shift, however, I also wanted an AWD and my Wife requested me to get an Automatic transmission. Yet the two things that surprised me were the fact that the 328i xDrive did not offer a manual and that an Automatic is the same cost!

If the manual was less as it was on the previous E90 (the Auto was an $800 option), I would have ordered differently. I find it hard to believe the new 8 speed is the same cost as the Manual? It seems that BMW could have offered a 7 speed manual or some type of performance package with the manual for those who wanted it. When I bought my Acura TL in 2005, the Manuals were the same cost as the Automatics BUT Acura gave you the upgraded Brembo brakes with that stick!

That being said, the xDrive and the Wife's desire beat my desire to have three pedals and I am very happy with the 328i xDrive, besides, the new Automatic is quite good!
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  #50  
Old 01-19-2013, 12:35 PM
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1985mb 1985mb is offline
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Originally Posted by kpgray View Post
I too was considering a F30 stick shift, however, I also wanted an AWD and my Wife requested me to get an Automatic transmission. Yet the two things that surprised me were the fact that the 328i xDrive did not offer a manual and that an Automatic is the same cost!

If the manual was less as it was on the previous E90 (the Auto was an $800 option), I would have ordered differently. I find it hard to believe the new 8 speed is the same cost as the Manual? It seems that BMW could have offered a 7 speed manual or some type of performance package with the manual for those who wanted it. When I bought my Acura TL in 2005, the Manuals were the same cost as the Automatics BUT Acura gave you the upgraded Brembo brakes with that stick!

That being said, the xDrive and the Wife's desire beat my desire to have three pedals and I am very happy with the 328i xDrive, besides, the new Automatic is quite good!
Manual being same charge as a/t has been true for a while now...in the future it will cost more
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