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E63 / E64 M6 (2006 - 2010)

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  #1  
Old 05-24-2005, 12:18 PM
MaxTimeOff MaxTimeOff is offline
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Good, Better, Best.....Manual, SMG, Automatic!!

Not a lot of activity on the board so I thought I would start a M6 transmission discussion.

I read somewhere very recently that the M6 has the 6 speed confirmed for the U.S. The question for me is...WHAT ABOUT AN AUTOMATIC!!!! That's right, I would much rather have an automatic than an antiquated 6 speed manual who's time has come and gone. For all of you inefficient rowers out there, get the manual quick because this method of shifting is going the way of the dinosaur, and not soon enough if you ask me.

Let's take a moment and look at the fine class of automobiles that the M6 is running in.

Continental GT - Automatic only
Austin Martin DB9 - Touchtronic 2 or Manual 6 speed
Mercedes CL55 - Automatic or "finger manual"
Ferrari Scaglietti 612 - F1 style only

I'm pretty sure I'm correct on the above, if I'm wrong, someone will correct me. The only one above that offers a manual is the DB9. I just don't understand why BMW would offer the M6, or the M5 for that matter, with a manual tranny. Clearly these cars are not track cars and if they were, the SMG would be the fastest way to get around the track anyways. The M6 is a GT cruiser and cruisers are best served with an auto or perhaps an SMG type tranny. One of the reasons I did not own an M5 in the past is because of the manual transmission.

Take a look at the success of the AMG line. Gobs of HP and torque bolted to an automatic has some appeal I would say. The negative with the AMG's is generally related to handling. That is why alot of us like the Bimmers. In my opinion if they married the cruiser class M5 & M6 to an auto, sales would increase dramatically. Us geezer cruisers could get the whole package including handling. I think it would open up a whole new class of buyers beyond BMW's wildest dreams, assuming they want to sell lots and lots of M5's & M6's. I must say, however, I do like the relatively small numbers of M6's that will be sold, as it makes the M6 sort of exclusive. Merecedes/AMG is sort of a victum of its own success, you see AMG SL55's & CL55's everywhere, at least here in California.

All that said, I always see lots of peoples crying and complaining about SMG only and no manual offered in the M6. Am I the only one on the face of the planet that would much perfer an automatic over a manual transmission in the M6??? Does anyone else feel this way? Will you admit this in public and be ostracized from the BMW rank-in-file!!!

Damn the manual....bring on the automatic!!!!

Last edited by MaxTimeOff; 05-24-2005 at 01:22 PM.
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  #2  
Old 05-24-2005, 02:16 PM
drallafi drallafi is offline
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Wow. You got some cajones comin' around here talking like that.

j/k To each his own. I agree that an automatic in the ///M cars would open them up to a whole new demographic, but I think an automatic tranny is the antichrist when it comes to what the ///M is really about.
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  #3  
Old 05-24-2005, 02:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaxTimeOff
Am I the only one on the face of the planet that would much perfer an automatic over a manual transmission in the M6???
Yes.
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  #4  
Old 05-24-2005, 02:29 PM
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It's funny if you think the manual trans is the "way of the dinosaur". Acura didn't produce a manual tranny in the 04 TL. They brought it back in the 05. Doesn't sound like manual transmissions are obsolete yet. Maybe 10 or 15 years from now. By then, your car will use ESP to shift.
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  #5  
Old 05-24-2005, 02:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by philippek
Yes.


I don't care what type of ///M car it is, I want to row my own gears. I *MIGHT* take an SMG, but no chance of an slushbox.

The American market is the only place you will find so many slush boxes and I have never understood why AMG cars come with autos.
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  #6  
Old 05-24-2005, 02:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaxTimeOff

Damn the manual....bring on the automatic!!!!





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  #7  
Old 05-24-2005, 03:19 PM
MaxTimeOff MaxTimeOff is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by philippek
Yes.
Philippek,

With all due respect, I think you're wrong, very wrong. The vocal minority that frequents these boards will support your view. I think there is a wide majority of badge buyers etc. that don't care about these car aficionado sites and could care less about posting on them that would buy an M6 in an auto format and won't even look at the car because of the manual transmission. How many people who currently own an AMG Mercedes would buy them if the only option was a 6 speed? I think you would see a lot less buyers in that market. I bet Mercedes analyzed the demographic pretty seriously when they began to expand the AMG offerings and it is no mistake that auto transmissions are offered.

Don't get me wrong, I prefer that BMW is keeping the production relatively small but they could blow out the catagory if they wanted to by offering an auto. They would clean Benz's (AMG) clock IMHO.
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  #8  
Old 05-24-2005, 03:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaxTimeOff
Philippek,

With all due respect, I think you're wrong, very wrong. The vocal minority that frequents these boards will support your view. I think there is a wide majority of badge buyers etc. that don't care about these car aficionado sites and could care less about posting on them that would buy an M6 in an auto format and won't even look at the car because of the manual transmission. How many people who currently own an AMG Mercedes would buy them if the only option was a 6 speed? I think you would see a lot less buyers in that market. I bet Mercedes analyzed the demographic pretty seriously when they began to expand the AMG offerings and it is no mistake that auto transmissions are offered.

Don't get me wrong, I prefer that BMW is keeping the production relatively small but they could blow out the catagory if they wanted to by offering an auto. They would clean Benz's (AMG) clock IMHO.
Given how finicky the M cars tend to be, the last thing they need to do is sell them to people who want a slushbox.
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  #9  
Old 05-24-2005, 03:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaxTimeOff
Philippek,

With all due respect, I think you're wrong, very wrong. The vocal minority that frequents these boards will support your view. I think there is a wide majority of badge buyers etc. that don't care about these car aficionado sites and could care less about posting on them that would buy an M6 in an auto format and won't even look at the car because of the manual transmission. How many people who currently own an AMG Mercedes would buy them if the only option was a 6 speed? I think you would see a lot less buyers in that market. I bet Mercedes analyzed the demographic pretty seriously when they began to expand the AMG offerings and it is no mistake that auto transmissions are offered.

Don't get me wrong, I prefer that BMW is keeping the production relatively small but they could blow out the catagory if they wanted to by offering an auto. They would clean Benz's (AMG) clock IMHO.

If you want a slushy buy a 645. simple.
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  #10  
Old 05-24-2005, 03:40 PM
MaxTimeOff MaxTimeOff is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bonezilla
It's funny if you think the manual trans is the "way of the dinosaur". Acura didn't produce a manual tranny in the 04 TL. They brought it back in the 05. Doesn't sound like manual transmissions are obsolete yet. Maybe 10 or 15 years from now. By then, your car will use ESP to shift.
You sort of make my point. On more elite GT's (Bently Gt's, ferrari 612, Aston Martin, Benz's etc.) and the M6, we have already seen a trend away from manual transmissions. In the these high end price point cars people want the best and that does not include manual transmissions. On there way to extinction, manual transmissions will be put on lesser cars to meet certain price points (Acura TL). As the SMG type tranny's become less expensive (more units produced) they will filter down to more entry level cars leading to the extinction of the manual transmission. I think the time horizon could be shorter than 10 to 15 years.

Last edited by MaxTimeOff; 05-24-2005 at 03:50 PM.
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  #11  
Old 05-24-2005, 03:45 PM
MaxTimeOff MaxTimeOff is offline
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Originally Posted by misterlance
If you want a slushy buy a 645. simple.
Why not offer both in the M6? BMW makes more sales, "cavemen" get what they want, I get my slushy Mpower....everyone wins. Simple!
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  #12  
Old 05-24-2005, 03:49 PM
MaxTimeOff MaxTimeOff is offline
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Originally Posted by Nick325xiT 5spd
Given how finicky the M cars tend to be, the last thing they need to do is sell them to people who want a slushbox.
More finicky than a Bently GT or Aston Martin...Please!

Last edited by MaxTimeOff; 05-24-2005 at 08:13 PM.
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  #13  
Old 05-24-2005, 04:01 PM
philippek philippek is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaxTimeOff
Philippek,

With all due respect, I think you're wrong, very wrong. The vocal minority that frequents these boards will support your view. I think there is a wide majority of badge buyers etc. that don't care about these car aficionado sites and could care less about posting on them that would buy an M6 in an auto format and won't even look at the car because of the manual transmission. How many people who currently own an AMG Mercedes would buy them if the only option was a 6 speed? I think you would see a lot less buyers in that market. I bet Mercedes analyzed the demographic pretty seriously when they began to expand the AMG offerings and it is no mistake that auto transmissions are offered.

Don't get me wrong, I prefer that BMW is keeping the production relatively small but they could blow out the catagory if they wanted to by offering an auto. They would clean Benz's (AMG) clock IMHO.
Max,

The M6's SMG will have an automatic mode, so your problem is solved. The reason MB didn't go with a manual transmission in the SL65 is because that is simply not their core competency. They don't make sticks in anything but their C and SLK classes, and those are far less powerful engines. It would have taken them a lot of time and $$$ to get a manual right in a beast like the SL65. In addition, that transmission just wouldn't sell in that car, it's not the right market for it.

BMW on the other hand, has always offered a manual tranny...everything but the 7 and X5 4.4 can get it. They're familiar with the technology and the market for BMWs demands that option at least be available.

To offer a slushbox in the ///Ms would be seen as something as a betrayal to the cognoscenti (witness the slushie M3/4s and cabs). Yes, it broadens the market appeal, but that isn't exactly the reason why ///M exists.
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  #14  
Old 05-24-2005, 04:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by misterlance
If you want a slushy buy a 645. simple.
Apparently... he already has one. I am a strong supporter of the SMG trans. I can't wait to drive the M5 with a 7 spd SMG... that will be the ultimate.
The Ferrari is the only "True" performance car on your list... IMHO... and the F1 is their SMG. It's the best of both worlds.
And by the way... As long as TRUE car enthusiest live and breath... their will always be a demand for the "Direct Connect" of a manual. No matter how "good" autos get... fluid is fluid... and it will never be dry.
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  #15  
Old 05-24-2005, 04:09 PM
drallafi drallafi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaxTimeOff
You sort of make my point. On more elite GT's (Bently Gt's, ferrari 612, Aston Martin, Benz's etc.) and the M6, we have already seen a trend away from manual transmissions. In the these high end price point cars people want the best and that does not include manual transmissions. On there way to extinction, manual transmissions will be put on lesser cars to meet certain price points (Acura TL). As the SMG type tranny's become less expensive (more units produced) they will filter down to more entry level cars leading to the extinction of the manual transmission. I think the time horizon could be shorter than 10 to 15 years.
I think the other factor that you're not considering is that each of the vehicles you name here is *extremely* heavy...

Bentley GT: 5320 lbs.
Ferrari 612: 4056 lbs.
Aston Martin DB9: 3968 lbs.

The simple fact is that a manual transmission just doesn't work as well on a tank as it does on a light, agile car like the 3-series.
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Old 05-24-2005, 04:21 PM
MaxTimeOff MaxTimeOff is offline
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Originally Posted by drallafi
I think the other factor that you're not considering is that each of the vehicles you name here is *extremely* heavy...

Bentley GT: 5320 lbs.
Ferrari 612: 4056 lbs.
Aston Martin DB9: 3968 lbs.

The simple fact is that a manual transmission just doesn't work as well on a tank as it does on a light, agile car like the 3-series.
Interesting point. At approx 3800 lbs does the M6 fall into the "tank" category in your opinion?
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Old 05-24-2005, 04:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaxTimeOff
Interesting point. At approx 3800 lbs does the M6 fall into the "tank" category in your opinion?
It's certainly no ballerina.
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  #18  
Old 05-24-2005, 04:57 PM
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Quote:
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Interesting point. At approx 3800 lbs does the M6 fall into the "tank" category in your opinion?
LOL... I was scrambling to find the number... I knew it was around that.
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Old 05-24-2005, 05:20 PM
MaxTimeOff MaxTimeOff is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by philippek
Max,

The M6's SMG will have an automatic mode, so your problem is solved. The reason MB didn't go with a manual transmission in the SL65 is because that is simply not their core competency. They don't make sticks in anything but their C and SLK classes, and those are far less powerful engines. It would have taken them a lot of time and $$$ to get a manual right in a beast like the SL65. In addition, that transmission just wouldn't sell in that car, it's not the right market for it.

BMW on the other hand, has always offered a manual tranny...everything but the 7 and X5 4.4 can get it. They're familiar with the technology and the market for BMWs demands that option at least be available.

To offer a slushbox in the ///Ms would be seen as something as a betrayal to the cognoscenti (witness the slushie M3/4s and cabs). Yes, it broadens the market appeal, but that isn't exactly the reason why ///M exists.
I agree with you about the SMG having an auto mode, if it's relatively smooth, and I hear the SMG III is, I'm home free. But my point is to foster thoughtful discussion about tranny options offered on the M6. I think the potential BMW market for the M6 is changing. I think the silent majority no longer demands a manual transmission. With the SMG, I think it renders the manual obsolete and unnecessary. If that is true, why not broaden the appeal of the M6 by offering an auto as well.

Why do ///M's exist? I think to make a performance statement for the brand, much like the Carerra GT or Enzo do for their respective brands, but not to that extreme. In the long run it's about profit, pure and simple. It has to be that way or companies cease to exist. Mpower winning on sunday helps sell cars on Monday. ///M's do broaden the market appeal of all BMW's that is a critical part of their existence, don't kid yourself. Broaden the appeal more by offering more of what the public will buy, and the manual tranny just does cut it anymore. Yes, as I expected, this rankles the oldtimers and purists, but that should not be the main concern. Look at Porsche, if management listened to the vocal minority (purists and old timers) that company would not exist today. BMW is no where near the condition Porsche was in the early 90's, not even remotely close. But a manual on a high end M6 GT cruiser that competes with some of the most exclusive brands available today just doesn't make sense to me, it's not forward thinking enough for the BMWAG Group.

Last edited by MaxTimeOff; 05-24-2005 at 06:11 PM.
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Old 05-24-2005, 10:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaxTimeOff
I agree with you about the SMG having an auto mode, if it's relatively smooth, and I hear the SMG III is, I'm home free. But my point is to foster thoughtful discussion about tranny options offered on the M6. I think the potential BMW market for the M6 is changing. I think the silent majority no longer demands a manual transmission. With the SMG, I think it renders the manual obsolete and unnecessary. If that is true, why not broaden the appeal of the M6 by offering an auto as well.

Why do ///M's exist? I think to make a performance statement for the brand, much like the Carerra GT or Enzo do for their respective brands, but not to that extreme. In the long run it's about profit, pure and simple. It has to be that way or companies cease to exist. Mpower winning on sunday helps sell cars on Monday. ///M's do broaden the market appeal of all BMW's that is a critical part of their existence, don't kid yourself. Broaden the appeal more by offering more of what the public will buy, and the manual tranny just does cut it anymore. Yes, as I expected, this rankles the oldtimers and purists, but that should not be the main concern. Look at Porsche, if management listened to the vocal minority (purists and old timers) that company would not exist today. BMW is no where near the condition Porsche was in the early 90's, not even remotely close. But a manual on a high end M6 GT cruiser that competes with some of the most exclusive brands available today just doesn't make sense to me, it's not forward thinking enough for the BMWAG Group.
First of all M cars are created by BMW M GmbH and thank god this company has different philosophy from BMW AG.

BMW M GmbH formerly known as BMW Motorsport GmbH was created to handle BMW's motorsport activities from building race cars to running factory race teams. Later came M cars: M1, M535i, M6, M5 and finally M3. All these cars have one thing in common - they use technology developed in racing. The focus here is performance and efficiency and this is one of the reasons we'll never see automatic transmission on M car. First ever clutch-less sequential gearbox in production car was introduced in 1996 in BMW M3 (SMG I) and I bet the next transmission to be introduced by BMW will be some type of DSG unit similar to what you can find in Audi cars. Both BMW and Porsche admitted they are working on that type of transmission since it is very efficient. Care to guess what will be the first BMW model to feature the new gearchange solution?

M models are the most driver oriented in their respective classes and this is what they are known for. It would be stupid to mess with the approach that brought success for the last 30 years.

Philosophy aside technology used in M cars is not suited for automatic transmissions. The new high-revving V10 engine produces lots of power but relatively small amount of torque with both power and torque curves that necessitate the use of 7 gears to achieve maximum performance. In comparison AMG super and turbocharged engines produce massive torque and suit automatics much better.

I think you should drive one of M cars right now to make sure you know what you're getting yourself into. Maybe it's time to move to M-B...
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Old 05-24-2005, 10:54 PM
MaxTimeOff MaxTimeOff is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by F1Crazy
First of all M cars are created by BMW M GmbH and thank god this company has different philosophy from BMW AG.

BMW M GmbH formerly known as BMW Motorsport GmbH was created to handle BMW's motorsport activities from building race cars to running factory race teams. Later came M cars: M1, M535i, M6, M5 and finally M3. All these cars have one thing in common - they use technology developed in racing. The focus here is performance and efficiency and this is one of the reasons we'll never see automatic transmission on M car. First ever clutch-less sequential gearbox in production car was introduced in 1996 in BMW M3 (SMG I) and I bet the next transmission to be introduced by BMW will be some type of DSG unit similar to what you can find in Audi cars. Both BMW and Porsche admitted they are working on that type of transmission since it is very efficient. Care to guess what will be the first BMW model to feature the new gearchange solution?

M models are the most driver oriented in their respective classes and this is what they are known for. It would be stupid to mess with the approach that brought success for the last 30 years.

Philosophy aside technology used in M cars is not suited for automatic transmissions. The new high-revving V10 engine produces lots of power but relatively small amount of torque with both power and torque curves that necessitate the use of 7 gears to achieve maximum performance. In comparison AMG super and turbocharged engines produce massive torque and suit automatics much better.

I think you should drive one of M cars right now to make sure you know what you're getting yourself into. Maybe it's time to move to M-B...
So I take it you agree that manual transmissions have a short remaining life in M cars. These SMG type transmissions will dominate and improve over time and the manuals will be a distant memory, I agree.
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Old 05-24-2005, 11:46 PM
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SpeedFreak! with his iDrive is the future, MaxTimeOff with his SMG is the future and autotragics in ///M's, and people loving Bangle butt styling and the idea of MX5's...

Where's Stuka and Dawg when you need 'em?
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Old 05-25-2005, 12:06 AM
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Originally Posted by swchang
SpeedFreak! with his iDrive is the future, MaxTimeOff with his SMG is the future and autotragics in ///M's, and people loving Bangle butt styling and the idea of MX5's...

Where's Stuka and Dawg when you need 'em?
LOL... Dude... you crack me up! The M is like the Holy Grail... this is a whole different situation. Remember this about me... performance always comes first in my book. The second something truly gets in the way of performance, it gets the guns! Du du du...
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Old 05-25-2005, 01:02 AM
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You know Max... I really do understand your point. The problem for your point is that BMW sells every single M car they produce... and in most cases... quickly, like before they ever get here. They don't need to "broaden the appeal" ... they own this particular part of the market. In fact... one could argue that BMW created it... and everyone else has been chasing them for the last 30 years.
F1Crazy said it best... the M division's primary consumer purpose is to build street legal race cars that we can buy for a reasonable price.
Ask yourself the question..."Could you imagine any racing of any kind featuring cars with Auto-matic-trans?!"
Come on man... be serious... it has nothing to do with being a Neanderthal... like I said earlier:
As long as TRUE car enthusiast live and breath... their will always be a demand for the "Direct Connect" of a manual (SMG included). No matter how "good" autos get... fluid is fluid... and it will never be dry.
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Last edited by SpeedFreak!; 05-25-2005 at 01:05 AM.
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  #25  
Old 05-25-2005, 06:29 AM
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I have no problem at all in BMW building an auto M6. I currently have a 6-speed and an SL500 among others. The SL is actually very pleasant for a nice quiet cruise around with the top down on a sunny day. The 645 is just much more fun to drive.
I am near the top of the waiting list for the M6 and have thought a lot about the SMG vs Manual, (if available). I will go with the stick if possible,becuase I do believe that the days of the manula are numbered. DSG and SMG shifts are getting much better and I know that I do not have the skill to shift faster than an SMG, and even my heel-and-toe is not as good as the SMG rev-matching on downshift.
Yet, using skills that you have developed over many years makes you feel more of a part of the car, and even if it does not perform as well as an SMG, at least its the fault of the driver, and not the car. So, if possible, I will take my soon-to-be-obsolete and only reasonably competent skills and get the shift car, and will think about SMG or DSG next time.
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