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The SMG is a tremendous transmission. Responding to some specfic questions...
1. You can modulate the shift speed of the SMG by feathering the throtle as you pull the paddles or shifter. Even in the S5 mode which I drive in 95% of the time, it is easy to shift very smoothly. SMG's shifts are controlled by the rate of acelleration as well as the mode selected.
2. Your left foot does not get bored. There is a dead peddle that it can rest on.
3. Instead of having less control SMG gives the driver more control. Pushing a clutch in and out, having to heel and toe, as well as being concerned about a possible miss shifts at the limit of RPM's are no longer a concern. I can now keep both hands on the wheel and concentrate on the road and the turn ahead.
4. There is an idicator on the dash below the tach. that clearly tells you what gear you are in. It is plenty large and if you are unsure a quick glance as you check the tach will tell you.
5. The down shifts, with the computer controlled throtle blip and rev matching double clutching, are simply addicting and they're perfect every time. Myself and others have commented that this my be the best single feature of this tranny.
6. I seldom use the auto mode, but if I'm on the phone or my right hand is otherwise occupied it is very nice to be able to quickly push the shifter to the right and let the computer do the shifting. Once the call is over, an addtional push to the right of the shifter or a pull on the paddle and I'm back in S5 mode.

For those of you who have never driven an SMG M3, the learning curve is very steep. You can become comfortable behind the wheel in less than 1 hour. However many hours are needed to master this transmision. Remember just how long it took to get good with a clutch?
 

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I concur 100% SMG can be controlled by the mode and throttle opening, with shifts silky smooth or a slam dunk powershift. I am amazed that anyone could not like SMG without driving it first. It makes you a better, faster driver. It does NOT reduce driver involvement. The fact that all F1 teams use a similar box, and the Ferrari road cars also use a similar system should be an indication that SMG is faster. If one prefers tradiotional manual, thats their choice. I recommend driving both, then choosing.

M3Jim
'02 M3 Coupe
Velvet Blue / M3 Alcantara
 

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Any SMGII owner who lives in San Francisco?

I would like to know how the SMGII driver deals when the car is fully stopped at a 45 or more degrees angle and another car is right behind. When I used to have a stick shift car, I had to pull the hand brake level up, and then modulate the clutch with the gas pedal so that the car does not go backwards.

I wonder how I would do it with a SMGII car. Still using the handbrake while depressing the gas pedal?
 

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DaveN323i said:

I wonder how I would do it with a SMGII car. Still using the handbrake while depressing the gas pedal?
As I recall, it has a function to prevent the car from sliding back. Why you would need it when you don't have to wait for your left leg...
 

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On SMG I, hold down left paddle 0.5s, release, engine will rev up according to severity of inclination. Release the brake, apply gas... little to no roll on 25-35deg inclines. I assume that SMG II works similarly.
 

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Any SMGII owner who lives in San Francisco?

I would like to know how the SMGII driver deals when the car is fully stopped at a 45 or more degrees angle and another car is right behind. When I used to have a stick shift car, I had to pull the hand brake level up, and then modulate the clutch with the gas pedal so that the car does not go backwards.

I wonder how I would do it with a SMGII car. Still using the handbrake while depressing the gas pedal?
You hold the left paddle and it will hold the car in gear on an incline for approximately 10 seconds. It also works great when trying to smoothly back uphill out of a steep driveway. That maneuver is normally a clutch killer for me, but my former M3 dealt with it with aplomb. SMGII isn't nearly as bad as the drama queens in the motoring press wanted to make it out to be.
 
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