Hey, so I'm in the market for a new car and have my sights set on the
M3. I'm thinking about getting it with SMG II, and would like some
experience/opionion on it. The main reason for the SMG would be since I
am not familiar w/ driving a manual (but I should have the basics down
by the weekend as I'm learning :-) ), but also, although i do most of
my driving for the commute to work (about 55 miles, mostly on the major
highways), I do also drive around in the city on the weekends and
sometimes get stuck in rush hour traffic.
Say if i do pick up the knacks for driving stick by the weekend, before
I get my M3, should i get the manual? or because of the limited
experience I should just get the SMG (i dont feel like busting up the
manual tranny due to my lack of experience).
Im just looking for some feedback, thanks!
Don't buy an SMG without trying it and make sure the sales person knows how
to drive with an SMG box and explains the techniques properly.
A few pointers when you try it. Don't try the auto-mode first (settings
A1-5). Make sure its in sequential mode (S) and set the drivelogic to S3 to
begin with. When pulling away squeeze the throttle gently then accellerate.
As you change gear lift the throttle very lightly, literally flex your toes
or relax your ankle a bit. Don't move your foot. The first few miles will be
very jerky and uncomfortable but you should get used to it fairly quickly.
Then up the drivelogic to 5, you should notice the speed of the changes
increases, I find S5 the most comfortable. Finally hit the Sport button as
well. Try a few down changes whilst accellerating and it should blip the
throttle nicely for you. Heal & toe into a few corners and it becomes
addictive, especially at high revs.
I doubt they'll let you play in S6 on a test drive as this means switching
off DSC which could be a bit of a handful if you're not used to the car. But
S6 makes the car perform as it should with no "interference" from an
SMG is not for everyone. There's a misconceptions its an automatic. Its not.
Its the same box as the manual just with hydraulic actuators to select the
gear and engage the clutch plate. Driving in automode can be attrocious but
Try it and see. I've had both and prefer the SMG, others hate it. A lot
depends on what you use the car for. For me its purely driving pleasure, no
commutes, just fun.
Any gearbox that can change gear on its own is an auto - regardless of how
it works. Wonder why SMG owners seek to deny this?
Audi have shown that this type of transmission can be made to work
tolerably well in auto mode, and BMW will be adopting this twin clutch
system in a few years. Goodness only knows why it's taken them so long.
*A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory *
Dave Plowman email@example.com London SW
Obviously you have your cemented-in opinion while the rest of the world
differs with you. That's your choice. Sure, it changes gears
automatically, but it's a completely different mechanism. Calling it an
automatic transmission only muddies the waters. It's a matter of
accuracy, not a matter of not acknowledging that it changes gears
automatically. When somebody says it's not an automatic transmission,
people are saying it's not a slushbox with planetary and sun gears that
are involved and that's why people don't call it automatic.
Maybe that wasn't the best question. I had only older manual cars until
my newest (2006 330i). I really don't know what goes in that. I was used
things like my 83 VW rabbit. See pics here -
http://mysite.verizon.net/kkratoch/VW/index.html - site is down right
now, but try later.
Malt_Hound > wrote:
An automatic transmission is one which changes gear by itself. Regardless
of how it achieves this. Epicyclic, belt and pulley, or robotised manual
Nor does a torque convertor enter the argument as these have been used
with manually selected gears/ conventional synchro box. And it would be
possible to make an epicyclic auto with a conventional servo operated
clutch instead of fluid drive.
*A fine is a tax for doing wrong. A tax is a fine for doing well.
Dave Plowman firstname.lastname@example.org London SW
What a lot of squabbling.
A [fully] manual gearbox as found on most UK cars allows any gear to be
selected from neutral and vice-versa. Since about 1948 they have normally
incorporated synchro-mesh (small brass cogs with limited friction which help
synchronise the main gears when changing). The gears run on keyways and
only the cogs of the gear selected are actually in mesh.
A [fully] automatic box uses an arrangement of planet and sun gears,
originally to provide three basic ratios (with the assembly locked, with the
cage free to rotate and with only the planetary gears free to rotate). A
fluid flywheel / hydraulic clutch completes the assembly and allows the car
to move off from stationery. The hydraulic arrangement may also provide
some flexibility in gearing (torque converter) and a take off of hydraulic
pressure to operate the gearbox. More recent boxes have more gears and
solenoids can be used to activate gear changes, however the original Borg
Warner and Powerglide boxes had no electronics and the box worked
automatically changing gear in response to road speed, power and load.
An SMG box is basically a development of the continuous mesh gearbox found
on most motorcycles. All the gears are in mesh all the time, and it works
by a dog clutches which can select one gear (or none) at a time, the rest
simply rotate around the shaft. Its main advantage is lightweight (hence
its use in F1), but the disadvantage is that [usually] you have to pass
through all the gears to get to neutral (a pain after an emergency stop on a
bike). It is a relatively simple matter to automate selection by paddles
using solenoids (on a bike the selector is mechanical and usually operated
directly into the gear box with the left foot). There is nothing inside the
box to make it change gear, so IMHO it is a manual which can be operated
[automatically] by electrical means.
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