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DCT vs 6MT

Discussion in 'E90/E92/E93 M3 (2008-2013)' started by bharatmd, Apr 30, 2009.

    bharatmd guest

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    I am ready to order Le mans blue M3 coupe with 6MT.But because of tendinitis of hand and because wife cant drive stick,I am thinking about DCT.i had SMG on my 2003 M3 but i didnt like it and engine blew after 5000 miles for no reason(most likely due to faulty SMG).I would love to hear opinions/experience/advice from 6MT fanatics who have also experienced DCT.Othe worries i have is most of the M3 in usa are with DCT. so I am wondering about resale ,if there are not too many 6MT guys/gals.Any input is appreciated before i order myED this week or so.Thnaks
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    az3579

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    OK, let's start here:

    Performance-wise, the DCT transmission is SUPERIOR. For everyday use, it is also SUPERIOR. Why? It has an automatic mode for those traffic days, and a manual mode for when you want to open the taps a bit. The shifts, based on what I've been hearing, are absolutely flawless and will eat a manual for breakfast, digest, and unleash it in the toilet by the time a manual would reach 2nd.


    But, don't get me wrong; I HATE any transmission that's electronic like that. For the pure fun factor, 6MT all the way! Also, it will prove more reliable in the long run, because anything that relies on electronics WILL fail at one point or another.

    So, pick one; the technologically advanced and performance-wise superior transmission that may or may not break down the line, or a manual tranny that, if not defective, will provide endless years of fun and reliability?



    Also, I don't know about 6MT being rare; I haven't seen a single E9x M3 with a DCT in person but have seen tons with the manual...
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    racer218

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    Dtc

    I have an 08 M3 w/ DTC. I love it. The 6 speed, SMG, I have owned them all... raced them all... I personally think BMW hit the mark dead on with the DTC.

    eschummer guest

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    I have to agree with racer. I have the DCT, and it is everything I've ever dreamed about. Total control and lightning fast shifts if you want them (great throttle bursts on downshifts!), and yet, the wife can move the car if necessary when you happen to be out of town...:)
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    Satch SoSoCalifortified

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    Dct

    Oddly enough, they're calling the seven-speed DCT a "sport automatic" in the new Z4---and indeed, we did mistake it for an automatic at first! (See the June Roundel for the whole story.)

    If anything electronic will eventually fail, then we are all doomed, because there isn't a BMW around these parts that doesn't depend on the cooperation of mysterious electronic forces.

    Jbeene guest

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    I have to chime in for the 6MT. I'd rather do it myself. There is something about the enjoyment of a perfectly rev matched heel and toe downshift into a corner that just can't be matched with the car doing it for you. DCT will probably be smoother, allow you to brake more efficiently and get on the gas sooner but to me you gotta have 3 pedals, especially in a BMW. I think Porsche proved a long time ago (20 years ago?) that a 959 with pdk was at least a second faster around the track than a manual transmission car.

    The DCT is an amazing piece of kit but its not for me. Car and Driver called the M3 DCT the best car in the world after the M3 manual tranny car. I'm with them.

    I will admit that I have not driven the dual clutch car, but I really have no desire to. I'm also with Satch that simpler is better, the precise reason I did not get EDC with my car but did get M Drive. If the Nav flunks out the worst that will happen is I wont't have a screen to look at. Tranny goes, its a tow truck. Based on my expereince with an e61 5 series BMW is great at bringing technology to the road but they beta test it on the road. I was ready to abandon the brand by the end of the 5 series ownership fiasco.

    I'm glad I stuck in there and got the M3, either way you are getting one hell of a car that will put a smile on your face every time you drive it.

    Good luck with your choice.

    spin1200 guest

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    I feel the only reason there IS a 6MT in any M car post 2006 is because of america and americans thinking that there shifting is so precise and superior. Wether you like it or not , Technology is the essence on Motorsport. IMHO a 6MT in An 06-09 M5,6,08-09 M3 is blasphemy. I myself purchased an E46 M3 direct from Regensburg in 06, with 6MT, the car of my dreams and still dream about. It is involving , simple and with an addition of a UUC short throe+DS selector rod, very precise, but there is no one on earth that can match the shift speeds of SMGIII or DKT. While your dinking around with a knob, both of my hands are on the wheel. DKT is a transmission manual drivers prefer..

    spin1200 guest

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    Agreed..
    DCT is not getting the proper praise even through the Car reporters. I have sampled the likes of F1(ferrari) , E-gear, PDK, and DSG, I actually prefer auto-paddles on a wanker-matic 335i than DSG! DCT has to be the most responsive and fun to drive electric Dually yet!!
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    CSBM5

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    Exactly. BMW can only hope that the DCT is MUCH more reliable than the M5/M6 SMG has been. The most towed car in BMW's history, the E60 M5, has stranded more people, wifes and families than any other BMW I can recall in the past 35+ years.

    spin1200 guest

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    think were missing Satch's point..
    My brand new 6mt has left me stranded once...failed MAF
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    CSBM5

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    Failed MAF? You must not mean a "brand new" E90/92 M3 since they don't have MAFs. In any event, that is an extremely rare failure as Bosch MAFs have proven to be very reliable devices over the years.

    I've been driving BMWs for 35 years now, and in all the cars I've had, I'd have to say the worst from an electrical gremlin standpoint were the E32s. We had two of them many years ago, one auto (only auto BMW we've ever bought and it was enough for my wife to want a manual again, lol) and one 5MT, and they never left us stranded, but they had a fair amount of minor electrical issues. However, I drove the 5MT car up to 170k miles and sold it about 8 years back now still running well. I've never been stranded by a BMW, but then again, I'm pretty fanatic about maintenance, etc. If a part even remotely needs attention, it's fixed. :)

    spin1200 guest

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    No, im not talking about the E90-92-93 M3, I wish!! But it was a brand new E46 M3 I was fortunate enough to purchase new at the age of 25. I know all about that fantastic Ion-knock sensor. Its also great to see such devotion, isnt that why we are members to the greatest organization of automobiles to begin with? I myself have a "problem" with mien auto's in the case of maintenance , I mean who in there right mind would even follow BMW's oil change schedule for an M-Car or any of there cars to begin with? I myself have not even been driving as long as you had bmws, but my love did start with a particularly orange colored tii when I was 15. And I actually have to say that due to the way BMW is so efficient and comprehensive in the way they take care of every detail with ownership, I was not by any means "stranded"...

    fiberoptic guest

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    F1 uses DCT

    I have an 08 E90 M3 and even with heel / toe the syncho mesh takes forever to downshift. There is no way you can shift a manual in 0.10 seconds like DCT can. 0.20 seconds if your lucky and let's not forget the other major advantage of DCT, LEFT FOOT braking.Your hands and feet never have to switch controls. Aside from having to relearn braking with the left foot it is faster all around. As for the "purists" in these message boards claiming 6MT is bettter, they are relics holding to tradition. They are probably posting to this board from VT100 terminals running off a VAX or AS400 machine. The fastest road racing cars use DCT for a reason.
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    CSBM5

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    I've used left foot braking on track and in autocross for 25+ years. Only when you need to downshift in a braking zone do you need your right foot, and even then I've long ago gotten used to being able to swap feet from right to left once the downshift is over.

    In any event, I just recently read a review of the M3 DCT that claimed the electronics did not like left foot braking. I think it was using the brakes while transitioning off the throttle that caused issues with it. Can't recall where I read it, but I think it was a UK-based mag. Anyone have significant experience yet with the DCT on track/autocross who's used to major left foot balance braking that can chime in?

    Jbeene guest

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    Hmm, I wasn't debating the merits of the technology or saying that I could shift faster, I said I like shifting myself better. I'm not a relic, unless in being in your thirties and actually buying a car means you're a relic. I hear they have these new fangled lease things that you can do...everybody's doing it - or so the kids say.

    Plus I'm more or less convinced they will break for the first year or so. Witness the latest Nissan superwhippymobile that chews through transmissions like crazy and actually has warnings in the owners manual about transmission abuse voiding the warranty. Who needs the hassle?

    As for the downshifting delay a simple change to a blown out cdv from Zekhausen or others will do wonders. The CDV is there to protect the driveline from the ham fisted. If you can shift properly all it does is slow you down. I agree that with the standard cdv downshifts are slower in the MT as are upshifts. No person can match the speed of a computer controlled system.

    I drive my car to work and occasionally on the track, sometimes left foot brake (on the track) with 6mt and agree the dct car will be quicker in most every circumstance. I drive mostly in the real world where nobody is keeping track of my entry and exit speed from the parkade. A DCT would make my drive to work a lot less interesting for me. Each to their own.

    BMW's do a great job of making average drivers better and DCT will take this a step further. Less fumbling to worry about and more ability to concentrate on steering and braking. It will probably save a few lives too.

    For the original poster who has tendinitis and wants his wife to be able to drive the car the dct is a terrific alternative and superior to the SMG. I thought SMG sucked.
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    CSBM5

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    I think this is a common feeling amongst many. The involvement of driving the car is substantially reduced with an automated clutch not to mention the times when it does stuff that you simply don't want. If everyone was drag racing their cars everyday, and the outcome of that drag race had some significant value, then perhaps everyone would want DCT.

    However, when you really look at the situation for typical use the vast majority of these cars get, the actual gain is trivial. By the time you reach legal speeds on any road in the USA, at best you've done two shifts, 1-2 and 2-3. Compared to a very experienced driver, you might pickup a tenth of a second on each shift. Hence the argument that reaching 70mph 0.2 seconds quicker, so give up your control of the clutch, pay a few thousand more, add to the complexity of the transmission system (i.e. look at the most towed car in BMW's history, the E60 M5, for an example), etc, all for a 0.2 second gain to 70 just seems like a poor excuse to try to force that on people who don't think it through.

    BMW loves the DCT option since their marketing department desperately wants to be able to sell to those who can't drive a manual gearbox and won't learn how (i.e. the modern world, especially in the USA, that's been raised on automatics). That's not the only market for these as clearly many pure enthusiasts buy them too, but that is a significant portion of BMWNA's market. Many of SMG and now DCT sales have gone to those who can't drive a stick, but they want an M-car. BMW knows this market very well. They can't lose sales of high margin M-cars by not having an automated clutch option, and they don't want to take the AMG route with a pure auto (however, these are getting awfully good these days). Hence they have created a whole campaign around SMG/DCT to convince people that this is "wave of the future", "you'll be just like a touring car racer", etc, while they price it such that for every car they sell with one, they make a very nice additional sum off the buyer. This backfired on them with the E60 M5 as the warranty costs from all the problems they had with SMGIII ruined that car's business case not to mention many customer bad-will outcomes.
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    330indy1

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    hmmm, that is a scary stat.

    This debate is kind of pointless though isn't it?
    Apples and oranges.

    It comes down to one question for me:
    Do I want to manipulate the throttle, or not?

    YES I Do !!
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    az3579

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    It all comes down to preference. Who cares more about shifting faster or "having the fastest transmission available"? Get DCT. If you don't care about the speed of your shift and want a more involved drive, get the 6MT. Plain and simple, pick one.


    It's a no brainer to me; 6MT is cheaper, a helluva lot more fun, more reliable, always does what you want, and 99% of the time, it won't matter how fast you shift. Dunno how you could go wrong. :p
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    wretched

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    This would have been very interesting if a poll was attached to it. If we look at our surroundings and driving habits the dual clutch would be a clear winner! I myself hate my automatic and think daily how bad I want the 6mt. But do we really all say manual because of two reasons? First everyone is scared to death of them and there short life span (autos). Second are they afraid of being looked at as a lesser driver for using a auto? I am not implying anything just something that popped into my head...

    I know my next one I want a 6mt along with ED. My wife like one of those ideas and fights me tooth and nails about the other. I think you which one she prefers!
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    CSBM5

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    My wife loves driving a manual since she enjoys the control over the car. Also, she hates the throttle-by-wire programming in many modern auto tranny cars that doesn't allow fine control over minor throttle movements (i.e. the push, push, push, zoom, back off the throttle issue). Amazingly, many cars seem to have this issue with autos. Have you ever driven an Alpina B7 for example? When I realized that a $120,000 Alpina was so poorly programmed, I really thought it was just the example I experienced...turns out they're all that way. The E90s we test drove a few years back with autos were the same way. She simply couldn't stand driving them, and I felt the same way. Just look at all the issues BMW has had with the E60 545/550 steptronic. There's a lengthy thread on Bimmerfest along with the service bulletins and such, but many still have crazy stuff going on with their car's transmission programming.

    Another example was a 2004 V70R Volvo we bought she decided she wanted to try an auto tranny -- it had simply horrible electronic throttle programming as above coupled with the auto tranny doing crazy stuff when you didn't want it to. Luckily for us, the car was a total lemon and spent weeks in the shop in the first year such that Volvo swapped us out for a new 2005. This time she went with the 6MT V70R, and that completely solved the crazy throttle and auto programming issues with smooth driveability now available. However, that car was also in the shop continually with many problems, so we ditched it after 11 months never to buy another Volvo again, performance version or not.

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