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Why No Dual Clutch in 3 Series?!?!?

Discussion in 'E90/E91/E92/E93 (2006-2011)' started by rsumma729, Aug 31, 2010.

    rsumma729 guest

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    Seriously?!

    I just had my 335i in for service recently, and was given a 135i loaner with the dual-clutch Getrag box. It knocked my socks off!

    That transmission is 20 times better than the ZF-Auto box they offer on the 3 Series, and would have me seriously considering ditching my manual.

    For some inane reason though, BMW don't offer it as an option on the 3 Series, except for the 335is and the M3. In Europe, the dual-clutch transmission is a build-to-order option on almost every vehicle - but I can't get it on a 335 or any other non M 3 Series that isn't the "is".

    What gives?! Who else would like the dual-clutch option on a 3 series if given the chance? :mad:

    I don't need or want the "is" and I can't afford an M3, but I'd pay for that transmission on a regular 335...if there was a choice!
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    bcweir

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    That's a very interesting question, considering that the 135 and 335 run same engine

    Perhaps you could ask that question of BMW's head of communications, Tom Kowaleski. He was quoted as saying the following in this thread I posted elsewhere in the forum.

    As a premium brand, BMW wants to stimulate more custom orders, Kowaleski said. "You can have your car from us any way you want it," he said. This move reduces the amount of time between a Midwestern customer's placing an order and his or her driving it off the lot.

    http://bmwcca.org/forum/showthread.php?t=7893

    I can't think of a single reason why you shouldn't be able to have this. All of the parts for this have BMW part numbers. Especially since it's available as an option to Euro customers and North American 1-series customers. Why not?

    rsumma729 guest

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    Nice article - it is odd, considering how build-to-order BMWs options tend to be... If he had an email address, I certainly would ask - and I'm sure I'd get a nice form response for my trouble.

    For an enthusiast/performance-powered brand, it seems odd to not allow people to chose an option like this that is freely available to purchasers in other parts of the world.

    It's a shame, I'm willing to pay for it, but I just can't order a 335i that way. Seems like "buy an M3 or a 135i" are hardly acceptable alternatives.
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    Deutsch Marques

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    Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't every body style/engine/transmission combination need to pass US crash and standards testing? That said, the cost to certify every possible combination of body/engine/transmission would be very high. Therefore, BMW and pretty much every other import brand gives us a selection of what they feel would sell the most of in the States. Since most US drivers are nothing more than cattle on the highway of life, we lose out on some of the best cars from Europe and elsewhere.

    I think that's why we don't see 5-door 1ers. And why the new 5 won't bring the Touring to the US. And why Audi rarely gives us all the RS options... or heck, even a manual transmission A4 Avant. It's frustrating... and I've seriously given some thought to becoming an ex-patriot living in Europe. Until reality set in, that is.
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    floydarogers

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    That's exactly (well, perhaps you stated it a little better) what I replied to the OP on another forum. It's certainly cost-related, and offering the DCT would cost them by vampiring the 6-speed manual market as well as the up-front million-dollar-plus certification costs.

    rsumma729 guest

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    I always thought it was just because the car companies always thought American buyers wouldn't be interested in those models. I suppose anything is possible though.

    rsumma729 guest

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    ForcedInduction guest

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    It's pretty difficult to justify not offering a DCT on any BMW these days. My guess is the current 3 series situation is to force people to buy the premium priced M3 model that has higher margins for BMW.
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    bcweir

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    More than likely, it's a profit question

    I should also point out that the DCT is also available in the Z435 S-Drive.

    Perhaps its true that BMW genuinely wants to put people into an M3 to give them the DCT option, rather than make it more widely available in the 335's they sell more of.

    As for the certification issue, I believe more than anything that BMW won't sell the five door here for the simple reason they choose not to. Quite likely, to keep costs down, the body structures, subframes, and mounting points for the drivetrain are all the same between the coupe, convertible, 4 door sedan, and the 5 door hatch. Ditto for everything forward of the front doors.

    I seem to recall that BMW didn't offer a six-speed manual for the E60 M5 until buyers demanded it, refusing to buy the initial SMG-equipped model.

    Had there been a similar outcry for a 5-door 1-series or a DCT-equipped non-M 3-series, BMW would have likely obliged then too.

    Or perhaps the simplest answer of all: maybe nobody ever point-blank asked for a DCT 335, let alone fought for one, before.

    By all means, investigate this. Ask why -- or why not?
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    az3579

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    That would be a huge problem, because the 6-speed market is already hurting. You can't waltz into a dealer lot and buy a 6-speed because nobody stocks them. Why? Because most people are content with an automatic, and most wouldn't pay the premium that the DCT carries just for it to do exactly the same thing, only faster. It wouldn't sell as well to make it worth BMW's while to offer it, which is my best guess.

    But then that begs the question, why offer it on the 1er and the Z4-s-whatever-the-hell-drive-3-something-5-i... sometimes the choices don't make sense.


    Whatever the case may be, the second 6-speed sales start cannibalizing as a result of the introduction of DCT in a model, I'm going after whoever's responsible, and I promise, it won't be pretty...
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    Zeichen311

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    :) I'll be the guy in line behind you....

    For what it's worth, at the NY Auto Show this past March they did say they felt offering manual transmissions was an important expression of a BMW's sporting nature, and specifically that's why the first new Fünfers included three-pedal offerings (but not the models added since, I notice...). So for now, they'll still build to suit.

    But you can bet, if we enthusiasts don't step up and order new cars with manuals, sooner or later the bottom line will turn against us. :(
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    bcweir

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    I realize this is going to sound like toughlove, but...

    ...I believe manual shifting should be required teaching in driver's ed.

    That's the problem with driver's education in America. They don't teach you how to drive a car competently. They teach you how to pass an exam.

    Thank GOD for BMWCCA DE events!
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    az3579

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    I'll raise a glass to that, brotha

    rsumma729 guest

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    rsumma729 guest

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    I'd agree completely - it should be required...as should many other things...to get a US licence.
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    Deutsch Marques

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    Here's my theory: If BMW or whatever other car company developed body/engine/tranny combos for other markets, i.e. Europe, then they'd offer it anywhere they sold cars, including the US. It would have nothing to do with not thinking most Americans would want X option. Just being able to sell another 10, 100, 1000 cars would be that much more money made.

    However, due to the fact that body A with engine B and tranny C hasn't been certified by the DOT, they can't sell it here. Now they have to look at the cost to certify it vs. what they'd make on the sale of that combo. A combo with a projected low volume of sales wouldn't pay for its certification.

    If they were "holding back" a DTC 3 Series because they wanted to force people to buy the more expensive M3, then they wouldn't have designed and offered a DTC 3 Series in Europe either. No, I'm fairly certain it has to do with cost of certification, and not that they want to force people to up-buy. That kind of tactic leads to lost sales when buyers look at the competition instead.

    Apparently, the costs to certify cars in Europe is much less. That's why BMW and all the other brands offer so many choices over there. It's sickening, really... have you ever seen how many options they get!? Here in the good old US of A with our combination of stricter standards and clueless consumers, we get stuck with only the options the marketing department thinks will sell well enough to cover the costs.

    Perfect reason to adopt a GLOBAL standard! Auto makers would be able to sell everything they develop in every country they are in. Potentially more money for them, and more options for us. Then, they could actually sell a 4-cylinder Diesel DTC 5 Series Touring to me, even if it was the ONLY one in the USA.
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    Pyewacket1

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    I completely agree.

    In today's environment, I don't understand why we don't require a more stringent driver's training program using simulators. Of course, to finance the simulators, the price of a license might rise to $100 or so, but I don't think that's such a bad thing.

    Just about every video arcade has some type of driving game (simulator), and a simulator would allow for varied driving conditions (dry streets, rain, snow, etc.). Certainly we would have better drivers if we required 25-50 hours of acceptable simulator experience before granting a license, and it would make a driver's exam much more qunatitative (the machine would grade the student, not some other person).

    Anyway, those are my thoughts on the subject.
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    bcweir

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    There are a few other interesting contrasts with Germany as well

    In Germany, driving instruction takes TWO years, and from what I hear, is a lot more rigorous than the US exam.

    In Germany, there is ONE standard for being licensed to drive, not FIFTY.

    I might also add that despite Germany having a smaller population, Germany has a much smaller percentage of driving related fatalities than the US as a percentage of the population.

    As an American, I hate to say this, but if you were to put an American driver (who had only taken a conventional driver's education course, not BMWCCA's or any one of the high performance driving schools) vs. a German-trained driver (again, no other training), my money would be on the German blowing the American off the road in terms of skill, and final track speed.

    I say this not to tick anyone off or sound disloyal to my own country, but to highlight how much our driving instruction standards have failed to adequately train drivers to handle an automobile and the roads we drive them on.

    Sadly, the current anti-government sentiment would likely kill any move to raise or nationalize driving skill or licensing standards.

    I should also add that Germany has an additional licensing authority called the TUV. Before a part can be licensed and approved for sale in Germany, it has to be TUV approved. The TUV is roughly equivalent to our DOT, but with a LOT more authority to keep unsafe parts out of Germany's supply chain.

    Not trying to get off topic here, but I am also going to add that teaching people how to adequately operate a manual transmission could even save lives (i.e., you can teach people how to downshift and use engine compression to slow a car if the brakes fail -- a trick my dad taught me when he showed me how to shift).

    mbmw8268 guest

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    DCT is an available option with 2011 335is for $1575, compare to the M-DCT for $2900, it is almost a bargain.

    When I asked BMW NA how much to build (paint) a 328i coupe with M sport package with mineral white, $5000 was the answer. Image how much for putting DCT in non-335is. $50,000??

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