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Thread: 650 SMG?

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    650 SMG?

    I test drove an '06 650 w/ SMG yesterday and came away pretty convinced that I needed to know a great deal more (I know nothing other than that most Bimmerphiles seem to passionately hate it) about this system before I can have any idea about how to best evaluate it. Basically, I found the manual shifting during a relatively low-intensity test drive to be very jerky and more or less impossible to execute smoothly. I've tried to do some reading on this system and it looks as if it's possible to use it in an "automatic" mode, but it wasn't at all clear to me how to do this. Can anyone enlighten me as to whether SMG is truly viable or not and how it works? TIA


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    Re: 650 SMG?

    you either love or hate it. the best thing to do is have the dealer let you drive it for a while. the SMG are not that easy to sell and they should go for the drive. from what i've heard you need to use the throttle as you would a munual to get smooth shifts in auto. no matter what we say you need get that motion down by driving the car.

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    Love my SMG....but

    John,

    I have 2004 645 with SMG. Have put 30k miles on the car and am very pleased with the SMG. Here's what you need to keep in mind:

    - Its not an automatic and the automatic mode is not a steptronic - I never use it.
    - If you drive in stop and go traffic, pay more attention to your cell phone than driving - don't get the SMG
    - Its very easy to make smooth shifts once you spend some time with the car. 1-2 and 2-3 shifts are best executed above 4000 rpm

    Now if you are an enthusiat driver - you will like the responsiveness of the SMG. So if you like to drive the back roads, autocross, and participate in driving schools - the SMG is superior to the steptronic. If you want to look cool on your daily commute - get the steptronic.

    If you are seriously considering SMG. you need to keep the car for a full day and drive it under all conditions to get a sense of the car. Even then, it will take a few thousand miles to hone your skills.

    Good Luck

    Mike

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    Re: 650 SMG?

    I have an 06 650 with SMG. I like it but you must drive it like a manual system even in the auto mode.

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    Re: 650 SMG?

    I had an '04 645 with Step and currently have an '05 645 with SMG. I never drive it in auto mode simply because you cannot always anticipate the gear changes which makes for a pretty jerky ride. I have put about 27k miles on the car and really enjoy the more active role of driving with SMG vs Step. Like others, you get used to feathering the gas pedal just right to get the shifts wanted. I always drive in sport mode to get the quicker shifts and, in my estimation, the shifts are extremely fast when you chose to drive more aggresively. If you have experience driving with manual transmissions and are able to manage smoothly, you won't have any difficulty in learning and maintaining a smooth ride with SMG. Granted, it is not as smooth as Step, but it's not meant to be. I have been curious about the new 650 with step and paddle shifters. It would be interesting to make a comparison. Only concern about SMG for me is resale value (low demand, discontinued for the time being, negative publicity) and possibility of expensive maintenance with this system. Also gas mileage is a little less with SMG vs Step ( I think mostly due to different gear ratios)

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    a bit late but I drove all 3 versions and I came

    to conclusion that the best of pack for spirited driving on the street is the manual.
    if you just want to drive the 6 and never do any spirited driving the new 6 spd auto transmission is GREAT. if you use it in manual mode it is fast and smooth yet responsive. I loved it !
    the SMG - well it is a GREAT tool for the track and I'm sure some can enjoy it in normal everyday use, I would not recommend it in the US. It is not a manual and takes time to figure out the way to shift smootly I tried with full throttle and it is jerky. on the track it is ok, but on the street it felt horrible.
    the SMG is for a narrow group of people and I know I will be called names for this but that narrow group must have grown up with a Sony PS2. it is NOT a real manual and you have less control over the shift and it is not an automatic where shifts are smooth





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    Re: a bit late but I drove all 3 versions and I came

    I would not say the STEP is limited to non-spirited driving. After more than 20 runs of the Tail of the Dragon and some auto-crossing I find the STEP to be fun in spirited driving - obviously using the manual (STEP) mode. WOT shifts occur at redline and downshifts can be pressed and held. That is, you are in 3rd and want to go to 2nd but EGS computer will not allow at RPM you are at - hold the shift lever - (do not release otherwise it will go back to indicating 3rd) so that 2nd gear indicator still shows. AS soon as EGS determins it is safe for engine to downshift it will do so. Repeat for 2 to 1st. Or even press down shift twice to indicate desire to downshift to 1st and as soon as safe it will do so. Lots of fun and I hold my own against all comers :)

    This will be even better in MY08 and later SPORT AUTO 6ers with paddle shifter and improved software/tranny.

    However, I am not saying manual might not be MORE fun, but my arthritic 65 year old knees will have none of it.

    And now I am waiting on V8tt with new BMW DCT tranny for even more FUN!!
    _______
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    Re: a bit late but I drove all 3 versions and I came

    While I agree that the manual would provide the most involved experience, I hardly agree with your opinion regarding the step and the SMG. I do not own a PS2 but have plenty of experience (over 35 yrs) driving sports cars with manual transmissions. I owned a 645 step for 10 months and have enjoyed my 645 SMG for over 2 years. I have never experienced the jerkiness you refer to and have never had any difficulty executing smooth shifts. At full throttle, it is no more jerky than any other manual. If one is able to master a manual, you will have no difficulty making the transition to SMG. As for Step,it's spirited, but in a different way.

    I'm waiting for the dual clutch system, which will be even better than the single I have. Hopefully it will be available in the 6 in the next year or two.

    Would be interested in anyone's opinion who currently has a SMG and has tried the new 650 with the shift paddles. How do they compare? Haven't had the opportunity to drive one yet.

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    Re: 650 SMG?

    I thought I read somewhere that the SMG on the 6 has been (temporarily) discontinued? When I looked at BMW's web site, all I see is the 6 speed. Anyone know if its likely that the SMG will be available a year from now when my lease is up on my '05? Thanks.

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    Re: 650 SMG?

    No more SMG for non-Ms. Only 6sp, SPORT STEP, regular STEP and someday the new dual clutch tranny recently announced for the M3.
    _______
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    Re: 650 SMG?

    I just searched for "sport step" and didnt find any reviews. How does it compare to the SMG? Sounds like a dilemma for me, I went for the SMG after 20 years of driving manuals. Now, after 3 years of not having to use a clutch, I am not sure I want to go back. Not sure if the sport step will satisfy me, though. Any thoughts, Dave? (If this has already been discussed, please point me to the thread and I will catch up). Thanks,

    Howard

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    Re: 650 SMG?

    Not much here on this forum, but over on e 6 0.n e t, Rudy has done an excellent thread on it. I believe others have also contributed significant input on that thread and perhaps another as well. The SPORTS AUTO is required to get paddle shifter as a low cost option ~$100. I will not suggest it is a replacement for SMG, but it is more sporty in performance than the regular STEP and the added paddle shifting/manual mode is quite good. If it is the only choice when the V8tt hits teh 6er I'll go with it, but no new 6er for me until we get the new V8tt, whenever that is.
    _______
    US '05 645 Coupe|Silver Grey|Chateau|Sport|Logic 7|HUD|Cold Pkg|SAT|AUX|BT w/ snap-in adapter|MP3|V1|CIP 25.02


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