wait a moment. Where did you find the M3 manual?
Fall in the land of sharks, snakes and spiders, of course. Because Australians, generally lucky enthusiasts, can also add the M3 Six-Speed Manual to their list of things they can enjoy and we can’t. Next to “cascading sunny days”, perhaps.
Anyway, by now, you are probably familiar with the new BMW M3 – what it looks like, how it behaves and how expensive it is. And that’s without mentioning the fact that you can’t get a manual gearbox in the UK. Which reminds you a bit when you find out that our American and Antipodes cousins can.
Because, for quite a few people, the M3 without a manual gearbox is like a really nice pub that doesn’t serve beer – although as nice as the rest it really feels like it’s missing a key ingredient.
So, does fitting a manual gearbox into the new M3 make it better?
Yeah. Yes it is.
And if that’s all you’ve come up with in this article for, you no longer need to delve into thousands of words for the answer. Feel free to enjoy the rest of what the internet has to offer, like scrolling, arguments, and other things we probably shouldn’t mention on a family website.
But if the rest of you are like us, this simple answer will do more than raise more complex questions. What is the Auto M3 missing and does the manual fix it? What do you gain from using a manual M3, and aside from emigrating from the UK, what do you have to give up to get it?
Mother. Shouldn’t we be asking questions?
Eh, totally. Sorry about that.
Eh, no big deal. Also, now that I mentioned it, what’s missing in the automatic M3? Is the guide valid?
Overall, there isn’t much missing from the automatic M3. It’s fast, comfortable and handles great. But the M3 badge has meant so much more in the past – it’s closely linked to the car, the road, and the driving itself. And automatic gearboxes are not exactly that famous.
In this video, Chris Harris teases out the eight-speed car’s slower responses compared to the old car’s dual-clutch gearbox, not to mention a proper manual. “I think the car really lost something,” he said. “Every time you want the car to respond right away… there is a slight delay. And that delay, to me, makes a big difference.” It also had issues with its design, “fine detailing” and a lack of visual “cohesion”.
The manual M3, then, is the obvious answer – immediate and direct input, not constrained by torque converters and shift computers. The satisfaction that can only come from putting in more and getting more in return. And the unspoken great points of “Who cares more about driving?” The contest, of course.
Other than this instant connection, is there anything else a manual M3 does better?
Well, the Proof is also 25kg lighter than the automatic M3 and 75kg lighter than the M3 all-wheel drive. Other than a special lightweight edition (maybe a CSL manual, BMW?) the Manual is the lightest new M3 you can buy.
However, her weight at 1,780 kg is still far from a featherweight. The last manual M3 had a weight of 1595 kg, and the previous one – equipped with a 4.0-liter V8 engine, mind – 1605 kg.
However, the new M3 doesn’t feel that heavy on the road. In fact, it does not feel heavy at all. We didn’t do back-to-back engines with the Lotus, but at no time did the new M3’s weight feel like it had any say in how the car accelerated, stopped or steered. It’s strange. The extra weight seems to be due to the additional games, so it would be good to see what an abstract version can achieve. Once again BMW, tip.
But it’s huge in size as well as weight, isn’t it?
Yes and yes. But the vintage look of the car shrinking around you takes full effect here – drive the M3 at speed and push its size and weight from the 5 Series to the ocean, invisible as your focus narrows to the rapidly approaching scene.
But this effect goes beyond weight and volume. Push hard and silly, non-rounded scales won’t matter. Enjoy her abilities and find that you have forgotten her face. Set M mode for full throttle response, turn off the weak noise maker and let everything else rest, then watch when the distance goes away.
It looks like a very different car from the old one, which felt very powerful, but almost insidious in intent. To drive a new M3 is to marvel at how you’ve mastered just about anything you point at it.
Best of all, the admiration you feel is not tempered by wondering when he will bump into you and spit on you in an unpleasant place. If the old M3 rubs the belly of a cat, the new one rubs the belly of a dog – every part is fun, just without the constant risk of being bitten.
It looks pretty cool so far. What interest?
Not all beer and burgers. The new M3 directive contains all the notes of the closed comment section. So you get an instant turn, leeches can learn from that grip and bloody corner speed, but you don’t understand through the steering wheel what happened to make it happen. It’s kind of like the radar from M*A*S*H, where you know what you want as soon as you ask and then sort it out for you before you can finish asking. Keep in mind that both manual and automatic M3s are like this.
Also, the exhaust sound-enhance switch can tire, but when turned off the engine is nearly mute. Which means that missing the right spot in the rev range and getting stuck in the wrong gear is a very real problem.
So what do you give up on a manual gearbox?
Well, official fuel economy is a hit, thanks to two lower gearbox ratios. The spec sheet says you’ll get about 29 mpg on the M3 two-wheel drive automatic transmission and more like 27 mpg on the manual.
Unofficially, if you’re going to drive in a committed Fashion (obviously without committing any offenses, please), will easily make fun of these numbers. We were able to use half a tank in two hours, which says something positive about how fun the M3 is to drive, and something definitely less about the alleged stinginess of the turbocharged engines.
Also, if you’re a Top Trumps person, you can’t get the M3 Competition (ie the only M3 available in the UK) with a manual gearbox. If you are left with only a standard M3, you give up 30 horsepower and more than 70 lb-ft. And whether you’ll be able to live in the slums with 470 horses and 405 lb-ft depends only on how much you appreciate the irony in what we have just said.
You, too, would forgo the daily urbanization of the automatic M3. When you’re not in the mood—or aren’t allowed to enjoy the super power, you’ll find yourself grappling with a clutch and gearbox not best suited for city street elegance.
Finally, you can’t get an M3 all-wheel drive with a manual, either. But that hardly seems like a drawback—even in the rain, the normal rear-wheel drive M3 is so planted that you doubt an AWD model is needed at all. There’s a reason the 911 GT3 and GT2 don’t have all-wheel drive.
So we’re missing out, then?
Really, you don’t miss out on 95 percent of the experience. Then again, the last five percent can be the difference between good time and great time. Which is definitely something worth going to Australia for.
#BMW #manual #review #sixspeed #threepedal #test #review