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      10-19-2020, 10:40 PM   #1
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A couple of interesting test drives

I have a 2016 F80 w/ DCT and a passive suspension. I've felt a bit restless lately and have considered an M2, an F80 w/ a stick and adaptive suspension, or revisiting some past favorites.

Today I test drove a 2018 F80 with stick, adaptive suspension, and 18" wheels. I also test drove a new M2 comp.

First the F80. The F80 with adaptive suspension and 18" wheels drove significantly more compliant than my F80 with passive suspension and 19" wheels. I know, duh; I mention for the benefit of future car seekers because the difference truly was substantial. The stick, on the other hand, was a bit disappointing. I have owned multiple BMW/Porsche manual transmission cars, and also a few DCT (including current car). I didn't necessarily find anything wrong - I just found the car to be much less dynamic versus DCT. The DCT just felt more "on the boil" despite my efforts to keep stick in the powerband. I also noticed that the DCT's 7th gear is also a benefit on freeway. Lastly, that clutch is liiiiiiiiiiiiiight.

The M2 competition w/ DCT was fun (dealer didn't have stick). No surprise, it felt a bit more tossable. Suspension was firm but not harsh - a bit of a surprise given what I've read. Car pulls hard but not quite as hard as my M3. Interior, of course, is a bit lower rent. Steering not much, if any, of an improvement versus M3. In summary, I wouldn't fault anyone for making a change - or staying the course. I also learned that I wish I had 18" rims and adaptive suspension. The 18" rims is easily $olvable. The passive suspension not so much.

Last edited by scoale; 10-20-2020 at 08:18 PM.. Reason: clarity
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      10-19-2020, 11:19 PM   #2
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Spot on.
DCT is made for this car. And manual could indeed use a 7th gear for the highway.

Having said that - I love my manual and would not get a DCT. Manual makes driving so much fun. Clutch is super light and great for daily driving.
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      10-20-2020, 05:36 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tommy L Garage View Post
Spot on.
DCT is made for this car. And manual could indeed use a 7th gear for the highway.

Having said that - I love my manual and would not get a DCT. Manual makes driving so much fun. Clutch is super light and great for daily driving.

Me personally ...i don’t care to “row my own gears” in a car that has a better suited transmission for that particular car.

Which is why My c7 corvette was a 7 speed manual, without question the correct and best option Chevy offered for that particular car .
I also owned a 2015 challenger scat pack 392 with the 6 speed manual. That car taught me a valuable lesson, huge mistake and sold the car within two months of ownership. I just believe you Get the best suited transmission they offer for the car your buying.

My 2013 e92 was dct and so is my current f82. I’ve driven both and was easy decision to stay with the DCT.

sorry for the slight D rail good review OP!
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      10-20-2020, 06:51 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scoale View Post
I have a 2016 F80 w/ DCT and a passive suspension. I've felt a bit restless lately and have considered an M2, an F80 w/ a stick and adaptive suspension, or revisiting some past favorites.

Today I test drove a 2018 F80 with stick, adaptive suspension, and 18" wheels. I also test drove a new M2 comp.

First the F80. The F80 with adaptive suspension and 18" wheels drove significantly more compliant than my F80 with passive suspension and 19" wheels. I know, duh; I mention for the benefit of future car seekers because the difference truly was substantial. The stick, on the other hand, was a bit disappointing. I have owned multiple BMW/Porsche manual transmission cars, and also a few DCT (including current car). I didn't necessarily find anything wrong - I just found the car to be much less dynamic versus DCT. The DCT just felt more "on the boil" despite my efforts to keep stick in the powerband. I also noticed that the DCT's 7th gear is also a benefit on freeway. Lastly, that clutch is liiiiiiiiiiiiiight.

The M2 competition w/ DCT was fun (dealer didn't have stick). No surprise, it felt a bit more tossable. Suspension was firm - but not harsh; I was pleasantly surprised given what I've read. Car pulls hard but not quite as hard as my M3. Interior, of course, is a bit lower rent. Steering not much, if any, of an improvement versus M3. In summary, I wouldn't fault anyone for making a change - or staying the course. I also learned that I wish I had 18" rims and adaptive suspension. The 18" rims is easily $olvable. The passive suspension not so much.
Just re: the manual, I felt the same way. I was dead set on the 6MT and just randomly test drove the DCT one day, and I was sold. At least for me, and the amount/type of driving I do, the DCT was made for this car. Didn't dislike the manual, it just didn't blow me away
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      10-20-2020, 08:26 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tommy L Garage View Post
Spot on.
DCT is made for this car. And manual could indeed use a 7th gear for the highway.

Having said that - I love my manual and would not get a DCT. Manual makes driving so much fun. Clutch is super light and great for daily driving.
I hear you, I love manual transmissions too. Love the manual transmission in the Porsche and my old E46. A while back I test drove an M235 and really liked that car with a manual. I would also bias towards a manual in an M2 - but haven't had chance to try. For the F80, I definitely preferred DCT (btw, I drive DCT in manual mode majority of time).
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      10-20-2020, 09:00 PM   #6
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I drove a 15’ 6MT M4 for three years and loved it. But I decided that I needed to experience the DCT, so i am now in a 19’ M4.
Both fabulous cars, and both with a stage 1 tune.
I have to say on the race track the DCT is really quick!
The DCT will also sense how hard you are pushing and will shift from soft to abrupt.
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Last edited by G FLICK; 10-20-2020 at 09:06 PM..
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      10-21-2020, 04:03 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scoale View Post
I have a 2016 F80 w/ DCT and a passive suspension. I've felt a bit restless lately and have considered an M2, an F80 w/ a stick and adaptive suspension, or revisiting some past favorites.

Today I test drove a 2018 F80 with stick, adaptive suspension, and 18" wheels. I also test drove a new M2 comp.

First the F80. The F80 with adaptive suspension and 18" wheels drove significantly more compliant than my F80 with passive suspension and 19" wheels. I know, duh; I mention for the benefit of future car seekers because the difference truly was substantial. The stick, on the other hand, was a bit disappointing. I have owned multiple BMW/Porsche manual transmission cars, and also a few DCT (including current car). I didn't necessarily find anything wrong - I just found the car to be much less dynamic versus DCT. The DCT just felt more "on the boil" despite my efforts to keep stick in the powerband. I also noticed that the DCT's 7th gear is also a benefit on freeway. Lastly, that clutch is liiiiiiiiiiiiiight.

The M2 competition w/ DCT was fun (dealer didn't have stick). No surprise, it felt a bit more tossable. Suspension was firm but not harsh - a bit of a surprise given what I've read. Car pulls hard but not quite as hard as my M3. Interior, of course, is a bit lower rent. Steering not much, if any, of an improvement versus M3. In summary, I wouldn't fault anyone for making a change - or staying the course. I also learned that I wish I had 18" rims and adaptive suspension. The 18" rims is easily $olvable. The passive suspension not so much.
Interesting, honestly I had a 2016 non comp M4 with passive suspension before this 2020 ZCP M4 and I can't really tell the difference. I keep the suspension in comfort most of the time for the record and have the 20" 666s

Edit: I wanted to get the manual for my 2 F82s also but the DCT really is made for this car. Just couldn't give it up. Hate that BMW ditched it.
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      10-21-2020, 08:29 AM   #8
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I had a 6MT F80 and whilst fun to drive, it didn’t feel anything like an F80 with DCT. The lag in between shifts was abhorrent and the powerband always felt like it was one step behind what you wanted to do. It also hated shifting quickly. Lastly, it desperately needs a longer cruising gear as 3k+ on the highway was draining.

I now have a DCT and absolutely love it. The transmission feels much more suited to the car and I really think it makes the S55 come alive. I also wanted to get in on a DCT while under warranty before BMW neutered their entire model range by switching to slushboxes. Very glad I did.

The above are just my observations after owning both. I am not trying to stir up a 2 pedal vs 3 pedal war.

With respect to passive and adaptive, there’s no contest to me. Passive was extremely “springy” whereas adaptive has the ability to soak up bumps when desired. Absolutely worth it and really allows for the best of both worlds.

Last edited by MNR; 10-21-2020 at 08:35 AM..
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      10-21-2020, 12:54 PM   #9
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I went through similar test drives and had about the same impression. I have a 6MT which I do enjoy driving -- and even my wife likes driving it from time to time "just to have some fun" -- but a DCT does seem the better match for the car. I actually preferred the handling of the 228 / 235 / 240 over the M2...but the M2 looks the part! I didn't like the effects of the 20" wheels on the M2 I had test driven. I'm officially getting old. (sigh)
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      10-21-2020, 02:01 PM   #10
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both are great options. Its sad that BMW are dropping the DCT for the zf8.

i prefer manual though. makes me feel like im doing more, working for the speed, working to execute the perfect heel-toe-downshift before corner entry... even if im going 5/10ths on a corner to the grocery store. There is more of a connection with the driver.

With DCT i feel like 'well anyone could go this fast through this twisty section of road'. i could drive a dct very quickly, so could most of my friends... but not everyone can drive a manual trans to its full potential.
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      10-21-2020, 04:23 PM   #11
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Agreed with the DCT vs 6sp. I have the 6sp because it's in my blood, but the car was designed DCT first and foremost. The stick was an afterthought. And yes it would be nice to have a 7th gear, or just a longer final drive overall as 1st gear isn't the most useful.

About the suspension. I wonder if your shocks are worn. I have 19,000km on my car with EDC and I've found lately it's been softer and less controlled vs new.
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      10-21-2020, 04:37 PM   #12
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https://f80.bimmerpost.com/forums/sh...&highlight=DCT

Quote:
Originally Posted by CanAutM3 View Post
I am hugely disappointed with the DCT specs on the F8X so far

That 89lb penalty is the first blow.

I also find that the gear ratios have been poorly selected for optimal acceleration performance. The DCT essentially has similar total ratio spacing as the 6MT between 1st and 6th, I even find that the ratios on the DCT are worse than on the 6MT . The lower gears have too much spacing while the higher gears are too tightly spaced to properly leverage the S55 power curve. 1st gear is so highly de-multiplied, that it will be impossible to put the power down. I think it was selected mostly to make the engine feel responsive in off boost puttering around. 7th is only an additional overdrive beyond 6th for fuel economy; having 7 gears is no longer used as an advantage for acceleration (tighter overall gear ratio spacing).

Looking at BMW published acceleration numbers (http://www.bmw.de/dam/brandBM/market...2975025706.pdf), the DCT has a 0.2s advantage over the 6MT from 0-100km/h. However, that 0.2s gap is maintained from 0-200km/h. I would have thought that the DCT quick shifts (2 more shifts needed to go from 100-200km/h) would have widened the gap. It seems that the lighter weight and/or better efficiency of the 6MT allow it too keep up with the DCT in that speed range.

Further, looking at the 80-120km/h pick-up numbers in 5th gear, the DCT is slower by 0.1s. Both cars have the same 5th gear overall ratio. Further, the 6MT matches the DCT 4th gear 80-120km/h despite the DCT having a slight gear ratio advantage in 4th. So I can only assume that the additional weight and losses of the DCT are the culprit.

We will have to wait for independent tests to confirm any of this. In the meantime, going with the numbers available to us, my feeling is that BMW went cheap on us for the DCT on the F8X .

^ good read on the gear ratios between the two cars. Basically the DCT and 6 speed share the first six gear ratios... and the DCT 7th is just there for fuel economy. You would think they would equally space all the gears to give the dct an even further acceleration advantage.
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      10-21-2020, 05:14 PM   #13
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The ride is butter... on 18's

I test drove DCT in the GTI and M3 several times.
It's a work of art. It's like formula 1 for the street.

I think the 6MT actually creates laziness.

I find anytime I'm in an automatic I drive like a tool; flooring it.

6 MT passive suspension on 18's on Continental DWS

For me I can be lazy with my 6MT and the shifts are imperceptible.

I can make my F80 feel like it has a CVT transmission 😆

If I have the money I'm going slush box G80 AWD Sunroof

That's a lie; I'm going 6MT RWD
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      10-21-2020, 05:43 PM   #14
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The 6MT is fun, no doubt, but its clearly not the optimal transmission for this car. With the DCT, you are always in boost in between gear shifts and to me this is the most important factor.
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      10-21-2020, 06:27 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2011ninja View Post
The ride is butter... on 18's

I test drove DCT in the GTI and M3 several times.
It's a work of art. It's like formula 1 for the street.

I think the 6MT actually creates laziness.

I find anytime I'm in an automatic I drive like a tool; flooring it.

6 MT passive suspension on 18's on Continental DWS

For me I can be lazy with my 6MT and the shifts are imperceptible.

I can make my F80 feel like it has a CVT transmission 😆

If I have the money I'm going slush box G80 AWD Sunroof

That's a lie; I'm going 6MT RWD

there’s a setting called “tool mode” sport pulse everything. Take it out of that and you’ll be fine
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      10-26-2020, 07:59 PM   #16
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Interesting feedback - I have been dead set on getting a manual. And I have a fixed price around 40K.

I drove a conv M4 DCT this weekend (carmax all I could find in mid ohio to drive) and there were high points and low points in driving the DCT. The car is fun regardless (the conv was very squeaky), based on the sheer numbers sold and the feedback it sounds like rather than a manual being my first priority it should be finding a comp pack followed by color combo followed by manual/DCT.
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      10-26-2020, 09:05 PM   #17
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Love my 6 speed. I’ve had plenty DCT and SMG cars and they always left me wishing I had gotten the the manual. Also... a lot of SMG hate is unwarranted. It’s a fun transmission. Not designed to be smooth.

I know what everyone is talking about the power being way more accessible with the DCT. I am also not an amazing her toe shifter so I am for sure waaaay slower than my DCT colleagues but I like it. It serves the purpose of being fun and engaging.
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