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    DCT or not DCT

     Hello all,

    I'm a newbie on this forum but I'm looking for advice/ opinions on BMW's E92 M3 'DCT' gearbox.

    I'm a huge fan of the SMG on my E46 M3 and have lived with it for over a year. Despite it's characteristic 'lull' when in auto mode driving in regular traffic/ roads, I've not found it hard to live with at all.

    However, I drove a manual E92 M3 a couple of weeks ago and was hugely disappointed with the performance compared to my current E46 - the jump in power/ feedback/ smile factor didn't justify the jump in £.

    BUT this weekend I drove the DCT version, expecting/ hoping to be disappointed. Instead it blew my socks off. Traction was awesome, power surge never seemed to end, gear change was INSTANT and it was as intuitive (if not more so) than the SMG. I was seriously impressed to say the least.

    Only problem is I'm getting opinions/ reports that it's not all that good and it's tough to live with - the thing is, I DROVE it and I thought it was excellent, but I'm feeling like I shouldn't like it!

    Any thoughts or feedback from any current DCT owners/ those who have experienced it, please let me know what you think.

    Thanks!

     


    Re: DCT or not DCT

     Welcome to Rennteam

    Pride355 just got his E92 M3 with DCT and he posted a detailed review just a couple days ago, on page 2 there's also his thoughts after 1000km on the DCT.

    http://www.rennteam.com/forum/thread/20175965/M3_Coupe__First_impressions_wpictures_/page1.html


    Re: DCT or not DCT

    iamimp:

     

    Only problem is I'm getting opinions/ reports that it's not all that good and it's tough to live with - the thing is, I DROVE it and I thought it was excellent, but I'm feeling like I shouldn't like it! 

     I guess your own opinion is what counts. Not what others say ;-).

    After 30k KM of daily driving/long trips across europe/spirited drives through the alps I can assure you that the M-DCT is a very versatile gearbox. Comfortable when cruising and brutal when pushing.

    All the gearbox settings paired with the throttle response/EDC/DSC settings lead to practically 'infinite' combinations, so that you can configure the sportiness to your liking.

    If you liked the SMG II on the e46M3, you will love the M-DCT since it's a step forward on virtually every aspect. Especially the seamless shifts when cruising (for daily driving) Smiley.

    You said you drove it and YOU liked it, so I'd say go with it Smiley.

     


    Re: DCT or not DCT

    Fantastic thanks. Just read the post link and it's what I was expecting/ hoping to hear. Reinforces my thoughts pretty much exactly. I've had the PDK vs SMG vs DCT discussion with Adam2S and we have yet to reach a conclusion but this goes a long way to helping. Many thanks!:)

    Re: DCT or not DCT

    Thanks also AlexG. It's easy to get confused when so many people are telling you not to like it or you shouldn't like it but I totally agree it's how it makes the individual DRIVER feel. My only concern was really in the long term as an hour long test drive won't provide a good enough indication of what it's like to live with but I agree it certainly feels more intuitive than SMG and that's good enough for me. So glad BMW got it right. :). All I need to do now is find one in space grey...:)

    Re: DCT or not DCT

    AlexG:

    After 30k KM of daily driving/long trips across europe/spirited drives through the alps I can assure you that the M-DCT is a very versatile gearbox. Comfortable when cruising and brutal when pushing.

    All the gearbox settings paired with the throttle response/EDC/DSC settings lead to practically 'infinite' combinations, so that you can configure the sportiness to your liking.

    If you liked the SMG II on the e46M3, you will love the M-DCT since it's a step forward on virtually every aspect. Especially the seamless shifts when cruising (for daily driving) Smiley.

    You said you drove it and YOU liked it, so I'd say go with it Smiley.

    This is so true. Also don't forget that SMGII and manual tranny both have the same gearbox  in E46 M3. However, in E92, you have 1 extra gear with M-DKG. So M-DKG has shorter gearing in 2nd gear - 3rd gear - 4th gear - 5th gear and 6th gear. Which means in return better acceleration. So not only the M-DKG shifting is faster, but also you have shorter and closer gear ratios.

    Today, I had a short spirited driving. Since I'm in break-in period, I only applied half throttle and once had a max. engine speed of close to 6000 rpm, Drivelogic program in S6 mode. The system is perfect. The throttle blips on downshifts when you push the car is wild, fast and loud. It is intoxicating. You shift up and down just for the fun of it. I had 2 E46 M3s. One was MY03 and the other was MY05. I loved SMGII (more so the 03 since it has different software which shifts brutal) but M-DKG is way better, in every way.

    You have the mechanical feel of SMGII with DKG. It is faster and you also had the same push/kick on upshifts as you do in SMGII. But it is also smoother. With SMGII, especially if you have pre-facelift model, you have the kick at 8000 rpm, but at the same time you think you have just brake down the diff or the gearbox. With DKG, you have the kick/push but doesn't feel like braking or tearing something apart. The Auto mode is much improved, also though I don't care much about.

    And have I told you that blips on downshifts are much much louder and wilder. Smiley


    --

    ONUR

    11 M3 Coupe AW

    09 Audi TTS Coupe - 07 997 Carrera S - 05 M3 Coupe - 03 M3 Coupe - 96 M3 Coupe EVO (PASS TIME HISTORY)

     


    Re: DCT or not DCT

    Yo, David - welcome to rennteam mate!

    Ok I was trying not to post here but my resolve has folded...  First let me hold my hand up and say that I am probably the one who is giving David the "feedback" that M-DCT might be tough to live with as we are good friends in real life and so have been talking a lot about it recently following his test drive. My comments are however directed towards PDK, not M-DCT as I am a little worried that it might be more like PDK than SMGII, which we both agree is fantastic.

    So I reckon the question you really need to be asking on this Porsche forum to put my verbal comments in context is how does M-DCT compare to PDK??  Is it very similar to PDK and if it does differ then exactly how does it and in what way is it either better or worse?

    Some here might remember that I had a very bad experience with PDK.  I had a test drive (mainly out on twisty roads) and I fell head over heals in love with it, thinking it would bring back all the thrills of my 4yrs of happy E46 M3 SMGII ownership. I thought it made the 997 a better drivers car, so much so that it was the one of the main reasons I then quickly sold my 997.1 man C2S to get a lovely new 997.2 PDK C2S.  Within 6 weeks I had become so disgruntled with PDK alone that I had to sell it and suffered a big financial loss in doing so.  The problem I had was down to it feeling like an automatic when driving around town - which at the end of the day is the majority of my driving.

    That said just because I dislike PDK so much now doesnt mean to say that anybody else would, indeed Im pretty sure PDK will have more fans here than haters.  A lot of my driving time is in town and PDK in my opinion feels like nothing more than a swanky automatic in heavy traffic and I hated it for that very reason.  SMGII always left me feeling like I was driving a manual even in traffic as it required skill to change smoothly and never attempted to 2nd guess those gears automatically for you when in M mode. Another thing was the way PDK creeps forward in traffic just like an auto - arrgggh!  I will admit that out on the open roads PDK is everybit as good as SMGII, indeed it is quite probably a lot better. There is no doubt in my mind that the way that PDK changes gear is mindblowing when driving fast, - but in the end due to my driving profile the 90% bad times were more important to me than the 10% good times.

    So the crux of the question here in my mind is if M-DCT is more like PDK or SMGII? If the answer is that is it more like PDK than SMGII then Im worried and I reckon I personally wouldnt be able to live with it!  If the answer is that its more like SMGII or it is different to both then  - hurray, all sounds good, I'm in!!!  Hopefully somebody here can provide some techincal and objective feedback on how all three perform on both the twisties and when stuck in traffic.  Im afraid I have never driven M-DCT so I have no idea and I fully admit that I am left somewhat rather tainted against all semi-automatics now after my bad PDK experience, even after such great motoring times with SMGII.  I'd still buy a SMGII car at the drop of a hat right now, but I wouldnt have a PDK car if you gave it to me. Where is M-DCT on that scale though?

    Anyway - I really dont want to sound like Im trying to put you off M-DCT mate cos Im desperatley trying not to do that, I'm just trying to share the wisdom of my "PDK mistake with you" and how it had me fooled on a test drive. The M3 is a truely stonking and very very desireable car and if M-DCT is unlike PDK then I wish I had driven one a few years back as I would probably have bought one and subsquently never ended up wasting my money on PDK!  haha...  Good words of wisdom above already that only you can make up your own mind and besides who cares what I think. Even if I drive M-DCT and dont like for any reason it then that doesnt matter one bit as long as you love it.  I'm pretty sure most people will probably prefer PDK to SMGII anyway, but I didnt that's all... 

    Just ignore my anti-PDK prattle, Im just sore about the whole thing!  Smiley  I certainly dont mean to be introducing doubt in your mind, I feel like Im doing more harm than good passing on my expereince of PDK to ya... 

    Get that E92 M3 DCT bought and lets have a blast around town together, errrr I mean on the twisties!  Smiley


    Re: DCT or not DCT

    pride355:
    I had 2 E46 M3s. One was MY03 and the other was MY05. I loved SMGII (more so the 03 since it has different software which shifts brutal) but M-DKG is way better, in every way.


    Hmmm, great feedback actually. A SMGII owner and lover who also loves M-DCT! 

    Do you have any experience of PDK and how it compares also?  If you tell me you have driven PDK and hate it around town and the M-DCT is miles better then thats all I need to hear and I shall shutup forever Smiley


    Re: DCT or not DCT

    Adam2S:Do you have any experience of PDK and how it compares also?  If you tell me you have driven PDK and hate it around town and the M-DCT is miles better then thats all I need to hear and I shall shutup forever Smiley

    Adam,

    Unfortunately, I haven't driven PDK.

    I drive M-DKG in manual mode 95% of the time. I only put it in D when I'm on the phone, or I'm in a traffic jam. At those times, I can only realize the change of gears by looking at the display and I like it. M-DKG is really best of both worlds. In D mode, it is smoother than any auto tranny. In Manual mode, it is faster than any human can shift. And it is consistant. It never miss a shift. Another best thing is it has that mechanical feel but it is not annoying as SMGII sometimes can be.

    Actually after driving my friend's M3 CSL, I adored the SMG software in that car. Downshifts were so much better with lots of throttle blips evenif you are not on the throttle. My MY05 M3 has softer upshifts than my MY03 M3. I think BMW softened the gearchanges on SMGII with the facelift due to complaints from the owners. In MY03 car, changing the gear @ 8000 rpm was like tearing the car apart.

    One other thing is that M-DKG doesn't roll back on a hill BUT also doesn't crawl forward. And as I wrote before it has 7 gears to play with. So on the highway, you are cruising at lower rpms in 7th gear and you have shorter gearing in 2-3-4-5-6 gear.


    --

    ONUR

    11 M3 Coupe AW

    09 Audi TTS Coupe - 07 997 Carrera S - 05 M3 Coupe - 03 M3 Coupe - 96 M3 Coupe EVO (PASS TIME HISTORY)

     


    Re: DCT or not DCT

     PRIDE355

    Thanks for your input - backs up my feelings exactly from when I drove it this weekend. Considered touches from BMW like the no-roll--back BUT no-creep really do make the DCT a well thought out piece of tech - it's the small things that make the difference.

    And YES I did notice the throttle blips even without my foot on the gas - I mentioned this to the BMW rep and he just smiled (knowingly!). It's most enjoyable.

    ADAM2S

    I know you weren't trying to put me off DCT, I guess you just had a bad semi-auto experience with the PDK. If (sorry... WHEN) I get the DCT model I'll let you drive it - it really is that good - although I'm not sure how the performance will compare to all 12 of your 'V' cylinders and your petrol guzzling 6000cc... :)


    Re: DCT or not DCT

    AlexG:

     
    I guess your own opinion is what counts. Not what others say ;-).

     


    Hi and welcome to Rennteam Smiley I agree with the above comment - only you know what works best for YOU Smiley Check them all out for yourself and see which one you like best Smiley


    --

     
    RT Moderator - 997.1 Carrera S GT Silver/Cocoa, -20mm/LSD, PSE, short shifter, SportDesign rims, Zuffenhausen collection

    Rennteam signature photo 2.jpg


    Re: DCT or not DCT

    pride355:

    This is so true. Also don't forget that SMGII and manual tranny both have the same gearbox  in E46 M3. However, in E92, you have 1 extra gear with M-DKG. So M-DKG has shorter gearing in 2nd gear - 3rd gear - 4th gear - 5th gear and 6th gear. Which means in return better acceleration. So not only the M-DKG shifting is faster, but also you have shorter and closer gear ratios.

     You're right about the closer gear ratios, they suit the characteristics of the high revving V8 very well, making it feel more even more alive at high revs. Especially with the shift lights lighting up in the dashboard.

    I guess you will have to weight 'till after the break-in to experience all that emotion. At least you have something to look forward to! SmileySmiley

    Btw, the M-DCT does 'crawl' when just touching the accelerator lightly. It does have hill-assist as well but only for 1-2 seconds. The car does roll back on a hill if you don't touch the accelerator for more than 1-2 seconds.

    As for PDK vs M-DCT. I have driven both albeit the PDK only shortly during a 997C2.2 test drive. From my experience they were very similar although I can't comment on details since I wasn't able to push the 911 in any way and the drive was fairly short. Not many twisties and speed camera's are everywhere here in the Netherlands. Smiley

    One thing that comes to mind though is that PDK in automatic mode felt very sluggish in city driving with the sports button disengaged. The M-DCT doesn't feel that way at all in D-Mode. If it does feel that way, you can simply switch the drivelogic to D5.

    PS Thanks for the welcome Easy!

     


    Re: DCT or not DCT

    AlexG:

    Btw, the M-DCT does 'crawl' when just touching the accelerator lightly. It does have hill-assist as well but only for 1-2 seconds. The car does roll back on a hill if you don't touch the accelerator for more than 1-2 seconds.


    I haven't noticed that it is only for 1-2 sec. Whenever I try to move on a hill, the car doesn't roll back. In SMGII, one has to pull the left paddle to activate hill-asist and you notice the activation of hill-assist when the revs are raised for couple of hundreds.

    That downshifts in S5-S6 mode are awesome Smiley


    --

    ONUR

    11 M3 Coupe AW

    09 Audi TTS Coupe - 07 997 Carrera S - 05 M3 Coupe - 03 M3 Coupe - 96 M3 Coupe EVO (PASS TIME HISTORY)

     


    Re: DCT or not DCT

    pride355:

    That downshifts in S5-S6 mode are awesome Smiley

     One of my favorite features indeed Smiley. I have never driven the E46 M3, only 'regular' E46 coupes. Glad to hear that you're impressed by the downshifts on the E92 compared to the E46. FWIW, my old 335i 'slushbox' blipped on downshifts as well which felt nice at the time but no match whatsoever compared to the downshifts on the M3 Smiley.

    You are privileged to have driven the E46M3CSL as it's one of my all time favorite BMW's! Would love to own/keep and especially DRIVE one 'forever' one day! Smiley


    Re: DCT or not DCT

    BMW's! Would love to own/keep and especially DRIVE one 'forever' one day! Smiley

    I also think that it is the best M car BMW ever made.

    I'm so sorry not to get one in 2004. I have been waiting for E92 M3 CSL for the last 2 years evenif BMW announced that "there won't be one".

    However, after the production of M3 GTS that is too extreme and too expensive, IMO, I gave up my E92 CSL hope and just gone for a regular M3 which I'm happy with more than expected.

    The biggest positive surprises are DKG and interior quality of the car. I wasn't expecting DKG to be that aggressive. I had driven my friend's M6 couple of months ago, for about 20 km. SMGIII tranny on M6 was a catastrophic failure. I even suspect my memory and couldn't understand how I like SMGII box in my M3s and how I LOVE SMGII box in the CSL. SMGIII should have been better than SMGII; faster, more accurate and smoother.

    And M6 consumes fuel, too much of it. Smiley


    --

    ONUR

    11 M3 Coupe AW

    09 Audi TTS Coupe - 07 997 Carrera S - 05 M3 Coupe - 03 M3 Coupe - 96 M3 Coupe EVO (PASS TIME HISTORY)

     


    Re: DCT or not DCT

    PRIDE355 -  SMGIII tranny on M6 was a catastrophic failure.

    Interesting you mention that - M6 was top of my list after the disappointment of the manual E92 M3. I assumed the SMG3 would be awesome, given that SMG2 is so good.

    Glad DCT turned out to be everything I was told it wasn't - I can cross M6 off my list (and 911 - controversial, but maybe not when you look at my car history) and get into the next level of M3 


    Re: DCT or not DCT

    hi, I drove PDK for a few weekends and would have gone for manual with a Porsche. For different reasons i decided to get an M3DCT ... and i drove it back to back with a manual transmission.. I think DCT is not as perfect as PDK ... But for me it was simply too sleek ... I liked the roughness of DCT better especially in combination with the V8. DCT is very versatile ... it gets you home in auto mode after a hard days work ... and beats the hell out of the car, if you feel like. M3 manual transmission 1st. gear is quite digital for me ... It always needed too much throttle for my taste to get the car started the right way ... Porsche manual is easier to operate. And ... you are faster with DCT! Regards Tom

    Re: DCT or not DCT

    I would definitely go for DCT because it is actually two gearboxes in one, manual and auto. It is also very fast and works pretty well with the latest software updates. Personally, I like PDK on a Porsche better than manual but I guess this is a matter of personal preference. 


    --

    RC (Germany) - Rennteam Editor Porsche 997 Turbo, BMW X5 M, BMW M3 Cab DKG, Mini Cooper S JCW


    Re: DCT or not DCT

    I have just bought an E90 DCT M3 and can say hand on heart that the DCT box is one of the most impressive gearboxes I have ever used. I would go so far as to say the E90 M3 is perhaps the greatest car I have had the pleasure to own, possibly to use.  I am still a big fan of the 996 GT3, but the M3 just suits my requirments on a daily basis much more. And it is quick, properly quick. It is hard to beat when it comes to being everything to everyone.

    JZ


     
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