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Re: Automatic vs 6-speed power handling ability? (archive)

[ Follow Ups ] [ 5-series (E39) Message Board ] [ Msg. Board FAQ ]

Posted by Jim Cash on July 07, 2000 at 12:41:58:

In Reply to: Automatic vs 6-speed power handling ability? posted by Bob on July 07, 2000 at 12:30:20:

: I'm currently searching the BMW Pre-Owned site and have looked at and driven a few 6-speed and Automatic 540's in my area. I drive through Baltimore city (35 traffic lights!) every morning to get to work near BWI and I'm starting to think that I might want an Automatic 540 (even though I've driven a 5-speed Alfa for 14 years.) Yes, I know that the 6-speed is faster ... here's my question -

: Since I plan at some point to do performance upgrades should I be concerned that the Automatic might not be able to handle as much power as the 6-speed? Any reliable input would help my decision immensely.

: Thanks

The automatic can handle the power (otherwise BMW wouldhave to be replacing a lot of units under warranty).
They do it by a process of retarding the ignition timing for a fraction of a second during gearshifs. This reduces the torque output buy up to 50% thus keeping the onrush of power under control as the new gear takes up the load.

I am seeing evidence (on these boards) of more people having problems with manual clutches than with auto transmissions.

Another factor - that you hint at - that 6 speed manual is a "lot of gear changing". First gear is low enough that you often have to shift before you are through the intersection.

I feel that I am a better driver letting the trany concentrate on what gear to be in.

It also has special programs for selecting the right gear under slipper conditions (interfaces with the ASC system) and also a special program to reduce unnessary shifting when the Cruise is active.

Hope that helps.

Jim Cash

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