In Reply to: Isn't the E46 a 3rd Gen M3 though? (NT) posted by lionsfan54 on July 26, 2000 at 14:58:07:
The reply is a bit confusing about what the word generation implies - read again....can be read to mean that same SMG could be used in second generation M3 (a scenario where the Y02 M3 will have some changes like the difference between the 95 and 96 models) or it could be a change in the SMG itself making it more suitable for the US in some way or other.
No flames please -- - just a different reading..
I sent email from the form at http://www.bmw.com/bmwe/intro/dialogue/ and received the following reply:
I'm with BMW of North America, Inc. and read your inquiry about the SMG transmission and the M3 in the United States.
The first generation was thought to be not well suited to the market in the US. Thus, we opted for a "normal" 5 speed automatic instead. We are, however, attuned to customer feedback. We appreciate that you've shared your thoughts with us and are reviewing several options for future generations of the M3.
Note the bit about "first generation" SMG. That implies that second-generation SMG might indeed be made available in the US -- someday. If you care about this, I think it's worth the two minutes to send them some email. They probably get less feedback on this sort of thing than you might think--your input can make a difference.
I don't remember exactly what I said in my original message to them, but it was something like "I hate automatics, I really want SMG, why won't you let us have it in the US?"