In Reply to: that's not the point Grinch...(m) posted by 98M3 on November 18, 2000 at 00:12:57:
Maybe you could explain this further. Why does another car thats an auto ruin your car that's a standard?
I'm getting an M3 for performance, but not 100% performance. I consider myself "in-between". If I just wanted performance/price I'd be in a Vette or ram-air T/A. If I just wanted reliability, I'd be in an Integra, 3.2 CL, or stick with my Honda. If I just wanted lux I'd go Lexus, MB,or maybe Acura RS. So I like the M3 in that it's near the performance of the Z06 but I can carry people and bikes and computers in it, and drive it year round, and not be worried about taking it to the mountains and running into some snow (provided I equip the right tires).
And even though I haven't driven standard regularly in a decade, I'll go back to it, for _this_ car. Even if SMG was out, I'd go the standard route, not because I think I'm a great manual driver, but because it's proven an more reliable than SMG has been so far.
But I'm not at all bothered if BMW crams a GM tranny into a M3. Why should I care what someone else as driving, long as their not running me into the ditch? Other people chose different from me. OK. I've still got my choice, and it still drives the same. What did I loose? Nothing I can see. Do other people think I lost something because the car also comes as auto? What do I care what other people think?
I happen to think the NSX is a fine example of reliability and low maint sports car. Like it or not, it stands on it's on as a unique car. Personally, I would not care that some consider it underpowered. It's just out of my price range. Does the fact that it also comes in an auto change my views on NSX? Not at all. Might not be for me, but I don't care.
What if McLaren F1 came with an auto? Would it be anything short of the amazing car it is? Sure, some people would get it, and we would look at those as compromised cars, but the standard version would still be as amazing.
Also know that I view the differences between SMG and advanced autos as being very slim, and shrinking every day. SMG has a computer controled clutch to control the engagement. Auto has computer controlled hydro torque converter.
Don't get me wrong, obviously they drive different. But if you ever driven an auto built for drag or even track racing, you know it doesn't have to be that way. Boost the stall, quicken the lockup, and in a blind test, many of you _could not_ tell the difference between a well driven standard and an auto of this type.
Funny thing is, I was just over on the E46 board, and people were complaining about autos that act in this manner. Give people a performance oriented auto, with firm shifting and hard lock up, and the same folks complaining auto's have no performance start bitching about how hard the shifts are. Now, a computer controlled auto that lets you switch stall and lockup at the flip of a switch would be nice. But would it accomplish any more than a boot to the head for these folks? Your guess is as good as mine, but then you already know which way I'm leaning.