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2019+ BMW 3 AND 4-SERIES FORUMS (G2x Generation) General G80 M3 / G82 M4 Forum (2019+) DCT or Traditional AT?

View Poll Results: DCT or traditional AT?
I prefer a DCT. 128 59.26%
I prefer a traditional AT. 17 7.87%
Either is fine with me. 22 10.19%
I don't care. No manual, no purchase. 49 22.69%
Voters: 216. You may not vote on this poll

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      06-25-2019, 06:55 PM   #45
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I am a big fan of the F8x generation DCT, and always drive in 'S' mode. I'm really worried that the new G8x M cars will be coming with a slushy automatic transmission.

Whenever I've driven any BMW car with a ZF gearbox, it's felt really laggy responding to the paddle shifters. Nothing like the snappy instantaneous response I want from an M car.

I think the current M5 has this transmission. Can anybody say how it compares to the DCT box?

Is this something that BMW can fix in software? Or has BMW finally found a way to make me buy a Porsche?
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      06-25-2019, 08:39 PM   #46
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I don't seem too many gripes from the M5 crowd on here. ZF shifts plenty fast while diving fast but smooth when cruising. unlike dct.
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      06-26-2019, 03:08 AM   #47
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Originally Posted by themnmd View Post
I don't seem too many gripes from the M5 crowd on here. ZF shifts plenty fast while diving fast but smooth when cruising. unlike dct.
The biggest complaint is not about speed but shift feel.

It is nowhere as engaging as the DCT on manual mode. Best performance when left in auto which goes against avid drivers.
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      06-26-2019, 09:34 AM   #48
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Whenever I've driven any BMW car with a ZF gearbox, it's felt really laggy responding to the paddle shifters. Nothing like the snappy instantaneous response I want from an M car.

I think the current M5 has this transmission. Can anybody say how it compares to the DCT box?
Seen a few videos on X3M/X4M and you are right. Manual shifts are disgustingly slow compared to the DCT. I knew I wasn't mistaken when I felt the transmission was a giant letdown on the F90 M5 test drive.
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      06-26-2019, 10:10 AM   #49
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I watched the M5 competition Nurburgring lap time recently, I could clearly pick out a number of times the shifts were sluggish and slushy, especially noticeable on downshifts. Wasn't too impressed though upshifts seemed fine (apart from 1->2 in a lot of standing starts ).
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      06-27-2019, 12:02 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by kyrix1st View Post
The biggest complaint is not about speed but shift feel.

It is nowhere as engaging as the DCT on manual mode. Best performance when left in auto which goes against avid drivers.
Yes, I agree... I see loads of comments from people saying "auto is auto" ... and they are clearly not the people who drive a DCT in 'manual' mode.

The *whole point* of the DCT gearbox is that the driver gets to choose which gear to be in and when to shift. The transmission's job is to execute those decisions in a really immediate fashion, e.g. throttle-blipping on downshift while braking into a tight turn.

I really don't care how 'smooth' the shifts are - doesn't matter at all if you are shifting at the right time, and keep the car in the right gear. I actually love to feel that kick in the pants from an aggressive upshift. I love to hear the throttle blips and exhaust farts from changing down early under braking before turn-in. I have no desire for the car to change gears on me half way through a turn, or upshift to 8th on a freeway because it thinks I should be saving fuel. I want the car to slow down with engine-braking when I lift off the gas - it annoys the hell out of me when an auto box upshifts as I lift off.

I regularly see MT drivers make comments such as "you just push down your right foot and the transmission does all the rest". If that's how you drive a DCT M4 then you probably deserve a ZF transmission ;-)

Last edited by pbar; 06-27-2019 at 12:12 PM..
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      06-27-2019, 05:51 PM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pbar View Post
Yes, I agree... I see loads of comments from people saying "auto is auto" ... and they are clearly not the people who drive a DCT in 'manual' mode.

The *whole point* of the DCT gearbox is that the driver gets to choose which gear to be in and when to shift. The transmission's job is to execute those decisions in a really immediate fashion, e.g. throttle-blipping on downshift while braking into a tight turn.

I really don't care how 'smooth' the shifts are - doesn't matter at all if you are shifting at the right time, and keep the car in the right gear. I actually love to feel that kick in the pants from an aggressive upshift. I love to hear the throttle blips and exhaust farts from changing down early under braking before turn-in. I have no desire for the car to change gears on me half way through a turn, or upshift to 8th on a freeway because it thinks I should be saving fuel. I want the car to slow down with engine-braking when I lift off the gas - it annoys the hell out of me when an auto box upshifts as I lift off.

I regularly see MT drivers make comments such as "you just push down your right foot and the transmission does all the rest". If that's how you drive a DCT M4 then you probably deserve a ZF transmission ;-)
Exactly, I agree with every word. I had the M3 E46 with SMG II, M3 E92 with DCT and now M3 with DCT and I drive in manual mode all the time, don't care for the automatic mode, exactly for the reasons you've described here.
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      06-27-2019, 09:31 PM   #52
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I don't want to "feel" shifts. Whether it is an MT, a DCT, or a ZF 8Speed shifts should be smooth and virtually imperceptible. If you can feel the shifts so can the contact patches and if the contact patches can feel the shifts it can potentially upset the balance of the car. You may be able to get away with jerky shifts when you are well below the limit of grip but if you are driving at the limits a jerky shift will upset the balance of the car and potentially lead to a loss of control. A computer controlled AT whether it is a "traditional" planetary geared transmission or a DCT should not emulate a poorly driven MT.

I have not driven the new M5 but I have driven the M235 Factory Racer, which has a ZF 8 Speed) and was very impressed with it. I discussed that transmission at length last year with Will Turner and the Turner Motorsports crew when they were shaking out their M235 race cars. They told me they were very impressed with how fast and how smoothly the transmission shifted.

If the new M3 comes with the ZF 8 Speed I will not pass judgment until I have driven one.




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      06-28-2019, 10:59 AM   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captainaudio View Post
I don't want to "feel" shifts. Whether it is an MT, a DCT, or a ZF 8Speed shifts should be smooth and virtually imperceptible. If you can feel the shifts so can the contact patches and if the contact patches can feel the shifts it can potentially upset the balance of the car.
I totally agree that 'aggressive' shifts are not a good idea when driving close to the limit... I don't use 'S3' at the track for this reason since an upshift close to the redline, even on a straight, can cause momentary loss of traction on the rear wheels.

I won't go as far as saying that I don't want to feel shifts. I know it's wrong, but I DO like it! People often want things that are bad for them

I think we can probably all agree that we care about having total control of the timing of gear changes, and whether there is a noticeable pause in power delivery.

If you (and a pro racing team) are happy with a race-tuned ZF8 from an M235 then that's promising. But I can say that when I drove a stock M235 with a ZF8 I was very underwhelmed.
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      06-28-2019, 01:31 PM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captainaudio View Post
I have not driven the new M5 but I have driven the M235 Factory Racer, which has a ZF 8 Speed) and was very impressed with it. I discussed that transmission at length last year with Will Turner and the Turner Motorsports crew when they were shaking out their M235 race cars. They told me they were very impressed with how fast and how smoothly the transmission shifted.

If the new M3 comes with the ZF 8 Speed I will not pass judgment until I have driven one.
When did you drive the M235 Racing? Care to share a review? Are these racing cars for sale?
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      06-28-2019, 03:59 PM   #55
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Originally Posted by RPM33 View Post
When did you drive the M235 Racing? Care to share a review? Are these racing cars for sale?
The M235 Factory Racer is (or was) for sale. Turner Motorsports had a few and I was at Lime Rock Park while they were shaking them out last year. Autoworks of Litchfield CT also has some and they are available to members of the Lime Rock Drivers Club.
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      06-29-2019, 12:04 AM   #56
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If the new G80 M3 doesn't have DCT I'll just pick up the last year in the F80 and rock out with that. I currently have a F85 X5M and it's amazing but I just don't think that transmission should be in a sports car.
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      06-29-2019, 07:17 AM   #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibiza View Post
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Originally Posted by norberts View Post
I'll just say this. IF I choose to go auto and not manual, DCT is the only option. I will not buy the car if it's not DCT.
Adios amagios. If I put you blind folded in my F85, you couldn't tell it was a AT, the M programmed ZF transmission is that good. BMW is NOT investing R&D into a DCT MxDrive transmission with ZF. I just returned from Arjeplog, Sweden and in discussion with BMW and ZF engineers, all the R&D is focused on developing electric power trains.
It's easy to tell the difference. Have driven many ZF gearboxes and they are terrible. Just feel like an ordinary automatic gearbox. No matter how fast they make them; they still feel ordinary. I'm not a huge fan of DCTs but they are waaaaaaay better than the ZF junk.
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      06-29-2019, 04:54 PM   #58
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I have a DCT in my M4 which I always drive in Sequential Mode (manual). For reference, I've been driving an MT for over 50 years and I also have a Z4 M Roadster, which only came with a 6MT. The M4 is the first car I've ever bought that didn't have an MT, but I made my choice after test driving two identical M4s, one with an MT and one with the DCT. The DCT won hands down. I've also tracked numerous cars, BMWs and non-BMWs, mostly with MTs, as well as my M4.

A week or so ago I had the opportunity to drive the X3M Competition (with the same 500+ HP S58 engine that will be used for the G80), an M5 Competition, and an M2 Competition, back-to-back. This was BMW's traveling "M Town" roadshow that went from dealer-to-dealer. The X3M Comp and the M5 Comp had the ZF 8-speed auto and the M2 Comp had the same DCT as in my M4. The route was all on city streets, but a large part of the route was on freeways and in an industrial park area which virtually no traffic, so plenty of space to do some good acceleration/upshifting. I set up all 3 cars identically to how I have my M4 set up for the street, with settings at Sport, Sport+, Comfort, MDM, and DriveLogic 2. I shifted all cars manually with the paddles, just like I do daily in my M4.

After driving the cars with the ZF auto, if this is what the G80 is going to feel like, I'm going to be sorely disappointed. There was a noticeable lag when upshifting at WOT, a distinct pause, where I waited for the upshift to occur. Completely missing was that constant forward velocity experience of upshifting with a DCT. Downshifts also lacked that crispness that I've come to expect with the DCT.

When I got into the M2 Comp, the superiority of the DCT was immediately apparent, as it was when I left in my own M4.

The following week another dealer invited our BMW CCA chapter for test drives, including the M340i, the Z4 30i, which I drove, along with a few other cars, including the M850i, which I didn't drive. The M340i and the Z4 30i had the ZF auto. Again, while the M340i is an impressive and quick 3-Series sedan, the ZF auto lacked any sort of crispness. The Z4 30i felt the same way, although not nearly as quick. (I think that could be a fun roadster for anyone who hasn't driven an Z4 M Roadster.)

I really hope that BMW can tune the ZF better for the G80. If not, it may be back to an MT (if that's even possible) for the G82. For those of you claiming that most people couldn't tell the difference between a DCT and a ZF, I challenge you to drive them back-to-back, like I did. If you can't tell the difference, go see a neurologist, because there's definitely something wrong with your sensory inputs.

P.S. I also got to drive the M5 at Thermal, and on the wet skid pad, the 4WD totally rocks! But that is no indication of how "good" the ZF auto is, as the whole thing is done in 2nd gear, so you only shift once.
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      06-29-2019, 06:39 PM   #59
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Originally Posted by SD ///M4 View Post
A week or so ago I had the opportunity to drive the X3M Competition (with the same 500+ HP S58 engine that will be used for the G80), an M5 Competition, and an M2 Competition, back-to-back. This was BMW's traveling "M Town" roadshow that went from dealer-to-dealer.
Strangely enough, I signed up to test drive the same set of cars in August when M-Town gets to SF.... and for exactly this reason. I want to know if there's any hope of a decent transmission in the G82.
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      06-29-2019, 07:04 PM   #60
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I had both. I prefer AT by a mile.
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      06-29-2019, 07:49 PM   #61
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For anyone who missed it, there was a descent article on the ZF8 in last fall's Car and Driver:

https://www.caranddriver.com/feature...f-eight-speed/
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      06-29-2019, 08:03 PM   #62
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pbar View Post
Strangely enough, I signed up to test drive the same set of cars in August when M-Town gets to SF.... and for exactly this reason. I want to know if there's any hope of a decent transmission in the G82.
This was one of the main reasons why I signed up for this event, besides the rare opportunity to drive 3 high-performance cars, back-to-back, with no salesperson in the car! I've driven the M2 and the M5 at Thermal, but those certainly weren't under real-world conditions, and they weren't the Comp models. You'll enjoy it!
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      06-30-2019, 12:27 PM   #63
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Originally Posted by themnmd View Post
For anyone who missed it, there was a descent article on the ZF8 in last fall's Car and Driver:

https://www.caranddriver.com/feature...f-eight-speed/
Thanks for posting... reads like a bit of a sales-piece, but there's some technical information in there.

Also some pretty worrying comments, e.g.

Quote:
The 8HP also executes certain multigear shifts in this manner; witness the leaps from sixth gear to third and even eighth to second.
Not sure why I want a gearbox that's in 8th when it should have been in 3rd?!

Obviously no M driver would ever let the gearbox make these decisions for them in the first place, but this seems to be what it's designed for.

Quote:
The ability to swap the torque converter for an electric motor, as BMW has done, allows automakers to develop hybrid variants with minimal changes to the drivetrain.
Please, please, anything but a torque converter!

There's nothing worse than that sound of the engine revving its nuts off and the car hardly moving as it rapidly overheats a whiny fluid-filled torque converter. Perhaps it gets crappy cars off the line a little faster, and makes 0-60 times look better, but it's miserable to drive once the car's moving.

The two quotes from manufacturers are probably more revealing of their respective customers. Aston Martin are all in favor of a ZF transmission, whereas McLaren are convinced that pre-engaged gears and really fast shifts are what their customers need. Luxury boats (M5) versus engaging driver's cars (M2) ?

I'll reserve judgement for now, given some of the earlier comments about the M325 Race car, but I already know I'm not buying a G80 car without a proper test drive.

Last edited by pbar; 06-30-2019 at 12:34 PM..
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      06-30-2019, 03:56 PM   #64
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The torque converter on the ZF 8 speed has a lock up piston assembly that engages and locks up (in other words bypasses) the torque converter once the car in motion. In some applications the ZF 8 speed uses a mutli-plate wet clutch assembly rather than a torque converter. Once the car is underway gear changes among the 8 gears are made by 4 gear sets and 5 shift elements (3 clutches and 2 brakes) and the torque converter is not involved.

That being said I also would not purchase a G8X without a test drive.
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      07-01-2019, 08:38 AM   #65
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I just think it's funny that Ford of all people is putting a newly designed 20,000 dollar DCT in the GT500 that can handle 9,000 rpm and 664/lb feet ....... so much for the people using the DCT's can't handle high hp / Tq applications . The simple truth is high Tq DCT's are expensive and have a pure performance advantage and less drivetrain loss and BMW was too cheap to go that route on the new M cars .
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      07-03-2019, 02:38 PM   #66
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No DCT is very troubling, in addition to the anticipated size (length) and weight of the G80 and new M4. Some think current M4 is big enough.
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