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BMW models, news & reviews
By Chris Chilton
01 May 2008 10:05
The BMW M3 Convertible is not a Footballers’ Wives kind of car. The convertible M3 might be heavier and bendier than the coupe but, along with that glorious V8, this car also hasa surprise up its sleeve in the form of BMW’s new double-clutch semi-auto gearbox. Other M3s will be offered this transmission in time, but our first opportunity to try it is on this car.
Yes, but BMW calls it M-DCT (double-clutch transmission) and, unlike the Volkswagen Group system thatcurrently only works on transverse engine applications, this one works with the M3’s longitudinal drivetrain. Like the older, simpler, single-clutch SMG 'box fitted to the M5 and M6, this one has seven forward ratios, an auto mode and a launch control function.
Better than that, it’s one of the best dual-clutch transmissions we’ve tried. Changes are far smoother than they are in the older SMG, slurring through when you’re ambling and punching home with a jolt if you select the fastest shift speed and use all 8400rpm between changes.
But the throttle response is disappointingly soft unless you press the Power button on the centre console, and it can become confused when coming down the gears, particularly between first and second in slow traffic. There’s still a clunkiness to stop-start manoeuvres too, say when making a three-point turn, that you don’t get with a proper auto. But, once moving, the M-DCT does a great impression of an auto-box – though no production auto could withstand the high rpm capability of the M3’s 414bhp V8.
Click 'Next' below to read the rest of our BMW M3 Convertible M-DCT first drive
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BMW M3 Convertible M-DCT (2008) driven CAR review
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RE: BMW M3 Convertible M-DCT driven
Having now seen a few of these folding roof 3-series in the flesh I must say I am a bit disappointed - the roof looks a touch Mickey Mouse to me unlike the efforts of others such a M-B. The Coupe is a stunner by comparison.
01 May 2008 11:07
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