|M3 - E46 (2001 - 2006)|
|What makes an M Car?|
|Clean and economical sports car|
BMW M3 With Sequential Manual Gearbox
August 2001 will see the introduction of the second generation of BMW's Sequential 'M' Gearbox. Available only on the M3, SMG II is a clutchless manual gearbox drawing on BMW's William F1 transmission technology. With 11 separate programmes which can be operated by two paddles behind the steering wheel, by the traditional gear selector, or a mixture of both, it can also be driven in self-selecting mode where the gear changes take place automatically. BMW anticipate at least 50 per cent of customers will request the SMG II option that is available on both the M3 Coupé and Convertible.
Extreme power at your fingertips:
In 1996, BMW became the first manufacturer to offer a clutchless manual gearbox on a commercial road car and half of E36 M3 owners specified it. SMG II, the latest system on the new M3, offers a significant leap forward with this technology.
Declutching and gear shifting is carried out electro-hydraulically following computations made by the engine management system and a new transmission control unit. A tap on the paddle, or a flick of the gear lever delivers instantaneous changes - it is 'shift by wire'. The fastest gear changes take place in an astonishing 80 milliseconds. Other similarities to the cockpit of a Formula 1 car include shift lights in the tachometer which light up to indicate the optimum shift point.
A system unique to the M3 is 'acceleration assistant'. This system allows the driver
to use the maximum possible acceleration from a standing start- rather like launch control in an F1 car. An additional, practical function of the SMG is the 'climbing assistant', which ensures that car will pull away on slopes without rolling backwards. This system can be used in both automatic and sequential mode.
The sophisticated SMG II incorporates 'Drivelogic' which offers 11 different driving programmes from 'relaxed' or 'winter' mode to 'very sporting'. Such flexibility really does tailor the M3 SMG to each driver's precise requirements.
More about the M3:
The new M3 is the third generation to wear the famous M3 badge. Using technology derived direct from Formula One, the new M3 delivers performance with precision handling and response: it rewards the driver in the style of a thoroughbred sports car yet provides the comfort, luxury and practicality of a full four seat coupé.