Yet another battle of "good 'ol German heavyweights"

SL65

Ambitious but rubbish!
Joined
Jul 12, 2004
Messages
9,326
Location
Sydney, Australia
Car(s)
1998 Subaru Legacy 2.5L
In July, I posted this comparison between the new E63 AMG, S6 and M5. The positions were as just listed with the Merc the surprising victor over the M5 and even the S6 getting the reviewers thumbsup over the M5.

This December, Car & Driver have put the same three vehicles head-to-head and concluded with the same ranking. They too were pleasantly surprised with the Mercs improvements, particularly, to the air suspension, the new engine and new gearbox. They liked the solid feel of the Audi but a notable power gap compared to its German rivals let it down (wait for RS6..). C&D found fault with the M5's manual gearbox and technical complications that came with it.

I know we've discussed these three vehicles time and time again, probably because of my love of sports saloons :p But if your interested, have a read of the scanned articles, courtesy of someone from the M5Board.com


http://www.m5board.com/vbulletin/att...9&d=1166768854
http://www.m5board.com/vbulletin/att...0&d=1166768854
http://www.m5board.com/vbulletin/att...8&d=1166762730
http://www.m5board.com/vbulletin/att...2&d=1166768854
http://www.m5board.com/vbulletin/att...3&d=1166768885

Just wanted to share them with you :) Enjoy!
 

bartboy9891

I'm not Moe
Joined
Dec 1, 2004
Messages
9,123
i'd take the M5 with its 6-speed manual (coming to the US next year) over the other two any day. The only question is the same one i had last time: will the upcoming RS6 be any good?
 

bartboy9891

I'm not Moe
Joined
Dec 1, 2004
Messages
9,123
So for the M5 it comes down to:

- SMG with a crap auto mode but ability to fully turn off stability control and fully make use of the engine's power

OR

- conventional 6-speed manual with greatly hindered performance and DSC is always on in some form

I guess i'd probably stick with the SMG in this case.
 

SL65

Ambitious but rubbish!
Joined
Jul 12, 2004
Messages
9,326
Location
Sydney, Australia
Car(s)
1998 Subaru Legacy 2.5L
So for the M5 it comes down to:

- SMG with a crap auto mode but ability to fully turn off stability control and fully make use of the engine's power

OR

- conventional 6-speed manual with greatly hindered performance and DSC is always on in some form

I guess i'd probably stick with the SMG in this case.
I'd go for the manual as I'd spend 95% of the time on normal roads. And if its as bad as the reviewer made the automatic out to be (in full auto mode), I'd definately get a manual - "tried to leave it in auto mode but just couldn't stand it".

I don't get why the DSC stays on in the manual M5. C&D say its because of - "...liability issues, specifically, concerns about axel tramp, a.k.a. wheel hop during full throttle launches which could break expensive drivetrain bits..."
I don't get that jargon :? Is wheel hop when one front wheel is in the air during full throttle acceleration on a rear wheel drive car?
 

teletubby-warrior

Da Superfan
Joined
Jul 13, 2006
Messages
3,249
Location
Chicagoland, IL
I don't get why the DSC stays on in the manual M5. C&D say its because of - "...liability issues, specifically, concerns about axel tramp, a.k.a. wheel hop during full throttle launches which could break expensive drivetrain bits..."
I don't get that jargon :? Is wheel hop when one front wheel is in the air during full throttle acceleration on a rear wheel drive car?
Wheel hop is basically a constant fight for traction. When a wheel moves up and down repeatedly under hard acceleration, it leaves the ground, and... hops. Axle tramp is a type of wheel hop that occurs when the axle "torques" or twists. The axle rotates slightly with the wheels, but as soon as one wheel gains traction, the other wheel snaps back and rotates the axle in the opposite direction in an attempt to regain traction. I'm rubbish at explanations...
 

Vette Boss

Forum Addict
Joined
Nov 14, 2004
Messages
5,250
Location
United States, Britain, in time
Car(s)
2006 Volkswagen Passat 3.6 VR6
What he's saying there is that the axle and maybe something else, could break under a full-bore start, due to the wheel-hop (juddering rear wheel). If you remember the CTS-V when Stig did a lap in it, at the start he had axle tramp/wheel hop or whatever it's called. That's what he's on about.
 

SL65

Ambitious but rubbish!
Joined
Jul 12, 2004
Messages
9,326
Location
Sydney, Australia
Car(s)
1998 Subaru Legacy 2.5L
Complicated but I think I get it :D

I reckon the problem won't even occur nine times out of ten. Its just BMW wanting to ensure their cars longevity and reliability. Shame it comes at this cost. An M5 (any M5) should be a dream with a manual gearbox.
 

bartboy9891

I'm not Moe
Joined
Dec 1, 2004
Messages
9,123
I'd go for the manual as I'd spend 95% of the time on normal roads. And if its as bad as the reviewer made the automatic out to be (in full auto mode), I'd definately get a manual - "tried to leave it in auto mode but just couldn't stand it".

I don't get why the DSC stays on in the manual M5. C&D say its because of - "...liability issues, specifically, concerns about axel tramp, a.k.a. wheel hop during full throttle launches which could break expensive drivetrain bits..."
I don't get that jargon :? Is wheel hop when one front wheel is in the air during full throttle acceleration on a rear wheel drive car?
I would take a conventional manual over the SMG. But i would be thinking in my mind the whole time driving it "all this power and its only as quick as an M3".

See here is the problem, the last M5 looked great and was very understated while being very fast and handled extremely well by several accounts. It played the "ultimate sleeper" card and it didnt matter if something else was marginally quicker.
However the new M5 is all bold and loud looking that it has to be utterly brilliant to drive to make up for that. And with the SMG it is, but with the manual the performance is stunted.
Consider this, the BMW 550i with a 360hp V8 can manage 0-60mph in 5.0 seconds with a manual. But the M5 with a manual can only do it .3 seconds quicker. Sure life isnt all 0-60 times, but if you cant completely turn off the Stability Control then you cant push the car to the limits in the twisties either.

Ultimately, i would take either the manual or the SMG. But i wouldnt feel short-changed if i got the SMG.
I mean, i still wanted the M5 before i knew that we would be getting a 6-speed and i'm sure many people are the same way.
 

SL65

Ambitious but rubbish!
Joined
Jul 12, 2004
Messages
9,326
Location
Sydney, Australia
Car(s)
1998 Subaru Legacy 2.5L
Consider this, the BMW 550i with a 360hp V8 can manage 0-60mph in 5.0 seconds with a manual. But the M5 with a manual can only do it .3 seconds quicker. Sure life isnt all 0-60 times, but if you cant completely turn off the Stability Control then you cant push the car to the limits in the twisties either.
True - 0-60 times are only part of the equation and some people value them way too much.

The 550i would be a nice sleeper if it didn't have those M-style wheels I've seen on all of them. I can't tell the difference between it and an M5 until I check to see if theres an M5 sidegrill. The biggest problem with the 550i is it runs on the regular runflats which are really bad apparently. If you want a true sleeper, go for the S6 or E500 (w. sport pack).
 

bartboy9891

I'm not Moe
Joined
Dec 1, 2004
Messages
9,123
Get Mercedes to slap a manual on the E63 AMG and you will have yourself a winner.
That'll never happen. Its like MB is completely abandoning the manual altogether. And really, the people who buy Benzes aren't complaining
 

klutch

Courteous urinator
Joined
Jan 6, 2006
Messages
1,913
Location
Vancouver, BC
Car(s)
Do it for me.
DSC and TCS can always be turned off - you just need to know the right people. As well, tires can be changed. I'd never let either get in the way of a good car.
 

Benson

Active Member
Joined
Jul 2, 2005
Messages
186
Location
Deutschland!
Car(s)
BMW E28 525eA
Yeah....I don't really see the point of complaining about the Runflats as well...
If they really bother you that much, just change them to some proper rims and tires...If you can afford a 550i or M5, even if you're only leasing it, there's probably enough left for that...

And other than that, I just don't see the point of people ranting about the SMG's auto mode as well...
I mean...On a manual box you don't have an auto mode at all, so what's the problem with just changing the gears on the SMG box yourself??
I mean...the previous M5's had manual boxes and they suited them perfectly, sure...but for god's sake, technology moves on and there won't be normal manual boxes for all time, they will just be replaced by new, in the end better inventions...
I say thumbs up for the SMG in the M5...a manual just doesn't work in that car for me...

Oh, and given the joice, I would prabably struggle to decide between the E63 and the M5, but would probably take the M5 in the end...just because I'm a BMW lover...

Btw...powerful Mercs, and all of the V8's and bigger, have had auto boxes for ages, since the 50's or 60's at least, I think...They will never have manual boxes...and it's a good thing in my eyes...
 
Last edited:

SL65

Ambitious but rubbish!
Joined
Jul 12, 2004
Messages
9,326
Location
Sydney, Australia
Car(s)
1998 Subaru Legacy 2.5L
DSC and TCS can always be turned off - you just need to know the right people. As well, tires can be changed. I'd never let either get in the way of a good car.
You make a good point :) Shame the same approach can't be adopted towards the iDrive :(

But personally, I think its unacceptable that you should have the need to do that on cars like these. Tires for example - that costs a lot!

I mean...the previous M5's had manual boxes and they suited them perfectly, sure...but for god's sake, technology moves on and there won't be normal manual boxes for all time, they will just be replaced by new, in the end better inventions...
I say thumbs up for the SMG in the M5...a manual just doesn't work in that car for me...
I understand what your saying but according to this and many articles I've read, the SMG gearbox NOT good on the road. And I quote again from the article where one reporter "tried to leave it in auto mode but just couldn't stand it".

So for city driving, the SMG is really bad but on the track, its as good as it gets. The manual is better for the city but on the track, you can't turn the DSC off because it'll break the drivetrain bits. Tough choice.
 

fbc

Retired Moderator
Joined
Jan 8, 2005
Messages
11,803
Location
Melbourne, Australia
Car(s)
2006 MY07 Astra SRi Turbo
I mean...the previous M5's had manual boxes and they suited them perfectly, sure...but for god's sake, technology moves on and there won't be normal manual boxes for all time, they will just be replaced by new, in the end better inventions...
Better technology != Better

All these fancy automated gearboxes will never replace the interaction and control a manual gearbox gives you. They just can't - a computer is working the clutch and throttle for you - there's no satisfaction or skill in that.

So yes, from a perspective of shift-speed or economy, some of these new 'boxes may be better, but imho as a driver, they'll never be better than a proper manual. I don't care if the 'box can shift faster or smoother than I can - that's not the point of driving.
 

BlitzR

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 1, 2006
Messages
1,846
Location
Sydney, Australia
Yeah....I don't really see the point of complaining about the Runflats as well...
If they really bother you that much, just change them to some proper rims and tires...If you can afford a 550i or M5, even if you're only leasing it, there's probably enough left for that...
All that equals to time off the road, I don't think the people who buy these cars like to have their cars off the road if they just bought the thing just to change the tyres.
 
Top