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3-Series (E46, E90) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1999 to Current. Models include: BMW 316i, BMW 318i, BMW 318Ci, BMW 320i, BMW 323i, BMW 325i, BMW 330i, BMW 328 Ci, BMW 328i, BMW 325i/xi, BMW 330Ci, BMW 320d, BMW 330d, BMW 335d.

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Old 08-24-2004, 07:38 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I was wondering....

Which has faster acceleration? I know that when in steptronic mode...the vehicle is in "Sport" mode...and steptronic is manual...but switching gears isn't the same thing as a true manual....which I personally think is better and more fun....but that's beside the point.

If there is a difference....how much a difference? Would I be able to tell?

Any thoughts....or help in this situation would be most appreciated....
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Old 08-24-2004, 08:44 PM   #2 (permalink)
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My understanding is that a steptronic transmission takes out the clutch part of the clutch->shift->gas equasion. Being as such, the steptronic could be considered fractions of a second faster than a standard tranny. Since an automatic is generally slower in it's gearing and shifting than a manual, the steptronic would be faster...

Though I've never had a steptronic (that came after my model year) and I could be wrong.

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Old 08-24-2004, 08:55 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Yeah..

Today I tested the acceleration of a 2004 325i....and I was messing around with the steptronic...it had me confused....at which RPMs or speed do I switch gears...since it had me mind-boggled....I didn't mess with it anymore...

Then....I tried testing out the acceleration of the automatic.....it seemed good to me....but obviously not good enough for the guy next to me....so I was really wondering if I were "good" and knew a liitle bit more about how to use the steptronic...would I have been able to beat him?
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Old 08-24-2004, 09:20 PM   #4 (permalink)
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the advantage of steptronic over auto is fractions of s second. not even a full one. so there are cases where knowing how to use it correctly could help, but not much.

and besides. even if you redline in steppy, the engine will still shift. so it's almost pointless except for the fraction of s second gain.

that and you can controll the gears so, when cornering and your not on the gas, the auto won't shift and make you lose time to downshifting on the out.

and such ..
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Old 08-24-2004, 09:45 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Personally, I stick with sport mode the most... Steptronic doesnt seem to be any faster for my 01.
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Old 08-25-2004, 03:41 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I was seriously disappointed in the steptronic. I tested it in both automatic and step mode (328i) and auto was ok. The first time I tried it in step the car was in first and about to redline, I was about to shift up and the car did it for me. I was a little confused, so I had my foot to the floor and the thing did the same in second. it would not hit the red line. So I did an experiment. Starting again with my foot to the floor in first (still using step) I tried to short shift into second at around 4000 rpm, keeping my foot firmly to the floor. The car continued and shifted at around 6000, totally ignoring me. After a few more similar tests I came to the conclusion that the auto steptronic is a load of bollocks, and bought the manual, which when driven correctly is a good second or more quicker to 60mph.
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Old 08-25-2004, 10:08 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Hmmmmm thanks for the advice...I'll give it a try on out when I get a chance....I hope it is different for the 04 325i.....is 4000 rpm a good time to swich gears for any gear whether in step or manual?
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Old 08-25-2004, 10:31 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by BMWLotAttendant@Aug 25 2004, 10:48 AM
Hmmmmm thanks for the advice...I'll give it a try on out when I get a chance....I hope it is different for the 04 325i.....is 4000 rpm a good time to swich gears for any gear whether in step or manual?
It all depends, 4000 is not necessarily a good time to change, but depends on the road conditions. The point is if the steptronic is going to override you what is the point? May as well just use auto.
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Old 08-26-2004, 12:16 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Steptronic is still an automatic tranny on the inside, just with a "manual" shift mode. It is not a manual tranny with an automatic shifter. Big difference if you know anything about trannys. A manual has an actual cog for each gear ratio, a real gear engaged with another real gear, whereas an auto uses planetary gear sets engaged by fluid clutch packs. An auto is connected to the crankshaft by the torque converter which is a fluid connection, instead of being mechanically connected via a clutch and pressure plate like the manual. A manual will always be better, unless you just don't like shifting gears. Using steptronic is no different than pulling any other automatic shifter down into 1 and manually pushing it up into 2, 3, then D when you want it to shift, which of course it only does if it feels like it, just like Steptronic.
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Old 08-26-2004, 11:10 PM   #10 (permalink)
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not to mention the parasitic hp loss due to moving around that heavy fluid, and the added 50 kg that an automatic weighs, the standards should always be faster....and dont get me started about SMG...grrr
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