VIDEO: BMW M2 Competition — Manual vs DCT

BMW M2, Videos | January 20th, 2019 by 24
BMW M2 Competition test drive review 90 830x553

Car enthusiasts love to talk about how the manual gearbox is the correct choice of gearbox, how three pedals are infinitely better than two. However, the manual gearbox is dying and we all know it. Modern automatics and dual-clutch boxes are faster, easier to use, more efficient and barely any less expensive these days. Still, the row-your-own ‘box is still the more fun choice. In this video from Joe Achilles, we get to see the two types of gearboxes stacked up against each other in the BMW M2 Competition.

Achilles recently bought a BMW M2 Competition with a six-speed manual and seems to be very happy with it. A friend of his, also a YouTuber, had an M2 Competition press car with the DCT. So they decided to get together and drive each car back-to-back to see how the two transmissions compare. Also, Achilles’ car is slightly modified, with AC Schnitzer lowering springs and wheel spacers. So he got a chance to compare his modifications back-to-back with a stock example.

BMW M2 Competition 28 830x553

The first thing to not is that the stock car feels more comfortable than his lowered car. Though, that’s to be expected. His car does feel sportier, though, as he seems to feel like he sits quite a bit higher in the stock car, despite his car only being lowered by 20mm. Another interesting point is that he claims the standard car has less steering feel because of the actual steering wheel itself. On his car he had the wheel modified to have a slimmer, Alcantara-covered rim, rather than the stock car’s very thick leather one, and he says the slimmer wheel actually provides more steering feel. I’ve personally never heard of such a thing affecting steering feel but it’s interesting to hear and I’d like to find out myself now.

But the big differences are obviously the transmissions. And the differences are as we’d expect. The DCT is faster, easy to drive, quieter on highways thanks to its extra gear and more efficient. While the manual gearbox is more fun and slightly cheaper. Though, the DCT is only marginally less fun and still easier to drive everyday. So it really comes down to personal preference. If you value purity above all, go for the manual. If you want something easier to drive everyday, making your M2 Competition more of a daily, then take the DCT. That simple.

24 responses to “VIDEO: BMW M2 Competition — Manual vs DCT”

  1. Mountainous Man says:

    “If you want something easier to drive everyday, making your M2 Competition more of a daily, then take the DCT. That simple.“

    If you want something easier to drive, buy a Camry. The entire reason to buy these cars is fun.

  2. Farhan Chowdhury says:

    Marginally less fun is subjective.

    To me a manual transmission is far more fun than a DCT.

  3. darex says:

    You miss the whole point! We don’t drive manual because it’s easier (stated several times in the article). We drive it because it’s more engaging, and spirited than a boring automatic. Only people who don’t do manuals complain that they’re more work than automatics. Who asked you (the automatic driver)?

    • ManualTransIsTooHardToUse says:

      I mean, come on… They also state “Still, the row-your-own ‘box is still the more fun choice.”

      The HILARIOUS thing to me about people like yourself and anyone who claims “it’s more engaging and spirited – and only people who don’t do manuals complain they’re more work than automatics” actually BELIEVE this to be the case.

      I have owned every single version of the M3, I have owned cars with regular slushbox automatics, DCT transmissions, SMG transmissions, and finally at the pinnacle of motorsport – the true manual trans.

      It is LAUGHABLE that people think that this is some skill that is difficult to learn. There are so many more complex things involved in motorsport – like learning how to brake/corner properly, understanding weight transfer and how it affects the car at the limit, etc…

      Driving a manual transmissioned car simply takes away brain “processing time” – and instead devotes it to one of the most SIMPLE tasks in the world (using a standard trans) instead of the difficult stuff that actually makes you a better driver on the road (and more importantly the road course).

      Did you know nearly everyone on the road in the UK drives standard? It’s not difficult. It’s very easy. It’s not hard to learn either, and requires no special intelligence or skill.

      The fact that we Americans think because we are one of the “few” that own a manual that we must make fun of others for them choosing a (now) superior transmission simply because it doesn’t have a clutch.

      Think about what you are basically saying: “only other people can’t work/do manuals complain…” – which is ridiculous. It’s as simple as letting off the throttle, disengaging a clutch by depressing a pedal with your foot – moving a lever with your right hand, and re-engaging the clutch by letting up your left foot.

      A 10 year old could learn this – in fact, at the age of 10 I owned a Yamaha Blaster with a 6 speed gearbox with a “manual” transmission. It wasn’t difficult, and I certainly didn’t consider myself superior because I could “handle” this task.

      Manual lovers are hilarious. It’s like they think they are the Albert Einstein of driving, but do not realize they are missing the entire point.

      Regarding vehicle performance, you learn by focusing on what matters (certainly not the ability to use a standard transmission), and to use the technology that offers the fastest way to get from A to B. PERIOD.

      The manual transmissions users’ argument went from “omg, you are losing power with an automatic” – then changed when cars became faster with DCT and SMG… People just like you switching it to “it’s more fun because it’s “hard” and people can’t do it”. Again, a ten year old kid can do it. It’s laughable, and no one is impressed that you can “handle a manual”.

      And if the fun comes from you sorting the car’s weight transfer out with the gearbox, you are doing it wrong. This is why a DCT is superior in every way – you still shift manually, but you get a perfect seamless transfer of power for every shift. This can’t ever be true with a manual, and is the reason that it is the new benchmark… NOT because people can’t learn a simple task.

      When will this argument ever end? It’s so silly! It’s not hard to drive a standard car.

    • asdfasdfsdf says:

      I mean, come on… They also state “Still, the row-your-own ‘box is still the more fun choice.”

      The HILARIOUS thing to me about people like yourself and anyone who claims “it’s more engaging and spirited – and only people who don’t do manuals complain they’re more work than automatics” actually BELIEVE this to be the case.

      I have owned every single version of the M3, I have owned cars with regular slushbox automatics, DCT transmissions, SMG transmissions, and finally at the pinnacle of motorsport – the true manual trans.

      It is LAUGHABLE that people think that this is some skill that is difficult to learn. There are so many more complex things involved in motorsport – like learning how to brake/corner properly, understanding weight transfer and how it affects the car at the limit, etc…

      Driving a manual transmissioned car simply takes away brain “processing time” – and instead devotes it to one of the most SIMPLE tasks in the world (using a standard trans) instead of the difficult stuff that actually makes you a better driver on the road (and more importantly the road course).

      Did you know nearly everyone on the road in the UK drives standard? It’s not difficult. It’s very easy. It’s not hard to learn either, and requires no special intelligence or skill.

      The fact that we Americans think because we are one of the “few” that own a manual that we must make fun of others for them choosing a (now) superior transmission simply because it doesn’t have a clutch.

      Think about what you are basically saying: “only other people can’t work/do manuals complain…” – which is ridiculous. It’s as simple as letting off the throttle, disengaging a clutch by depressing a pedal with your foot – moving a lever with your right hand, and re-engaging the clutch by letting up your left foot.

      A 10 year old could learn this – in fact, at the age of 10 I owned a Yamaha Blaster with a 6 speed gearbox with a “manual” transmission. It wasn’t difficult, and I certainly didn’t consider myself superior because I could “handle” this task.

      Manual lovers are hilarious. It’s like they think they are the Albert Einstein of driving, but do not realize they are missing the entire point.

      Regarding vehicle performance, you learn by focusing on what matters (certainly not the ability to use a standard transmission), and to use the technology that offers the fastest way to get from A to B. PERIOD.

      The manual transmissions users’ argument went from “omg, you are losing power with an automatic” – then changed when cars became faster with DCT and SMG… People just like you switching it to “it’s more fun because it’s “hard” and people can’t do it”. Again, a ten year old kid can do it. It’s laughable, and no one is impressed that you can “handle a manual”.

      And if the fun comes from you sorting the car’s weight transfer out with the gearbox, you are doing it wrong. This is why a DCT is superior in every way – you still shift manually, but you get a perfect seamless transfer of power for every shift. This can’t ever be true with a manual, and is the reason that it is the new benchmark… NOT because people can’t learn a simple task.

      When will this argument ever end? It’s so silly! It’s not hard to drive a standard car.

      • Manuals are a bit more fun but not because of they’re exclusivity. It’s because they create a deeper connection between man and machine. It’s the same as owning a manual-wind watch; for the enthusiast, that extra interaction is more enjoyable. It isn’t about being part of an elite club. It’s about enjoying more of the experience.

        • censorship == communism says:

          I understand what you are trying to say, but do not think that you can say with a straight face “I truly enjoy winding my watch every morning as opposed to not worrying about such a thing, because I don’t really want a watch that works 100% of the time unless there is involvement from me” – or better yet “instead of allowing a computer, I would rather let off the throttle, depress the clutch pedal and move a lever manually even though this negates all the performance benefits of a DCT transmission and only sometimes ends up with the same outcome”, and then say this is for the “experience”.

          My entire point that I am trying to make is that there is no “experience”, or maybe I should say the “experience” is exactly the same. You are automating a few operations to ensure consistency in power delivery and a balanced chassis – but the end result is the exact same thing. You told the car to shift a gear, and it did it. One way requires 3 steps, the other requires 1 step. One is faster, one is slower. One is consistent, the other can never be.

          It’s not an experience, it’s literally moving two pedals and a lever as opposed to focusing 100% on attacking the next corner/braking points/etc. and simply using your finger to pull back a pedal.

          I mean, if it’s all about the “experience”, and from what I am understanding – the “experience” meaning “nothing should be automated”, then what is the point of even buying any car newer than a model T? You might as well do everything yourself, because of the “experience”.

          We are talking about performance cars, and this argument is tired and quite honestly ridiculous. When someone drives/reviews a good car with a great transmission (Porsche PDK, M DCT), and then says with a straight face “the manual is better because of the experience”, I call BS and think that they are following the sheep that say “save the manuals!” – it makes NO SENSE.

          We are holding back technological advances by acting like elitist jerks; the only reason the M2/M3/M5 even has a manual offering is because of US customers “saying” they won’t buy one with a DCT. Because of this, BMW then has to have two production lines, add extra engineering, etc. – in other words waste a colossal amount of time that can be better spent on adding real performance tech to the car – to satisfy people who will probably never buy the car anyways.

          It’s simple in my eyes, and again have owned and driven both – but would never call driving a manual car “an experience” – especially considering the benefits not having this “experience” provides from a performance and technological point of view.

          If you want to drive a NASCAR for the experience, then you go right ahead. I don’t understand it – but go ahead.

          I want the Formula 1 car. If you can honestly say you want a NASCAR over the F1 car, then I will never understand you. This is the parallel we are basically drawing here with the transmissions.

        • Nico DeMattis says:

          @Nico DeMattia, you are a mod with too much power. I am not using bad language, but am disagreeing with you. You are either completely insane, or a sociopath millennial. You shouldn’t prevent someone from speaking just because your intelligence isn’t as high as another person’s.

          I understand what you are trying to say, but do not think that you can say with a straight face “I truly enjoy winding my watch every morning as opposed to not worrying about such a thing, because I don’t really want a watch that works 100% of the time unless there is involvement from me” – or better yet “instead of allowing a computer, I would rather let off the throttle, depress the clutch pedal and move a lever manually even though this negates all the performance benefits of a DCT transmission and only sometimes ends up with the same outcome”, and then say this is for the “experience”.

          My entire point that I am trying to make is that there is no “experience”, or maybe I should say the “experience” is exactly the same. You are automating a few operations to ensure consistency in power delivery and a balanced chassis – but the end result is the exact same thing. You told the car to shift a gear, and it did it. One way requires 3 steps, the other requires 1 step. One is faster, one is slower. One is consistent, the other can never be.

          It’s not an experience, it’s literally moving two pedals and a lever as opposed to focusing 100% on attacking the next corner/braking points/etc. and simply using your finger to pull back a pedal.

          I mean, if it’s all about the “experience”, and from what I am understanding – the “experience” meaning “nothing should be automated”, then what is the point of even buying any car newer than a model T? You might as well do everything yourself, because of the “experience”.

          We are talking about performance cars, and this argument is tired and quite honestly ridiculous. When someone drives/reviews a good car with a great transmission (Porsche PDK, M DCT), and then says with a straight face “the manual is better because of the experience”, I call BS and think that they are following the sheep that say “save the manuals!” – it makes NO SENSE.

          We are holding back technological advances by acting like elitist jerks; the only reason the M2/M3/M5 even has a manual offering is because of US customers “saying” they won’t buy one with a DCT. Because of this, BMW then has to have two production lines, add extra engineering, etc. – in other words waste a colossal amount of time that can be better spent on adding real performance tech to the car – to satisfy people who will probably never buy the car anyways.

          It’s simple in my eyes, and again have owned and driven both – but would never call driving a manual car “an experience” – especially considering the benefits not having this “experience” provides from a performance and technological point of view.

          If you want to drive a NASCAR for the experience, then you go right ahead. I don’t understand it – but go ahead.

          I want the Formula 1 car. If you can honestly say you want a NASCAR over the F1 car, then I will never understand you. This is the parallel we are basically drawing here with the transmissions.

          • I’m not sure what you’re talking about. I’m a mod but I’m not the only one. I didn’t delete any comments or censor you in any way but maybe Horatiu did. And if he did, I trust his judgement obviously and the comment(s) was probably out of line.

            Either way, to clarify, I do enjoy winding my watch every time I use it. Some might not and that’s fine. But for those that do, same goes with manual gearboxes, it adds more connection to the machine and is enjoyable.

          • Horatiu B. says:

            I didn’t delete Anything 😂

          • 😂 idk what he’s talking about then.

          • SuperModerator says:

            You can see the proof here: https://ibb.co/4FXhN4w

          • Moderation says:

            What about the two comments that are deleted or “awaiting moderation”. I was curious how old you guys were, then saw you were using overtly ridiculous emoticons like a typical millennial. You are laughing so hard over this, you are crying? I am serious, there is less and less hope for this world. Look up “sociopath”, or better yet “passive-aggressive personality disorder”. Ask yourself why you are moderating, and why you deleted my comments. You need serious help. You will never make it in life, and will wonder why “life is unfair” or won’t understand why your boss is making 25x your salary, because you are literally too simple to “get it”. There is more to life than just making up what sounds good to the masses/pack.

            Regarding the watch, that’s fascinating. They should come up with some punishment for people who don’t wind their own watch. You know, because they are missing out on the “connection” to the machine (a wristwatch) by moving their finger and rotating a knob. Maybe instead of deleting their comments, we can just kick them out of the country. Rotating a crown on a watch is one of the most intimate experiences you can have with a piece of metal. I am starting to get it. It really *IS* about getting enjoyment out of something, it’s definitely *NOT* because someone might think differently of you because of these ridiculous assertions that manually doing something somehow increases your satisfaction with your purchase. It’s about you, not other people. I wonder why you brought up the watch, or why you wrote the article, or stifle anyone who disagrees… It’s definitely about the enjoyment, not how you want people to perceive you. Absolutely.

            Oh, wait! We can even extend it to some sort of “punishment system” for people who don’t agree with your logic… Something like: “if someone doesn’t follow the sheep and agree that moving your foot and hand at the same time is more enjoyable/makes you a real enthusiast/man” (you really can’t admit the wristwatch and the manual transmission isn’t for you, but for others/you to talk to about) … but, you are *almost* there. A few more comments, and you might stumble upon the whole point.

            Anyways (and again), you are buying a “machine” that is purposely made (just like your watch was made to provide you with accurate time) to go from point A to point B as quickly as possible. But, hey – why not get the version that’s slower, less consistent, and take focus off of the skill of driving! Seriously, you want to really have people believe this just so you can enjoy moving a lever and your foot simultaneously? Maybe you’ll meet your future wife when you exclaim “Oh, I drive a standard because hipster!”, and you’ll obtain your imaginary goal of thinking people actually believe insane thoughts like “it makes the connection to the machine more enjoyable”. Shoot, you can even write an article about it!!! Oh wait…

            😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂

            Look! ^^

            I added some emoticons to make this comment even more valuable and add more value, since acting like a normal human being isn’t the gold standard anymore. Since people really communicate by silencing each others’ thoughts in real life, we should probably act the exact same way and act completely ridiculous by writing rants like this comment and throwing in some cute emoticons. Mix a little logic fact and nonsense just to ruin the whole bit.

            Perfection.

            Seriously, instead of promoting discussion, you are stiffing your own website’s traffic. I said nothing (up until now) that Horatiu, you, or a rational person would judge as out of line. But, whatever you say “boss”. Your power over me is so taxing, I need a break. Typing this is hard, and I need a medal.

            Come on, you are being almost as ridiculous as I am, but I prompted nothing from you but disagreement with what you are saying. You are acting like a child, and are continuing to do so. And for what? Passive aggressive personality disorder or sociopath is my guess.

            “Moderation”

  4. Yanchik Zherkes says:

    Fun fun fun !!!! Only 6 speed manual.
    For automatic must have X5 or 7 .

  5. Muffy says:

    Manual any day

  6. darex says:

    My point: committed manual drivers never complain about the “chore” of shifting. If they felt that way, they wouldn’t have elected to drive one, and these days, it can only be a deliberate choice. That’s why arguing the technical superiority of autos over manuals, is irrelevant.

    • Anon says:

      That’s not true.

      Any honest manual driver, instead of say a fanboy trying to act manly, will admit that it sucks daily driving a manual in heavy traffic.

      • darex says:

        I don’t know where you live, but the traffic where I live is about as bad as it can be, and yet I chose manual…again. Speak for yourself, not other people.

        • Anon says:

          You seem to do a lot of speaking for manual drivers who aren’t you but then whine about me doing the same.

          Driving a manual isn’t going add 2 inches or grow your hair back. grow up.

          • Farhan Chowdhury says:

            Why can’t you understand that people enjoy driving stick more? For met it’s like a game every time I drive to get the perfect downshift blip with perfect smoothness. It’s more enjoyable than clicking a paddle. It had nothing to do with trying to impress people. It’s just more fun .

  7. expat says:

    If M2C had a 7 speed manual, it would be perfect. 7th gear……..tall overdrive for highway use….

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