BMW and Porsche are natural competitors on paper but, often times, customers don’t see it that way. Porsche customers are Porsche customers and rarely look at what BMW is doing. However it can be interesting to see how both brands do things and how their individual technologies compare. In this new comparison test from EVO Magazine, they took two F87 BMW M2 CS models, one with a manual and one DCT, and two Porsche 911s, a Carrera S manual and Carrera 4S PDK, to compare their specific transmissions and it really is interesting.
This test is far less about the cars’ dynamic capabilities but more about how their transmissions not only compare to each other but how they affect their specific cars. So it isn’t just a BMW vs Porsche thing, it’s also a manual vs automatic thing. It’s also the last real apples-to-apples transmission test BMW can do with Porsche, as the Bavarians have moved on from the M2’s dual-clutch automatic to all eight-speed torque-converter automatics now, while Porsche still makes its dual-clutch PDK.
It’s fascinating to see how the different transmissions affect their specific cars. Is the BMW M2 CS genuinely better with a manual or does the DCT’s quicker shifts and shorter gear ratios actually make it more exciting. What about the 911, whose seven-speed manual is good but its eight-speed PDK is brilliant? Does the manual’s extra engagement beat out the PDK’s lightning fast, motorsport-like shifts?
Comparing them to each other is interesting, too. You don’t often think about the paddle shift quality in many automatics but it’s something that’s surprisingly important. If clicking the paddles is fun, then shifting will be fun. If not, then it won’t be. Italian brands seem to get paddle shifters right more than anyone and BMW seems to be among the worst at it. Porsche seems to have some nice clickers, though.
So often we read about how the Porsche 911’s steering and chassis balance are just so above and beyond what anyone else can do and, most of the time, that’s accurate. However, it’s even more interesting to see a specific technical comparison such as this one. Check it out.