We ordered a new 128i last Sunday and got the Production Number yesterday. It is, of course, a real manual transmission that requires the driver to use the clutch and shift the gears.
I have been driving real manual cars (not the computer driven SMG type of manual) since 1974 (Datsun 260Z). In 1999 I made an exception, bought an automatic, and regretted it every single day until day until I replaced it with my wonderful Z3 3.0i.
We originally intended to replace our beloved Z3 with a low mileage CPO 135i or a Z4. We were unable to do this because we simply could not find a CPO with a manual transmission. Virtually every dealer we spoke to consistently said almost no one buys them anymore. I even found I had to be very careful how I described what I wanted because it was not uncommon for the salepeople to think of the SMG (I don't know what its now called) steering wheel paddles as a manual transmission and advertise these cars as "manual" cars. In any case we eneded up ordering exactly what we wanted cause we could not get it otherwise.
There is some wonderful undescribable thrill about very quickly downshifting to third from 4th or 5th, giving it full throttle, and feeling and hearing the acceleration while suddenly screaming past vehicles that were in front. Absolutely no automatic, no matter how smart the computer, can duplicate that sensation.
BTW, we made a last minute decision to keep the Z3. My wife and I are just too attached to the old girl to let her go. Its going to be interesting to see which car I default to; the 10 year old 142K mile Z3 or the brand new 128i.
Last edited by RhoXS; 10-19-2012 at 04:59 AM.