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Intrepidation

BMW may sell engines and transmissions to GM and Fiat

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From AutoBlog

Word out of Frankfurt from the Financial Times Deutschland is that BMW is in talks to sell engines and transmissions to both General Motors and Fiat. All three companies have declined to officially comment.

The news is interesting, but not surprising. You may recall that GM has been selling transmissions to BMW for well over a decade for use in various 3 Series and 5 Series models (the current BMW 328i automatic uses a 6-speed GM 6L45 unit). So far, however, all have been automatic transmissions.

Speculating about the details, our tipster suggests that BMW may be helping GM with their SMG-style transmission program. As for the engines? It is possible that BMW could be selling its 4.4L V8 for the Cadillac line or lending GM a twin-turbo to compete with Ford's twin-turbo direct-injected V6? Thanks for the tip Brad!

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I think it's an interesting idea. It would give GM an alternative to the aging NorthStar line for the Cadillac lineup. Maybe BMW could provide some manual transmissions too. :scratchchin:

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I guess I was never aware that BMW used GM's automatic transmissions...this could be very interesting indeed.

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What would the BMW humper in our community say about this news?

The cooperation between BMW and GM runs deeper than what is perceived. I think it is a powerhouse news. Get some of the manual trannies here.

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Throw some BMW turbo 3.0 liters in Pontiacs and I'll be on the lot in a heartbeat.

Oooohhhh yeah.... BMW has for a long time built the best 6s, IMHO...love 'em.

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Well, if this is correct, we now know what's going into the two Zetas coming out of LGR... Nice!

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Which makes me thing the eight speed might be developed by both GM and BMW at the same time.

Didn't GM issue name for "Eight" last fall?

Pontiac poor man's BMW. At least we know the application won't be FWD to appease CPF. :P

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I think I just heard SMK's head explode.

If this story is true, every post he's made that isn't logically inconsistent (not many) has been made moot.

* dreams of an 8 cylinder 8 speed oldsmobile......I shall call her Eighty Eight *

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* dreams of an 8 cylinder 8 speed oldsmobile......I shall call her Eighty Eight *

:lol:

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I think I just heard SMK's head explode.

If this story is true, every post he's made that isn't logically inconsistent (not many) has been made moot.

* dreams of an 8 cylinder 8 speed oldsmobile......I shall call her Eighty Eight *

or a 4.4L twin turbo 442? hahahaahahahhaha

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I guess I was never aware that BMW used GM's automatic transmissions...this could be very interesting indeed.

They did. I'm not sure if they still use any now, but I know our '05 X5 V8 used a GM 5-speed auto. The revised '06 X5 V8, however, replaced that with a BMW 6-speed auto.

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They did. I'm not sure if they still use any now, but I know our '05 X5 V8 used a GM 5-speed auto. The revised '06 X5 V8, however, replaced that with a BMW 6-speed auto.

3 er and 5 er still do.

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3 er and 5 er still do.

I don't think so.

3er and 5er have moved to the 6-speed auto, I believe a ZF unit.

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I don't think so.

3er and 5er have moved to the 6-speed auto, I believe a ZF unit.

The news is interesting, but not surprising. You may recall that GM has been selling transmissions to BMW for well over a decade for use in various 3 Series and 5 Series models (the current BMW 328i automatic uses a 6-speed GM 6L45 unit). So far, however, all have been automatic transmissions.
Edited by Dodgefan
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BMW was using GM 5 speed autos before GM even had them in their own cars... Another lame mistake by GM.

I certainly hope Cadillac isn't getting BMW components. I don't see how that would help CAFE any and it would be a HUGE cop out on the part of GM.

I dunno, I'm not a fan of BMW powertrains in any GM vehicle. It just seems like a huge sell out to benchmark BMW for Cadillac and Pontiac only to then steal their technology. That sounds like something Toyota would do, you know, like they're doing with Ford's heavy duty diesel technology.

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BMW was using GM 5 speed autos before GM even had them in their own cars... Another lame mistake by GM.

I certainly hope Cadillac isn't getting BMW components. I don't see how that would help CAFE any and it would be a HUGE cop out on the part of GM.

I dunno, I'm not a fan of BMW powertrains in any GM vehicle. It just seems like a huge sell out to benchmark BMW for Cadillac and Pontiac only to then steal their technology. That sounds like something Toyota would do, you know, like they're doing with Ford's heavy duty diesel technology.

Since GM is working with BMW to develop Hybrid and Hydrogen friendly powertrains, consolidating to common powertrains between the manufacturers would be optimal. :scratchchin:

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BMW was using GM 5 speed autos before GM even had them in their own cars... Another lame mistake by GM.

I certainly hope Cadillac isn't getting BMW components. I don't see how that would help CAFE any and it would be a HUGE cop out on the part of GM.

I dunno, I'm not a fan of BMW powertrains in any GM vehicle. It just seems like a huge sell out to benchmark BMW for Cadillac and Pontiac only to then steal their technology. That sounds like something Toyota would do, you know, like they're doing with Ford's heavy duty diesel technology.

The 5 speed auto's was one of GM's greatest moves of all time.

GM was contracted by BMW to build the 5 speed tranny for them and BMW payed for the development. GM agreed to do it as long as they could use it too. BMW agreed as just wanting an exclusive for if I recall 2 years and then GM was free to use it. They then had a 5 speed they did not have to pay to develope for the then new CTS.

Then when it appeared in the CTS the magazines mentioned it had the same tranny that BMW used. Not a bad thing to say in this market if your wanting to break into it.

I too am not a big BMW fan as I had too work on too many of them in the past. But this will help GM in credibility in the market with those who would have never consider a american car let alone a GM car.

People are sheep and many love BMW. So if they think GM has a little BMW DNA it won't hurt anyting.

Besides BMW wants to stay independent. The ony way they will is to have a dance partner with a larger corperation. GM can be that dance partner. GM can get some headlines and shared development cost so it is a win win deal.

Just keep that damn I Drive out of the GM cars.

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They did. I'm not sure if they still use any now, but I know our '05 X5 V8 used a GM 5-speed auto. The revised '06 X5 V8, however, replaced that with a BMW 6-speed auto.

Pretty sure if you had the 4.4 you had the 6-speed auto as well.

BMW did utilize GM's 5-speed auto for quite some time. Quite prominent in the e39's...also known for quite a bit of problems...Gear slippage issues, not engaging properly, and of course, complete failure. I'd attribute most of that to BMW's "lifetime fluid" bull$h! though. A lot of guys have the transmission on the original fluid well into the hundred thousands and have a perfect tranny, some have problems and wonder why, some people replace the fluid and everything works fine, some replace the fluid and still experience some issues...I've found those transmissions can be hit or miss...

Luckily my getrag 6-speed has given me little problems...not as perfect as it could be, but then, it isn't that great of a tranny anyway...and it's modular, so repairing it is impossible. Filled it up with some redline fluid a few thousand ago, installed some upgraded tranny mounts and enforcers, and threw in an upgraded $h! kit and selector rod. It functions ok all in all.

BMW trannys have never been all that great in my opinion...

Their engines on the other hand...best mass produced 6 cylinders ever made. Their 8's are ok...but then, they haven't been in the 8 game that long. Personally, I feel the M60/M62 was the best series of V8's from BMW, and oddly enough, they were basically BMW's first attempt at an 8 more or less. It might seem like I am biased being that I have a 540 with an M62, but the feel of the engine and the way it delivers power is much like that of a OHV V8 in a way. It even made more torque than hp (stock, my engine runs around 282hp and 324ft/lb)...

Their newer V8's are...ok...Sure, they make more power and are more efficient with all their valvetronic shenanigans and whatnot, but when I drive my mom's X5 (with the N62B44 as compared to my M62B44tu) it just doesn't feel the same...Sure, they are different vehicles with different transmissions, but you just don't really feel all the power in the X5 (even though there is more)...you don't hear it either which is annoying...too much sound tuning...

Favorite V8 is still the S62 e39 M5 engine. I'd take it over the S85 based V8 any day (or even the S85 for that matter...I truly do not like that engine....)

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I guess I was never aware that BMW used GM's automatic transmissions...this could be very interesting indeed.

Opel-built transmissions were used in the 90's BMWs I remember.

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GM transmissions have probably been used in more makes/models over more years than from any other source.

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Pretty sure if you had the 4.4 you had the 6-speed auto as well.

BMW did utilize GM's 5-speed auto for quite some time. Quite prominent in the e39's...also known for quite a bit of problems...Gear slippage issues, not engaging properly, and of course, complete failure. I'd attribute most of that to BMW's "lifetime fluid" bull$h! though. A lot of guys have the transmission on the original fluid well into the hundred thousands and have a perfect tranny, some have problems and wonder why, some people replace the fluid and everything works fine, some replace the fluid and still experience some issues...I've found those transmissions can be hit or miss...

Luckily my getrag 6-speed has given me little problems...not as perfect as it could be, but then, it isn't that great of a tranny anyway...and it's modular, so repairing it is impossible. Filled it up with some redline fluid a few thousand ago, installed some upgraded tranny mounts and enforcers, and threw in an upgraded $h! kit and selector rod. It functions ok all in all.

BMW trannys have never been all that great in my opinion...

Their engines on the other hand...best mass produced 6 cylinders ever made. Their 8's are ok...but then, they haven't been in the 8 game that long. Personally, I feel the M60/M62 was the best series of V8's from BMW, and oddly enough, they were basically BMW's first attempt at an 8 more or less. It might seem like I am biased being that I have a 540 with an M62, but the feel of the engine and the way it delivers power is much like that of a OHV V8 in a way. It even made more torque than hp (stock, my engine runs around 282hp and 324ft/lb)...

Their newer V8's are...ok...Sure, they make more power and are more efficient with all their valvetronic shenanigans and whatnot, but when I drive my mom's X5 (with the N62B44 as compared to my M62B44tu) it just doesn't feel the same...Sure, they are different vehicles with different transmissions, but you just don't really feel all the power in the X5 (even though there is more)...you don't hear it either which is annoying...too much sound tuning...

Favorite V8 is still the S62 e39 M5 engine. I'd take it over the S85 based V8 any day (or even the S85 for that matter...I truly do not like that engine....)

Well, I'm PRETTY sure the '05 had the GM 5-speed and the '06 had the (ZF I believe?) 6-speed. Reason is.....we got the same X5s down to equipment and color and I remember us trying to figure out what had changed between the two years.....and one was the silver "rings" around the gauges....and another, I think, was the tranny gaining a gear. That was it for the differences....

Maybe I'm wrong though....

But in any event, never had ANY problems with trannies.....(granted we didn't keep them like 100K miles or anything) and in fact I LOVED the 6-speed in the '06. I loved the way it shifted, loved the way it performed in "Sport" and manual mode, and especially loved how adept it was during trailer-towing our two seadoos out to The River.

I've always been a HUGE fan of BMW engines as well.....of any sort. Loved the V8 in the X5s, and loved the I6s I had in the 330s. To me, they've been the smoothest, best-performing engines of their kind. The 225hp 3.0L always felt like it had WAY more power than quoted and the smallish 4.4L V8 never felt like it was lacking in torque.....even in the heavy X5.

As far as problems, I/we've had five different BMWs (two X5s, 330Ci coupe, 330Ci convertible, last-gen 530i) over the last, oh, 4 years between the two of us and never have had any problems with any of them of any significance that I can remember. GRANTED we didn't put that many miles on them......maybe 20K each.....although the 530i had miles on it 'cause it was used.....I think 60K miles....but never had problems with that car either.

So I can't comment on long-term reliability......but if you are in the new-car market, and you lease, BMWs are AWESOME because the warranty AND all scheduled maintenance is covered cost-free for 4/50K.....and usually leases certainly don't run past that. (edit: Just took the A4 in for the 21K-mile service.....the dealership quoted me $388....!!!! I was pissed. I told them only to do the L.O.F. and forget all the "diagnostic checks" and $h! they were going to do. If it had been a BMW, I wouldn't have cared....I'd have had them do it all.....'cause it's free of charge.)

Edited by The O.C.
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GM transmissions have probably been used in more makes/models over more years than from any other source.

Yep, Jag, Rolls, Bently, Ferrari and more. Also Harrison AC and Saginaw power steering had been used in many other lines.

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I don't think so.

3er and 5er have moved to the 6-speed auto, I believe a ZF unit.

The 328i uses a GM unit... the 335i uses a ZF unit (rev matches, paddles, quicker shifts).

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Well, I'm PRETTY sure the '05 had the GM 5-speed and the '06 had the (ZF I believe?) 6-speed. Reason is.....we got the same X5s down to equipment and color and I remember us trying to figure out what had changed between the two years.....and one was the silver "rings" around the gauges....and another, I think, was the tranny gaining a gear. That was it for the differences....

Maybe I'm wrong though....

Well, you've got me doing research now because my mom's 05 4.4 has the 6-speed. I found some on ebay that claimed they had the 5-speed (could've been a typo)...I know the 6-cylinders came with the 5-speed, but in the 2004 MCE the V8's got the 6-speed. I can't imagine the 5-speed was standard and 6 was an option...could be a mid model year change I suppose...

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