Ok I have decided to leave the auto box on as the 30mile drive I did today was effortless. What a good box, silky smooth and feels great. the first 17miles I went to the vosa station in auto,,(yes I know its an auto but I will get to why I said that.) I did some steady driving and a little bit of overtaking. ok it didn't feel as rapid or I didn't get the lower down torquey pull of the m52engines but when it got a little higher up the rev range it did pull well enough. but I noticed on the way that the instrument cluster stayed on 0 instead of changing gear when the car did. I mentioned this to the vosa guy as he used to be a bmw techie from 2002.
I was a little embarrassed when he pointed out it wasn't a 0 but a D for drive!!! at that point he showed me the side tap that put it in sport and then showed me the up and down manual changes. I did not even now the car did this!!! I was well happy and had a little play on the way home. I don't think it was any more responsive but it was a talking point. on another note in the sport mode it liked to go in to the red line before she changed, some thing I don't even do in the 323 manual. it always scares me to put an engine in to the red line. but there you go. I have learned some thing new. just a shame I won't be able to drive it for a month at the ealiest. That's another thread!!!