In most recent BMWs equipped with manual transmissions, auto rev-matching was a default function and could only be turned off if both traction control and stability control were also turned off. It was an odd decision because it essentially forced heel-and-toe enthusiasts to turn off all dynamic safety functions in order to properly enjoy their manuals. It frustrated many BMW enthusiasts, as they couldn’t safely heel-and-toe, which is a skill most enthusiast practiced for years before perfecting.
Now, BMW has listened to the enthusiasts and has allowed for auto rev-matching to be turned on or off completely independently of other settings. It will be its own function that can be toggled on or off, via the iDrive screen. But now it begs the question — is auto rev-matching really lame or actually kind of cool?
I know, I know, I know, you’re taking away my enthusiast-card for even suggesting that auto rev-matching could be anything other than lame. However, I must admit that, sometimes, I actually kind of like it.
See, I’m a lazy man by nature and if there’s not some sort of incentive, I don’t feel like doing extra work. While driving on a twisty back road and having fun, of course I want full control over my manual. There’s something so deliciously satisfying about nailing a perfect rev-match on my own, with no computer assistance. However, slogging away in mundane everyday traffic, I just don’t feel like it. There’s no fun incentive there to do the extra mental work. So, during those circumstances, having the car perfectly match revs on its own is kinda nice.
Also, I must admit, I’m not the best at heel-and-toe. I have relatively small feet (ha ha, snicker all you want but I’m 5’9″ and everything’s in proportion), so if a car doesn’t have really well-placed pedals for heel-and-tow, it can be tricky for me. Plus, my brain sometimes has a hard time getting my two feet to work three pedals, while also trying to concentrate on driving. So only when it’s fun to do, such as when driving spiritedly, do I actually want to do it.
Which is why I’m so happy to hear that BMW is making it a selectable function. For someone like me that likes rev-matching on their own but can also appreciate the car doing it for them in certain circumstances, having the option to choose is wonderful. Plus, choice really is the greatest luxury of all. So thank you, BMW, for making it something we can easily choose, rather than something that we have to be scared to turn off.