| I'm not 100% sure what the difference is but I can tell you that failures with SMG were more common on the earlier models (pre '04) - a total of 5 ///M's (3 '02s and 2 '03s) that have ended up replacing entire transmission assemblies here and haven't seen 1 require the replacement that was a '04-'06 .... On 4 of those 5 cars, it was shifting up from 3rd to 4th - the display would flash and the car would not engage 4th gear. You could shift down from 5th to 4th but not from 3rd to 4th.
As far as the drag race - I'd think the '03 would win as it should weigh less. I wouldn't recommend using launch control on either though
"! First rule of Italian driving, that which is in your mirror is not important !"