2019 BMW M3 CS v Mercedes-AMG C 63 S Comparison Test  | carsales

2019 BMW M3 CS v Mercedes-AMG C 63 S Comparison Test | carsales


The BMW M3 and Mercedes AMG C63 are both household
names to performance car enthusiasts. The formula is simple. Two practical sedans with supercar bothering
levels of power. In the hands of a normal driver, both are
capable of cross-country adventures or I don’t know the daily school run but what we want
to know is which is better in circuit driving? And to find out, we’ve got a guy that knows
his way around Winton better than most. Okay, look before we get to the nitty-gritty
what do you say? Traffic like Grand Prix? Well you know me, mate. I do live my life a quarter-mile at a time. You supercar drivers are all the same. So the M3 wins the drag race by the smallest
of margins but the BMW was a decisive overall victor the last time that these two met. However that was M4 versus C63 Coupe and it
was two years ago. Since that time Benz has updated the C63 with
a new nine-speed automatic gearbox, a tweaked chassis, and softer suspension aimed at broadening
its skillset. And purely from a technology and presentation
point of view, it is the standout of these two cars. The headline figures here remain the same. 375 kilowatts and 700 newton metres but there
have been some important underbody changes. Probably the biggest one, this car’s electronic
suite is said to be a little bit smarter for mugs like myself behind the wheel. However today we’re going to let the professional
do the talking. Luke. Over to you. Well what the C63 really battles with is its
weight and that’s where I am changing direction doesn’t really respond and you really squeal
on those tires. One thing Mercedes do really well is engines. Twin turbo V8 power and it doesn’t disappoint. It really rockets up these straights. There’s two things really surprising me
about this car and it’s got nothing to do with the dynamics at all. The display on the tire temperature. When the tire temperature’s get really high
you lose lots of grip and that’s great for a road car to really see where that is. And this little traction control knob, you
can actually turn the traction all the way off and actually vary it in about 11 different
positions. I find that surprising for a road car but
something I really love. The scales say just as much. The C63 S weighs in at about 1800 kilograms
and adding to its lethargy is a lack of regrip around Winton. Weight is no such issue in the M3 CS however
which comes in at about 250 kilograms lighter than the Merc at just over one point five
tons. Now the M3 is no slouch in regular form but
this CS model really steps things up a notch. Priced at $180,000 plus on road costs, it
adds aero tweaks. It’s 30 kilograms lighter than the donor
car and the biggest thing is that it rides on Michelin pilot sport cup 2 rubber. It does ask a lot for the privilege though. It’s about $50,000 more than the regular
M3 Pure. Under the bonnet you’re getting an additional
seven kilowatts and 50 newton metres more than the M3 competition. But thanks to some clever tweaking of the
electronic aids, BMW said the M3 CS is slightly more meated with its responses. That’s just as well because from a tech
and presentation point of view, you could argue the CS is overpriced. In any case, Luke over to you. What I really love about this car is its lightweight. It really is responsive and the mid-corner
grip it has is just sensational. What really surprises me the most about this
car is just how angry it is. It’s really, really responsive out of those
corners. It’s got less power. But it feels like it’s got 100 horsepower
more. I guess the one thing is you can really tell
it has a lot less tech than the C63. Much more track focused and you can really
feel that in its ride so if there’s any negatives it may be a bit harsh. It may be a bit track focused. But I’m a race driver so that’s no negative. Unsurprisingly Luke’s suspicions are verified
by the stopwatch. The M3 CS comes in a whole four seconds quicker
than the C63 S posting one of our fastest production car lap times around Winton to
date. In an ordinary test you could easily justify
the C63 as our winner but in a strict track comparison the stop watch doesn’t lie. All right Luke that was a fun day, wasn’t
it? Oh absolutely. When you get a chance to drive cars like this
around a track like that, far out. It doesn’t get much better. Now my initial observations. We’ll get to yours in a second. C63 makes all the right noise. In isolation it’s a really good car but
when you’ve got these two together it feels heavier. It feels a little bit more sluggish. And even the engine it’s probably not as
instant in those middling revs, is it? Totally agree. If we didn’t have the M3 to reference it
off it’s a great car. Heaps of tech. Sounds awesome. Plenty of grunt. But I tell you what when you put it up against
that, that really does just change the benchmark doesn’t it? Four second lap faster. Wow. That’s a mammoth time. Now how much of that do you think is tires
and how much of it is weight? Look a lot of it is tire. Obviously it’s on Michelin Sport Club 2
which is a phenomenal tire but 250 kilos, I tell you what a passenger is worth a second
lap. So that’s roughly three seconds a lap just
in weight alone. So we agree then. M3’s a winner? By a country mile. {Sam Charlwood}
{Luke Youlden}