The C63 AMG Coupe debuted recently to much buzz because it represents Mercedes' best direct competitor to the BMW M3 coupe yet. Autobild
has printed their first drive impressions comparing the two German sports coupes, and have also thrown in the RS5 coupe to include all 3 similar offerings from Germany's top 3 luxury makes. Expect a more specific and technical comparison of the 3 cars soon. Here's our translation:
Even with 457hp in the basic trim, the C63 is the most powerful coupe in its class. The performance package makes things even better: composite brakes, carbon flaps and a power bump to 487hp. Unlike earlier C63 models which had a torque converter automatic transmission, the V8 now is mated to a lighter 7-speed MCT transmission. MCT stands for Multi Clutch Technology which sounds like a double clutch but isn't, nor does it react or work as fast. While the Audi RS 5 does make use of a double clutch transmission, it is only the BMW's DCT which shows all the best merits of this technology - Up, down, double click, everything's done in real time; no lag, no torque dip. The BMW's shift lights warn of the approaching redline, and the automatic double-clutch welcomes the next gear. Terrific!
As for emotions, the M3 is still king in its class. It's the red herring of BMW M's history - it was already an iconic car even as Audi was still trying to build its rallye image. The 4-liter V8 makes up for missing displacement with its characteristics. The M3's individual throttle butterflies seem to be able to read your mind. Everything fits, even if -- or is it when -- you take the road in a drift. And this noise! Unlike the Mercedes and its US style V8 exhaust sound, the M3 makes most of its noise from the engine itself. It's screaming a high praise on naturally aspirated engines, and the new M Performance exhaust adds even more of a race car feel.
The Audi is a different animal. The 4.2-litre DI engine sounds more subdued. Deeper, not unsexy and quite the right tone for a drive into the sunset. The engine feels like a middleground between the Merc and the BMW - at the same time not besting either of them. It lacks both the punch of the AMG down low and the spirit of the BMW at high revs. The RS5 however fascinates with its drivetrain. It allows you to do things you shouldn't even think about doing with a car having that much weight at the front, the Sport Diff is that good. What's missing [in the RS5] is willingness to turn in. Both the BMW and the Mercedes negotiate tight corners joyfully while the RS5 remains a bit 'stressed.' Enough to lose a comparison? Maybe.