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      01-06-2011, 07:00 PM   #15
UNNATRAL
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Drives: 08 E92 M3, 09 Ford Explorer V8
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Toronto

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Quote:
Originally Posted by warzilla View Post
As my title says, here are some thoughts on my sunday drive with the 08 M3 e92 (mine) and a 09 MB C63 thru the twisty roads of Bear Mountain and other nice twisty roads of orange county NY.

Setup:
So I met up with my friend who just brought his 09 MB C63 in black. This is the M156 with the 6.3 V8 producing 451hp/443 lb of torque. I have a 08 M3 e92 with DCT. We live in north NJ, near the NJ/NY border and decided to go to some of our favorite roads by Monroe/Warwick area.

Roads:
We went on local roads in Monroe, and also up the mountains of Warwick, toward Greenwood Lake. To get there we hit rt. 17 local. Then we hit some twisties at Bear Mountain. Most of the roads were curvy, and except some stretches of highway.

Exterior:
The M3 is jet black with a few exterior modes including blacked out grille, reflectors, GP Thunders and it had the winter set of VMR VB3's with winter performance tires.

The C63 was pretty standard but just added a new Vorsteiner Diffuser in the back. Had its summer tire set still on.

Overall the M3 looks good and aggressive and the VB3 in gunmetals really add to the final look. C63 is very aggressive looking as well. Overall, its really subjective on what you will find as the better looking car - I think they both look great. Obviously the M3 was a coupe while the C63 is a 4-door.

The only negative I can say about the C63 is that the body is very similar to the regular c-class except for the front damper, hood and the back rear with the quad pipes and standard diffuser. The width seems to be the same as a regular c-class, while we all know the M3's e92 body panels are pretty much different from the regular e92 body (ie flared fenders, hood, rocket panels, CF roof, etc).

Interior:
Both had blacked out interiors. The M3's interior is a soup-ed up e90 interior but the added carbon fiber trim and better leather hide makes it 'richer' in feel compared to its e90 siblings. C63 has some serious bolstered seats and has all the timings that you will find in a full-loaded c-class. Both interiors aren't the classiest in its class (honor would go to Audi) but both are comfortable to be in. I did like the C63 for having a sunroof - while I do love the CF roof on the M3, I do miss a sunroof here and there.

Engine/Exhaust:
Its a great comparison in styles: the MB went the full Mike Tyson rout and that C63 6.3 v8 is just crazy. For them to put it into that c-class body was just plain ballsy - I would love to meet the engineer at MB that was able to sell that in to the MB board, he should run for president. Anytime you have the that much hp and torque in an engine, thats a good thing. Basically you step on the gas and you go. No hesitation, no drama. The engine sounded a bit more muted compared to the M3 V8 note, but the exhaust king is definitely the C63. That bark/howl from the C63 exhaust can be heard from all around. The engine is very linear in the C63 and goes to this revs quickly and easily. I was driving in 'Sport' mode and using the paddle shifters to upshift/downshift.

For the M3, the engine is much smaller at 4.0 liters, but its just as amazing. You get a better sound from the engine bay, but the standard exhaust definitely loses out to the C63. Its still good, and gets sexier in sound as you go higher revs on the engine, but still no-where as good as the C63 (you need to go the 3rd party exhaust route with the M3 to catch up). The interesting part on the M3 is that the engine is much more fun to play with when you are driving on curvy roads. In a full 0-60 or 0-100 blast, the MB's engine will win, its just to powerful - but on the twisty roads we were on, the M3's high-revving engine really was the winner here. You could use 3rd gear and basically use the whole rev band to drive thru the roads - and hence have more fun.

Steering/Suspension:
M3: full throttle, EDC: sport, DSC: on, steering: sport, D-logic: 6
C63: Sport mode

So both had great steering wheels, the MB leather wheel felt a bit better in your hands (M3's steering wheel is definitely thick). When it comes to steering, both are great handling cars but the win definitely goes to the M3. Probably because while both cars are heavy, the MB is still 350-400 lbs heavier and you feel it. Plus again, the engine on the M3 lives for the twisties and lets you play more with its rev band compared to the C63. During repeated drives up and around the mountain road to Greenwood lake from rt 17, the M3 gave the driver more confidence taking the roads up and down the mountain.

Another item was the suspension. The C63's felt like it has a stiffer suspension (even compared to the M3 in EDC: sport). It may also be due to the tires, where the C63 was still on its summer performance tires, but the M3 was on winter performance. But the C63 definitely gave more shock to the lower back over imperfection on the roads, compared to the M3. The other big thing you noticed was the weight shift, the M3 was much more toss-able in the turns compared to the C63. The C63 was just a bit more slower in shifting its weight from quick turns. Overall we weren't as confident taking the C63 at its fullest on the roads as compared to the M3.

Overall Summary:
Not much of a surprise here. As read in many articles and posts on this topic, the M3 is the better car in turns and curvy roads, while for full blasts on straights the C63 is the king. My personal preference after this Sunday drive would still be the M3, only because I get more kicks in taking curvy, twisty roads then going full blast 0-60 on the roads. The MB did feel like the better everyday car/commuting car - which is a high compliment since the M3 does that job very well also.

Probably the best takeaway is that the C63 felts a bit more cartoon-ish then the M3. Meaning the C63 felt like a exaggeration of what a super-sport sedan should be: big engine, loud exhaust, very visual body gear. The M3 is now sort of the mature sport sedan, especially after the E46 M3 - more reserved in exterior look, smoother and silkier, much soften on its edges. This can be a positive or negative depending on people's view on the current M3 compared to the E46 M3.

Either way, again, you can't go wrong with either car.

Now here are the pix:









MB has horrible top end. large motors with big displacement have massive 0-60 low end torque, no top end. the m3 is such a better engineered car in both low end response and high end power. the low end is a bit laggy, but once it gets going its gone. dont forget, MB is way more expensive, and all your paying for is low end torque. 2.2L on the M and only 40hp more. nothing impressive with the merc. and plus, it has a standard torque converter so the tranny isnt anything special. to prove the fact that the c63 has shitty top end, there are many vids of stock vs stock m3 v c63, on the highway they are neck n neck. not to say that the m3 has shitty top end, but for a 460hp engine with 6.2L of displacement vs a 4.0L with 414hp, the benz doesnt live up to what it should do on paper. IMO. M3 all the way