Audi. BMW. Mercedes-Benz. Three German companies associated with making poor man’s Porsches.
Audi started in the 80s with the Quattro super-rallye car, which was produced until 1991. But to this day, Audi has made an incredible name for themselves with their line of S and RS cars. BMW became very well known for its M3, or the winningest car in touring car history, which spawned Audi and Mercedes-Benz to, even currently, try and make cars that could compete and beat the first baby-supercar. Cadillac has also been trying since 2003 with its CTS-V. Mercedes-Benz has had its own success, racing in the 1980s against the M3 with the 190E 2.3-16V, then replaced by the 190E 2.5-16V. Now Mercedes makes AMG cars to compete with BMW.
So many people have their biases. I’m more of an M3 guy, but love the S and RS models that Audi puts out, and enjoy the AMG models from Mercedes-Benz, especially the C63 AMG. But I have friends who prefer Audi or Mercedes-Benz over any other. And that’s okay. God won’t hold it against them… But now there’s a new Audi on the block, and it’s called the RS5. It comes to us with a 4.2L V8 making 450hp and 317-lb-ft of torque. That’s pretty damn good, since the BMW M3 only has a 4.0L V8 making 414hp and 295lb-ft of torque, and the Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG has a 6.2L V8 putting out 451hp and 443lb-ft of torque.
I’ve driven the E90 and E92 model M3s, and I’ve also had a fun sampling of the C63 AMG, but I’ve yet to drive an RS Audi, such as the RS4, and of course the RS5. With the exception of the RS5, the M3 is a phenomenal drive. It’s very difficult to sum up, into words, the way the car feels, handles and just blows your mind. The Mercedes C63 AMG, on the other hand, is easily summed up…by Jeremy Clarkson, who once said, “It’s an axe murder with headlights.” Righto, good chap. There is nothing more honest to be said about the car. It’s that special and fun.
So now it’s time for you guys to decide which one you like the best. The M3 comes in E90 (sedan), E92 (coupe) and E93 (convertible) variants, while the C63 only comes in sedan form, and the RS5 is to debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March as a coupe for the time being. Audi is currently producing a drop top version of the S5 coupe, so there’s no doubt they will do one of the RS5. Plus, they did a convertible for the RS4, too, and that car didn’t even come in a coupe.
I would like to point out at this time, that the BMW images you are viewing are not from BMW’s press department. The Audi and Mercedes-Benz images are, but the BMW photographs have been borrowed by permission from European Auto Source, or EAS. Now I’ve done this for two reasons, the first being that BMW does not really have stylized images of the M3 like the leaked brochure items of the RS5, and the second reason being, because they are amazing photos! The range of possibilities that an M3 owner has at his or her disposal to upgrade their car is enormous. So I wanted to show some of the ways an M3 can be modified to look even better than it already does, but also EAS has done a magnificent job at capturing the true essence and beauty that the BMW has.
One piece of design that needs to be powerful on cars such as these are the headlights. They have to be stunning and seductive, but still be threatening and commanding when you see them in your rearview. Audi has their newly penned LED beaded headlight trim that follows along the bottom part of the headlight, while BMW has their patented corona rings, or halos as some like to call them. Mercedes-Benz hasn’t done quite as much with their headlight design, but whenever you see the C63 AMG in person, the headlights do jump out at you. They have a unique appearance with the trim above the xenon bulbs.
While people may lust after your car on the outside, the inside is certainly more of a relaxed style and nature. The Audi offers, as always, a gorgeous ambiance of artful and tastefully designed pieces everywhere. The BMW takes a more minimalist approach. Everything that’s needed, is where the driver needs them to be. Not much excess, just what is purposeful. The Mercedes-Benz is a comfortable and relaxing place to spend some times, as it should be. It has a much more relaxed feeling once you’re in the seats, but you still know you are driving something rather different because the seat always has a sportingly firm grip on you, and the steering wheel is nicely weighted in your hands.
Now that you’ve seen most of the angles of each of these three amazing, baby-supercars, it’s time to vote in the poll below. If you still want more images to decide, just check out the gallery below. I think there should be enough there to help you make up your minds.
But while we wait for a test drive of the RS5, and a true comparison between the three German beasts, watch the Top Gear videos below of their real life test of the M3, C63 and RS4.
I have to give a special thanks to Anthony with European Auto Source. He has allowed me to use his fantastic images, and for that I can’t thank him enough. Feel free to visit his Flickr page that has all of his BMW photos, and not just of the M3.