Three luxury rocket ships go head to head on the spec sheet in the latest Chasing Cars spec battle
Mercedes-AMG stunned the automotive media landscape when it announced that its next C63 – an iconic model in its performance lineup – would ditch four of its cylinders and add turbo-hybrid power for its W206 generation in 2024.
But despite now running with just half its cylinder count, Mercedes-AMG has still managed to make its fast sedan more powerful than ever.
A full review of the new C63 soon to Chasing Cars, but for now let’s compare this holy trinity of German performance cars, spec for spec.
Starting with the Mercedes-AMG C63, pricing has been confirmed for Australia with the sole hybrid-turbo sedan costing $187,900 before on-road costs. Interestingly, a five-door wagon is available in other markets, but not here in Australia.
The BMW M3, meanwhile, in base manual guise starts from $161,300 before on-road costs, or as much as $177,800 before on-road costs for the xDrive Competition variant. If you’re after an even purer driving experience, the M3 CS flagship will cost keen buyers $249,900 before on-road costs.
Audi’s RS5 is available in coupe and sportback body styles locally and starts from $169,100 before on-road costs, making it the cheapest of the three models before on-road costs.
We’ll start this section with arguably the most mechanically-complicated car in this spec battle, the Mercedes-AMG C63 S E Performance.
On the combustion side of things, the C63 S E Performance is powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine – the same engine used in the A45 S hatch – that produces 350kW of power and 545Nm of torque alone. This makes the 2.0-litre unit the most powerful production four-cylinder engine in the world.
To add to that, a plug-in hybrid system has been mated to the combustion engine which provides an additional 150kW/320Nm via an electric motor mounted on the rear axle.
Total outputs for the C63 are 500kW/1020Nm. Crazy, right? This makes the rapid luxury sedan capable of sprinting to 100km/h in a claimed 3.4 seconds.
Next is the G80 BMW M3. To compare most suitably to the C63 S E Performance, we’ll take a look at the Competition xDrive spec which is powered by a 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged straight-six engine that produces 375kW/650Nm.
Unlike the Mercedes-AMG, the BMW goes without the use of hybrid assistance. BMW has mated the M3’s straight-six engine with a eight-speed torque converter automatic transmission that powers all four wheels.
BMW claims that the all-wheel drive BMW M3 Competition is capable of sprinting to 100km/h in 3.5 seconds, which is not far off what the Mercedes C63 claims.
Rounding out the pack is the Audi RS5 that, much like the M3, does not use any form of hybrid assistance (yet). Onboard the fast Audi is a 2.9-litre twin-turbocharged V6 petrol engine that produces 331kW/600Nm and puts that power and torque to the road via Audi’s quattro all-wheel drive system and an eight-speed torque converter automatic transmission.
Audi claims a slower-than-rivals 4.1 second 0-100km/h time. Still nothing to shake your head at.
But then there’s the weight predicament…
The Mercedes-AMG C63 S E Performance may have the most power and torque of this match up, but it also has a weight problem. Mercedes claims that the new C63’s kerb weight is 2165kg, making it heavier than the current, three-row Toyota Kluger hybrid.
In comparison, the BMW M3 in Competition spec weighs 1775kg kerb, while the Audi RS5 in Sportback guise weighs in at 1795kg.
That 390kg difference between the AMG and the M3 means that, in the real world, the two may be more evenly matched, however greater weight could lead to the C63 being more punishing on its braking system over time.
We’ll just have to see for ourselves when we drive the C63 in the flesh very soon.
The AMG C63 S E Performance will debut in Australia in a single high-spec variant, but will include features such as:
On the BMW M3 Competition, standard features include:
Lastly, the Audi RS5 will is sold as standard with:
All up, the three luxury sports cars are very similar on spec and well-specced at that, but they should be at this luxury price point. The AMG offers a lot in terms of value, but has a higher sticker price that buyers should be aware of.
The new Mercedes-AMG C63 S E Performance might be the newest and most powerful luxury sports saloon in this comparison, but the current BMW M3 Competition xDrive offers plenty of the same performance for around $10,000 less.
The Audi RS5 provides plenty of performance (and even greater practicality if you go for the mechanically-identical RS4 Avant), but on paper, the BMW still seems the pick of the lot – as long as you’re a fan of the big grille styling!
The launch of the new C63 is scheduled for February 2024, so look forward to a real-world review of the fast hybrid sedan in the coming weeks.
If you want to read more about these three rocket ships, check out the links to our previous reviews below:
Car news today: Toyota Australia announces pricing for electric BZ4X, Renault debuts retro 5 E-Tech, and more – 27 February 2024
Car news today: Hyundai Europe cuts petrol N models, Ford “almost pulled out of Australia” and more – 26 February 2024
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