Mark Jones
Road Test Editor
9 minute read
2 Jul 2015
6:10 pm

Mercedes-AMG C 63 takes on BMW’s M3

Mark Jones

This is the battle everybody has been waiting for. Has the Mercedes-AMG C 63 got the firepower to take on BMW’s M3? Mercedes-AMG makes use of an all-new 4.0 litre V8 biturbo engine, boosting 1.2 bar that produces an impressive 350kW and 650Nm in the normal C 63 and an ever better 375kW and 700Nm in the S derivative we had on test at Gerotek.

This is the battle everybody has been waiting for. Has the Mercedes-AMG C 63 got the firepower to take on BMW’s M3? Mercedes-AMG makes use of an all-new 4.0 litre V8 biturbo engine, boosting 1.2 bar that produces an impressive 350kW and 650Nm in the normal C 63 and an ever better 375kW and 700Nm in the S derivative we had on test at Gerotek.

This is quite a lot more than the 317kW and 550Nm that is produced by BMW’s 3.0 litre straight six, also featuring two turbochargers running at a maximum boost of 1.25bar. So on the road there should be no contest, the Merc C 63 should beat the BMW M hands down. But you need to take into account that the C 63 is registered at a tare weight of 1730kg to the 1560kg of the M3. This makes things quite different when you put them against the clock.

Both cars make use of seven-speed double clutch gearboxes with launch control to post their performance numbers and both systems have small flaws. The BMW needs grippy tar; otherwise even with launch control active you just turn expensive rubber to smoke. The Merc jumps off the line but then hesitates to catch its wheel spin and then gets going again.

Anyway, they both got to 100km/h in close on 4 seconds flat, which is really fast, with the BMW taking it at 4.1 to the Merc’s 4.2. This advantage stays with the BMW at the quarter mile which comes in at a 12.1 to 12.2, but by now the C 63 is going faster and gets through the 1km mark at 250km/h to the 243km/h of the M3.

The C 63 runs to a limited top speed of 290km/h thanks to the optional AMG Driver’s Pack. The M3 does a limited 262km/h in standard trim but can run 286km/h with an M Driver’s Pack fitted. Both will go over 300km/h if allowed to run free.

Both come with a comprehensive list of performance and comfort options to add to your purchase price, both are seriously fast, on the track and on the road as you have seen, with the C 63 edging the BMW at the top in a straight line and the BMW coming back to edge the C 63 on the track.

As close as what these two cars are in all aspects, on first impression when you hit the loud pedal, they could not be further apart in terms of feel and sensation. The BMW responds like you have scalded it with boiling hot water and it is never going to forgive. The C 63 responds in slightly more relaxed manner that is akin to controlled rage and this is going to separate many potential owners right up front.

Road Test Data

Model: Mercedes-AMG C 63 S Edition 1

Gearbox: 7 Speed Speedshift Transmission

Engine: 4.0 litre V8 Twin Turbo

Power: 375 kW @ 5 500 – 6 250 rpm

Torque: 700 Nm @ 1 750 – 4 500 rpm

Licensing Mass: 1 730 kg

Power to Weight: 216.763 kW / Tonne

Power to Capacity: 94.174 kW / Litre

0-100 km/h: 4.21 Seconds

¼ Mile: 12.22 Seconds @ 194.51 km/h

1 Km: 21.94 Seconds @ 250.50 km/h

60-100 km/h: 2.49 Seconds (in 3rd Gear) / 3.71 Seconds (in 4th Gear)

80-120 km/h: 3.51 Seconds (in 4th Gear) / 5.36 Seconds (in 5th Gear)

100-200 km/h: 8.54 Seconds (from 3rd Gear)

True Top Speed: Limited to 290.18 km/h @ 5 600 rpm in 5th (Clock 296 km/h)

Fuel Consumption: 8.2 litres / 100 km Claimed (11.9 litres Test Average)

Fuel Tank Size: 66 litres

Fuel Range: 805 km Claimed (555 km on Test)

CO2 Emissions: 195 g/km

Warranty: 2 Years / Unlimited Km

Service / Maint Plan: 6 Years / 100 000 Km Maintenance Plan

Priced From: R1 163 800 + R175 000 for Edition 1 Package

Road Test Data

Model: BMW M3 Sedan M-DCT

Gearbox: 7 Speed M-DCT Transmission

Engine: 3.0 litre Straight Six Twin Turbo

Power: 317 kW @ 5 500 – 7 300 rpm

Torque: 550 Nm @ 1 850 – 5 500 rpm

Licensing Mass: 1 560 kg

Power to Weight: 203.205 kW / Tonne

Power to Capacity: 106.412 kW / Litre

0-100 km/h: 4.01 Seconds

¼ Mile: 12.11 Seconds @ 189.94 km/h

1 Km: 21.92 Seconds @ 243.13 km/h

60-100 km/h: 2.72 Seconds (in 3rd) / 3.86 Seconds (in 4th)

80-120 km/h: 3.53 Seconds (in 4th) / 4.89 Seconds (in 5th)

100-200 km/h: 9.97 Seconds (from 3rd)

True Top Speed: Limited to 262.72 km/h @ 6 100 rpm in 6th (Clock 266 km/h)

Fuel Consumption: 8.3 litres / 100 km Claimed (12.2 litres Test Average)

Fuel Tank Size: 60 litres

Fuel Range: 723 km Claimed (492 km on Test)

CO2 Emissions: 194 g/km

Warranty: 2 Years / Unlimited Km

Service / Maint Plan: 5 Years / 100 000 Km Maintenance Plan

Priced From: R1 056 000

Zwartkops Track Shoot-Out

Just as on the road, the Mercedes-AMG C 63 is separated from the BMW M by fractions of a second on a proper race track with a highly skilled driver behind the wheel. I thought it was important that we get a professional in to do the driving so as to find a reasonable limit in the two cars without abusing them lap after lap in search of a decent time, and of course get some proper feedback from him.

For this I roped in multiple race championship winner, on tar and dirt, Clint Weston, to do the shoot-out. Weston is a driver I trust for his integrity despite his involvement with Mercedes-Benz AMG Driver Training, and his level of skill behind the wheel and feel for a fast car needs no introduction.

The plan was very simple, take one C 63 fitted with standard brakes and OEM rubber at OEM rubber recommended tyre pressures, not the stronger S or Edition 1 derivatives, and one BMW fitted with standard brakes and OEM tyres at OEM pressures and send them out on the track. I say standard brakes as both cars offer optional Carbon Ceramic units, but neither was fitted with them at the time of the track test.

The format was one out lap followed by two hot laps finished off with a cool off lap while my Racelogic VBOX measured everything. There would be no do overs, the fastest lap would be the one to count.

Both attempts looked very quick from the pit wall and Clint was on the pace in both cars immediately and posted a very impressive 1:10.40 for the BMW and a 1:10.46 for the C 63.

Clint did feel that given another attempt, he could have gone quicker in both cars, but we felt that we had achieved what we set out to do. And that was to see if the C 63 could actually compete with the BMW around a race track, something that it has never really been able to do before, and the answer was a resounding yes.

He did add that for him, the BMW felt the livelier firmer car and that it required more attention to drive fast and build confidence in when compared to the C 63 that was a fraction softer and more composed and not so twitchy at the limit. Comments I support after driving both, the BMW is more fun if you like playing with a wild child all the time, whereas the C 63 is the easier car to drive fast, and this, the average man in the street will appreciate.

A few more points to note are Mercedes-AMG offers an S model that comes with more power, more grip and bigger brakes. BMW at this stage only offers one derivative of M3 or M4 Coupe, but I am sure this won’t stay this way for long as I mentioned in my road test story. And this more powerful C 63 might have had the beating of the M car around the track, but we wanted to compare as like cars as we could at the time.

Lap Time Data

Track: Zwartkops

Model: BMW M3 Sedan M-DCT

Start

Time: 0.00:000 seconds

Speed: 150.36km/h

Entry

Turn 1 Time: 2.14 seconds

Turn 1 Speed: 131.88km/h

Turn 1 G Force: 0.95g

Apex

Turn 1 Time: 4.57 seconds

Turn 1 Speed: 130.53km/h

Turn 1 G Force: 1.19g

Exit

Turn 1 Time: 6.20 seconds

Turn 1 Speed: 140.57km/h

Turn 1 G Force: 0.89g

Entry

Turn 2 Time: 10.30 seconds

Turn 2 Speed: 73.30km/h

Turn 2 G Force: 0.46g

Apex

Turn 2 Time: 13.03 seconds

Turn 2 Speed: 57.92km/h

Turn 2 G Force: 0.71g

Exit

Turn 2 Time: 16.04 seconds

Turn 2 Speed: 92.14km/h

Turn 2 G Force: 0.93g

Entry

Turn 3 Time: 19.01 seconds

Turn 3 Speed: 137.74km/h

Turn 3 G Force: 0.35g

Apex

Turn 3 Time: 20.93 seconds

Turn 3 Speed: 156.27km/h

Turn 3 G Force: 1.09g

Exit

Turn 3 Time: 26.18 seconds

Turn 3 Speed: 179.63km/h

Turn 3 G Force: 0.72g

Entry

Turn 4 Time: 30.07 seconds

Turn 4 Speed: 128.74km/h

Turn 4 G Force: 0.62g

Apex

Turn 4 Time: 33.07 seconds

Turn 4 Speed: 117.92km/h

Turn 4 G Force: 0.99g

Exit

Turn 4 Time: 35.56 seconds

Turn 4 Speed: 137.78km/h

Turn 4 G Force: 0.88g

Entry

Turn 5 Time: 44.20 seconds

Turn 5 Speed: 76.38km/h

Turn 5 G Force: 0.75g

Apex

Turn 5 Time: 45.11 seconds

Turn 5 Speed: 67.64km/h

Turn 5 G Force: 1.01g

Exit

Turn 5 Time: 47.25 seconds

Turn 5 Speed: 83.86km/h

Turn 5 G Force: 0.86g

Entry

Turn 6 Time: 50.54 seconds

Turn 6 Speed: 75.06km/h

Turn 6 G Force: 0.92g

Apex

Turn 6 Time: 51.42 seconds

Turn 6 Speed: 70.26km/h

Turn 6 G Force: 1.03g

Exit

Turn 6 Time: 53.87 seconds

Turn 6 Speed: 90.63km/h

Turn 6 G Force: 0.82g

Entry

Turn 7 Time: 55.41 seconds

Turn 7 Speed: 112.01km/h

Turn 7 G Force: 0.62g

Apex

Turn 7 Time: 56.22 seconds

Turn 7 Speed: 118.52km/h

Turn 7 G Force: 0.87g

Exit

Turn 7 Time: 57.75 seconds

Turn 7 Speed: 129.54km/h

Turn 7 G Force: 0.94g

Entry

Turn 8 Time: 1:03.31 seconds

Turn 8 Speed: 77.61km/h

Turn 8 G Force: 1.01g

Apex

Turn 8 Time: 1:04.15 seconds

Turn 8 Speed: 75.03km/h

Turn 8 G Force: 1.11g

Exit

Turn 8 Time: 1:06.34 seconds

Turn 8 Speed: 100.49km/h

Turn 8 G Force: 0.81g

Finish

Time:1:10:40 seconds

Speed: 149.92km/h

Track: Zwartkops

Model: Mercedes-AMG C 63

Start

Time: 0.00:000 seconds

Speed: 150.28km/h

Entry

Turn 1 Time: 2.15 seconds

Turn 1 Speed: 132.25km/h

Turn 1 G Force: 0.71g

Apex

Turn 1 Time: 4.62 seconds

Turn 1 Speed: 126.47km/h

Turn 1 G Force: 1.18g

Exit

Turn 1 Time: 6.31 seconds

Turn 1 Speed: 134.54km/h

Turn 1 G Force: 0.94g

Entry

Turn 2 Time: 10.28 seconds

Turn 2 Speed: 78.87km/h

Turn 2 G Force: 0.49g

Apex

Turn 2 Time: 12.90 seconds

Turn 2 Speed: 55.29km/h

Turn 2 G Force: 0.99g

Exit

Turn 2 Time: 16.06 seconds

Turn 2 Speed: 90.28km/h

Turn 2 G Force: 0.77g

Entry

Turn 3 Time: 19.08 seconds

Turn 3 Speed: 136.00km/h

Turn 3 G Force: 0.31g

Apex

Turn 3 Time: 21.03 seconds

Turn 3 Speed: 153.01km/h

Turn 3 G Force: 1.04g

Exit

Turn 3 Time: 26.37 seconds

Turn 3 Speed: 176.36km/h

Turn 3 G Force: 0.66g

Entry

Turn 4 Time: 30.33 seconds

Turn 4 Speed: 124.95km/h

Turn 4 G Force: 0.73g

Apex

Turn 4 Time: 33.36 seconds

Turn 4 Speed: 116.83km/h

Turn 4 G Force: 1.01g

Exit

Turn 4 Time: 35.82 seconds

Turn 4 Speed: 139.29km/h

Turn 4 G Force: 0.78g

Entry

Turn 5 Time: 44.49 seconds

Turn 5 Speed: 73.60km/h

Turn 5 G Force: 0.98g

Apex

Turn 5 Time: 45.41 seconds

Turn 5 Speed: 66.70kmh

Turn 5 G Force: 1.00g

Exit

Turn 5 Time: 47.52 seconds

Turn 5 Speed: 87.41km/h

Turn 5 G Force: 0.70g

Entry

Turn 6 Time: 50.89 seconds

Turn 6 Speed: 69.61km/h

Turn 6 G Force: 1.02g

Apex

Turn 6 Time: 51.80 seconds

Turn 6 Speed: 70.23km/h

Turn 6 G Force: 1.02g

Exit

Turn 6 Time: 54.20 seconds

Turn 6 Speed: 91.66km/h

Turn 6 G Force: 0.80g

Entry

Turn 7 Time: 55.72 seconds

Turn 7 Speed: 112.75km/h

Turn 7 G Force: 0.73g

Apex

Turn 7 Time: 56.53 seconds

Turn 7 Speed: 117.46km/h

Turn 7 G Force: 0.94g

Exit

Turn 7 Time: 58.06 seconds

Turn 7 Speed: 131.80km/h

Turn 7 G Force: 0.91g

Entry

Turn 8 Time: 1:03.88 seconds

Turn 8 Speed: 78.63km/h

Turn 8 G Force: 1.12g

Apex

Turn 8 Time: 1:04.69 seconds

Turn 8 Speed: 78.14km/h

Turn 8 G Force: 1.13g

Exit

Turn 8 Time: 1:06.78 seconds

Turn 8 Speed: 103.64km/h

Turn 8 G Force: 0.67g

Finish

Time: 1:10.46 seconds

Speed: 150.41km/h

Max Speed: 188.36km/h BMW M3 before Turn 4

186.36km/h Mercedes-AMG C 63 before Turn 4

Max G: 1.19g BMW M3 in Turn 1

1.18g Mercedes-AMG C 63 in Turn 1