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    • Has BMW slipped? Is Mercedes now the German performance enthusiast brand of choice?


      Many of us were attracted to German performance by BMW. There was a time when they made cars unlike anyone else. Cars that took no short cuts, with motors that represented the best their engineers had to offer. Now what do we have? Anti-tuning ecu's, the same motor in every car, M SUV's, FWD city cars coming, smaller and smaller motors paired with extreme brand dilution.

      While this has all been taking place, Mercedes has upped the ante. Mercedes is producing larger V8's with turbos. Mercedes is not afraid to place these motors in their lower end cars even if it steps on big brothers toes (C63 vs. E63, anyone?). Mercedes has rolled out the SLR, SLS, CLK63 Black Series, and SL65 Black Series. Rumor has it that Mercedes will put their twin turbo V8 in a black series C-coupe. If that isn't upping the ante, I do not know what is.

      BMW has announced the next generation M3 will have a 6 cylinder. While they are downsizing Mercedes is sticking a V8 in everything. They are even planning on expanding the AMG lineup and also considering producing an entry level SLS to rival the Porsche 911. Somehow, Mercedes went from being soft to being hardcore offering the black series which takes already potent AMG cars to the next level. Not to mention, unlike BMW and Audi, Mercedes has successfully rolled out all their performance models in the United States. Times are changing folks, and at least to this poster, it sure looks like Mercedes is now the enthusiast brand of choice.
      This article was originally published in forum thread: Has BMW slipped? Is Mercedes now the German performance enthusiast brand of choice? started by Sticky View original post
      Comments 140 Comments
      1. e92's Avatar
        e92 -
        This

        BMW has slipped while Mercedes has gotten stronger.
      1. aquaskr's Avatar
        aquaskr -
        One very significant reason that I don't think Mercedes can be the "German performance enthusiast brand of choice" is their reluctance to offer manual transmissions. I know that DCT, etc is the way of the future, but most true enthusiasts like 3 pedals.Click here to enlarge
      1. DBFIU's Avatar
        DBFIU -
        I think manual transmissions is a small part of the equation. A car doesnt need to be manual to be of enthusiast status. In fact, I dont mind autos or DCTs; but what I do mind is how BMW is slacking with their overall intentions.

        1. Not addressing the failed N54 parts, fuel pumps, wastegates, injectors etc...
        2. Making the 1M seem like the $#@!, when its not.
        3. Front wheel drive bull$#@! is coming.
        4. Using previous engines (not that the N54 is a bad engine) in the new "M version" of the 135, BMW has never done this before.
        5. Cranking out SUVs like its jessicas birthday.
      1. Doug007's Avatar
        Doug007 -
        Performance is a lot more than throwing the biggest engine you can find in your smallest car (not saying it isn't fun. It's a classic combo from shelby cobras to GTOs).

        BMW is still the top dog when it comes to a balanced car. M3s still win comparison tests against the C63. To quote from a comparison test "Next to the C63 and RS 4, this latest M3 offers the purest, least diluted, most involving, and best-in-class driver-and-machine relationship. Those characteristics are what made the M3 great, and they're still evident in a faster and more refined package."

        That is why BMW is great plain and simple.

        I think Mercedes has stepped up more than BMW has slipped. For years, enthusiasts would just laugh at a the thought of buying a benz. They were soft luxo couches for the autobahn. Not any more.

        BMW still sets the standard for sport sedans. They have some work to do in the hp race but nothing twin turbo v8s can't solve Click here to enlarge
      1. DBFIU's Avatar
        DBFIU -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Doug007 Click here to enlarge
        Performance is a lot more than throwing the biggest engine you can find in your smallest car (not saying it isn't fun. It's a classic combo from shelby cobras to GTOs).

        BMW is still the top dog when it comes to a balanced car. M3s still win comparison tests against the C63. To quote from a comparison test "Next to the C63 and RS 4, this latest M3 offers the purest, least diluted, most involving, and best-in-class driver-and-machine relationship. Those characteristics are what made the M3 great, and they're still evident in a faster and more refined package."

        That is why BMW is great plain and simple.

        I think Mercedes has stepped up more than BMW has slipped. For years, enthusiasts would just laugh at a the thought of buying a benz. They were soft luxo couches for the autobahn. Not any more.

        BMW still sets the standard for sport sedans. They have some work to do in the hp race but nothing twin turbo v8s can't solve Click here to enlarge
        I think up until the E92 M3 BMW has been top dog, no one can refute that. But everything afterwards is going to be complete garbage.

        Mercedes has changed the game.
      1. Doug007's Avatar
        Doug007 -
        Fuel efficiency standards are certainly going to change things for Mercedes as well as BMW.

        It's going to be hard to get away selling big displacement V8s that get 10 mpg in real world driving. BMW seems much further down this path with all their efficient dynamics crap.

        I think BMW will always focus more on keeping their cars balanced and involving while Benz's will be more about comfort coupled with brute force.

        The era of NA engine development appears to be coming to an end. Let's just hope BMW can start doing some amazing things with FI engines. The reverse flow twin turbo V8 is a ray of hope and will be a monster in the next M5.
      1. 1cleanAMG's Avatar
        1cleanAMG -
        I am ready for the C63 Coupe.
      1. GG///M3's Avatar
        GG///M3 -
        Bmw still owns MB in this class sorry.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by aquaskr Click here to enlarge
        One very significant reason that I don't think Mercedes can be the "German performance enthusiast brand of choice" is their reluctance to offer manual transmissions. I know that DCT, etc is the way of the future, but most true enthusiasts like 3 pedals.Click here to enlarge
        BMW has steadily been moving away from manuals.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Doug007 Click here to enlarge
        Performance is a lot more than throwing the biggest engine you can find in your smallest car (not saying it isn't fun. It's a classic combo from shelby cobras to GTOs).

        BMW is still the top dog when it comes to a balanced car. M3s still win comparison tests against the C63. To quote from a comparison test "Next to the C63 and RS 4, this latest M3 offers the purest, least diluted, most involving, and best-in-class driver-and-machine relationship. Those characteristics are what made the M3 great, and they're still evident in a faster and more refined package."

        That is why BMW is great plain and simple.
        Exactly correct, but will the next gen M3 still win vs. the next gen C AMG? I do not know about that, especially if BMW's continue to lose feel and become bloated/isolated like the new 5 series.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by DBFIU Click here to enlarge
        I think up until the E92 M3 BMW has been top dog, no one can refute that. But everything afterwards is going to be complete garbage.

        Mercedes has changed the game.
        This is how I feel as well.
      1. alq80's Avatar
        alq80 -
        From what I I've heard, seen and driven, the E92 M3 like all before it are the closest you can get to a purist car without buying a GT3 for almost twice the dough.

        I really hope that the next m3 engine is pushing 500hp... It's only fair! And even if it's a 6cyl, so long as it is developed by M division, for M vehicles, it will be boss!

        I do admit that I have been looking at possible nextvehicles for about a year from now, and the CTSV looks most appealing... So far!

        And BMW don't equal FWD
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by alq80 Click here to enlarge
        And BMW don't equal FWD
        They do now.
      1. alq80's Avatar
        alq80 -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        They do now.
        yeah, unfortunately. I actually really disliked that move by them. I guess BMW is changing before our very eyes
      1. nappy_time's Avatar
        nappy_time -
        Mercedes sl55, e55, cl55, s63, ml63, cl63 and so on. I don't get it. Click here to enlarge
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by nappy_time Click here to enlarge
        Mercedes sl55, e55, cl55, s63, ml63, cl63 and so on. I don't get it. Click here to enlarge
        Black Series? SLS? SLR? All models available worldwide?
      1. nappy_time's Avatar
        nappy_time -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        Black Series? SLS? SLR? All models available worldwide?
        Yeah but isn't it the same thing, I'm wondering.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by nappy_time Click here to enlarge
        Yeah but isn't it the same thing, I'm wondering.
        I am not sure what you are wondering, you mean you don't understand their models?
      1. nappy_time's Avatar
        nappy_time -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        I am not sure what you are wondering, you mean you don't understand their models?
        No, the same engine in diffrent cars part.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by nappy_time Click here to enlarge
        No, the same engine in diffrent cars part.
        Ah, yes, AMG has always done that. However, now BMW does the same thing except not as well.