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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. nappy_time's Avatar
        nappy_time -
        Sorry, but my lack of elaboration is probably due that I'm a bit tired. I'm also from Denmark so my english is a little bad.
      1. nappy_time's Avatar
        nappy_time -
        you get no further by walking in someone else's footsteps, I agree. I just misunderstood the text.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by nappy_time Click here to enlarge
        Sorry, but my lack of elaboration is probably due that I'm a bit tired. I'm also from Denmark so my english is a little bad.
        Your English is fine actually and we are happy to have members from around the world, adds to the forum.
      1. dOpEdUpM3's Avatar
        dOpEdUpM3 -
        BMW has announced the next generation M3 will have a 6 cylinder. While they are downsizing Mercedes is sticking a V8 in everything.
        BOOO... BMW needs N/A V10 in the new m3 FTW
      1. mazdaspeed6's Avatar
        mazdaspeed6 -
        Bi turbo s54 wouldn't be so bad in the next m3... Make it revv out to 9k and they should have mb beat
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by mazdaspeed6 Click here to enlarge
        Bi turbo s54 wouldn't be so bad in the next m3... Make it revv out to 9k and they should have mb beat
        Make it rev out to 9k, a dream, how about them just making it not embarrass itself vs. any mercedes twin turbo with a performance package?
      1. dreikraft's Avatar
        dreikraft -
        i know he's either loved or hated but i think the bangle years were the high watermark for bmw. i've always hated merc styling but with the lineup they have today and some of the power they have striaght from the factory its hard not to fall in love. i feel bmw (and audi to a lesser extent) strayed from the path while merc has found their way back. and maybe thats what helped them was getting their 'hippie' phase out of their system early whereas the other two are just now getting into their prius mode.
      1. Stahlgrau's Avatar
        Stahlgrau -
        When a comparably priced Benz can consistently beat their BMW counterpart around the tracks and not just straightline performance, I might be willing to admit they're the enthusiast's choice.

        Edit: Just read through the thread and Doug007 said it best.
      1. 654's Avatar
        654 -
        BMW has (almost) never had real sports cars. However, M3 has always been, and will always be faster than C-class. That is thee big picture. BMW laps quicker.

        Mercedes has had some limited series very expensive models, and yes, currently more then before. Those are marginal products, and actually slow compared to their price. GTR beats every humangously expensive SLS or Black series in Nordschleife. That is because Mercedes is not able to produce a real sports car with low weight even despite having the cars so expensive that some weight reduction should be possible for that money.

        When it comes who makes the smallest cars, there is no comparison. Mercedes by large margin. They produce cars that are among the smallest in the world. I hope BMW will do the same in the future.
      1. 654's Avatar
        654 -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Stahlgrau Click here to enlarge
        When a comparably priced Benz can consistently beat their BMW counterpart around the tracks and not just straightline performance, I might be willing to admit they're the enthusiast's choice.

        Edit: Just read through the thread and Doug007 said it best.
        +1, but they never will Click here to enlarge
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by 654 Click here to enlarge
        BMW has (almost) never had real sports cars. However, M3 has always been, and will always be faster than C-class. That is thee big picture. BMW laps quicker.
        This has traditionally been the case but with the black series Mercedes erased this advantage. With the C-class coupe black series coming I think it may shift to being the other way around.
      1. dreikraft's Avatar
        dreikraft -
        i don't see how enthusiasts can stand by bmw when you consider they're slapping ///M badges on soccer mobiles and solar panels on executive models. 654 said it right. merc makes big power but is too heavy. AMG should steal M's engineering team while they're being ignored by the bmw marketing department, lol.
      1. MHP LLC's Avatar
        MHP LLC -
        As far as readily available (not changing engine management, turbos, cams, etc) power or what's given from the factory with just tuning and/or bolt-ons I think MB is scoring easy win's the same way Chevy did when they introduced the LS1/LS6 in the F-body's vs the NA 4.6L 4V's in comparable Mustangs (pre 03/04 Cobra) '98-'02. Just too many inches to overcome N/A and not enough rpm to do it; AMG gives 50% more displacement from the factory which equates to significantly higher torque across the board--I wouldn't doubt that in a stock for stock comparison a M156 makes more torque at idle or just off it than a S65 does at peak. Looks to be more of the same in the future, especially in the case of the C-Class vs M3.

        The downside of being a MB/AMG fan (other than subjective measures such as design, etc) are the transmissions. Long story short (as it's been a hot topic lately) BMW still owns the segment in this category.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by dreikraft Click here to enlarge
        i don't see how enthusiasts can stand by bmw when you consider they're slapping ///M badges on soccer mobiles and solar panels on executive models. 654 said it right. merc makes big power but is too heavy. AMG should steal M's engineering team while they're being ignored by the bmw marketing department, lol.
        Well said.

        Keep in mind though, Mercedes is trying hard to put lighter weight/hardcore models.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by MHP LLC Click here to enlarge
        The downside of being a MB/AMG fan (other than subjective measures such as design, etc) are the transmissions. Long story short (as it's been a hot topic lately) BMW still owns the segment in this category.
        This is the key but is going to be become a moot point when everyone is churning out DCT's.
      1. 654's Avatar
        654 -
        I remember reading a couple years back BMW Motorsport chief saying they try to keep the torque down to enable weight savings in transmission as the hp and weight are what matters in top performance.

        However, there is also demand for high torque applications as it makes the lazy daily driving comfortable.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by 654 Click here to enlarge
        I remember reading a couple years back BMW Motorsport chief saying they try to keep the torque down to enable weight savings in transmission as the hp and weight are what matters in top performance.
        I believe he may have said that but that is not how it happened whatsoever. A DCT weighs much more than a manual that can handle more torque. I really don't think weight savings are their main priority, I think that is just a cop-out because they were losing the power war to Mercedes.
      1. Stahlgrau's Avatar
        Stahlgrau -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        This has traditionally been the case but with the black series Mercedes erased this advantage. With the C-class coupe black series coming I think it may shift to being the other way around.
        That will be a special model that likely won't be anywhere close to the price point of a standard M3. And I'm sure if BMW brought the CSL back, it'd be a wrap.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Stahlgrau Click here to enlarge
        That will be a special model that likely won't be anywhere close to the price point of a standard M3. And I'm sure if BMW brought the CSL back, it'd be a wrap.
        Well, the GTS really isn't all that impressive. Plus, it isn't cheap, and either way, it would be outgunned vs. the C as well.
      1. Stahlgrau's Avatar
        Stahlgrau -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        Well, the GTS really isn't all that impressive. Plus, it isn't cheap, and either way, it would be outgunned vs. the C as well.

        I'm not sure, but isn't E92 M3 faster around the 'Ring than one of these Black Series?