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Playground brawlers - Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG coupé vs BMW M4.

24.08.2015

REMEMBER those arguments you used to have on the playground at school about which car was better? I remember one such argument when I was defending the B7 Audi RS4 against a friend of mine, who was attacking it with the E46 BMW M3. It was a heated argument and at the end of the day, no matter how good a point we made about our respective cars, we went home with our minds and hearts unchanged. Well, those days are back and the argument rages on. This time, unfortunately, Audi is not in the mix, instead, we find the all-new Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG coupé and the BMW M4.

Round 1: The looks

The Merc: The new C63 AMG coupé demands respect at first sight. Strikingly flared front and rear wheel arches, an increased track width and larger wheels give the coupé a muscular look, while at the same time providing a basis for the highly agile longitudinal and lateral dynamics. The increased track width on the front and rear axles, calls for a redesigned front end and a model-specific rear assembly as well as new side walls. The flared wheel arches make the AMG coupé 64mm wider at the front and 66mm wider at the rear, enabling the vehicle to hug the road better.

The BMW: Low-slung and broad-set, the BMW M4 coupé has a finely balanced stance on the road. Indeed, the M-specific design of the high-performance sports car underlines its performance capability. Large air intakes and unique air curtains at the front end, exposed carbon-fibre reinforced plastic and aluminium body components, and the diffuser at the muscular rear end, are not merely design flourishes, they also fulfil functional roles in terms of aerodynamics, cooling and weight saving.

Round 2: Luxury

The Merc: High-grade materials with a pleasant touch and precision workmanship produce a level of perceived quality that is rare, even in higher vehicle classes. Numerous AMG-specific controls underscore the motor sport heritage. As an alternative to the standard sports seats in Artico/micro-fibre Dinamica man-made leather, performance seats are also available, which allow the occupants a lower seating position and are more strongly contoured for increased lateral support.

The BMW: M4 drivers will be greeted by the interior architecture that is of an M-specific design, fulfilling an even more sharply defined sporting brief. To this end, the host of traditional BMW M equipment details include M door-sill finishes, an M driver's footrest, M gearshift lever, M-design circular instruments with white graphics, M leather steering-wheel with chrome trim, colour contrast stitching and electroplated-look shift paddles, which accompany the iconic M DCT gearbox. The front seats also represent an evocative expression of BMW M's motor sport genes. Taking visual inspiration from the bucket seats fitted in racing cars, the seats feature a full-size single-piece back panel.

Round 3: The all-consuming power and drive ability

The Merc: The AMGs Affalterbach derived 4.0-litre V8 Bi-turbo engine develops two different outputs with 350kW or 375kW in AMG S guise. The AMG will get you to 100km/h in around 4.0 seconds and will reach a top speed of about 290km/h. The AMG Speed shift MCT seven-speed sports transmission plays a major part in the direct and sporty character of the new Mercedes-AMG C63 coupé. The C63 coupé is also equipped with dynamic engine mounts. These help to further resolve the conflicting aims of comfort and vibrant performance. These dynamic mounts are instantly and variably able to adapt their stiffness to the driving conditions and requirements.

The BMW: The high-revving six-cylinder in-line engine with M Twin Power turbo technology newly developed for the BMW M4 coupé, produces 317kW and 550Nm of torque. It will get to 100km/h in around 4.1 seconds and also features a seven-speed M DCT transmission.

Round 4: Knockout round

BMW M cars have long been the performance-car benchmark within their segments and the M4 is no different. As far as track driving goes, the BMW M4 seems to have that nailed. It features different driving modes and will dance around like a ballerina. Sure, it can be a bit of a handful at times but we like a little bit of rough play, don’t we? As for the Mercedes-Benz, well, after driving the new C63 AMG sedan a few months ago, it’s clear that AMG is very capable of creating more poised vehicles. The C63 AMG is no longer a rampant bull in a China shop, it actually handles pretty well and, like the BMW, features different driving modes.

Which would it be then, the BMW M4 or the Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG coupé? If it were my money and I looked at the overall package then I’d go for the BMW M4 and here’s why: it’s still the benchmark that competitors are trying to beat, and although they are getting very close to dethroning it they’re not quite there yet. You might disagree with me and that’s fine, as that is the point of an argument.

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Article written by Justin Jacobs
24.08.2015
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