AutoBild: BMW M3 Sedan vs. Cadillac CTS-V vs. Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG vs. Lexus IS-F vs. Alpina B3

BMW M3, Featured Posts | October 19th, 2010 by 50
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German magazine Autobild put together an exciting comparison between some of the sportiest luxury sedans out there. The BMW M3 with Competition Package takes on …

German magazine Autobild put together an exciting comparison between some of the sportiest luxury sedans out there. The BMW M3 with Competition Package takes on the Cadilac CTS-V, Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG with Performance Package, Lexus IS-F and …the ALPINA B3.

Here is a quick recap of the technical specs on these cars. The BMW M3 came equipped with the Competition Package, a new package that brings many cosmetic changes to the already aggressive M3.

Along with the visual improvements, the Competition Package further enhances the highly responsive chassis by installing a 10mm lower suspension and 19” wheels with greater offset for a wider track. Remapped Electronic Damping Control and Dynamic Stability Control systems, turns the M3 with Competition Package in one of the best handling production M cars ever built.

AutoBild: BMW M3 Sedan vs. Cadillac CTS V vs. Mercedes Benz C63 AMG vs. Lexus IS F vs. Alpina B3

The M3 is powered by the S65B40 engine, a naturally aspirated, high revving 4-liter V8 (based on the S85B50 5-liter V10 that powers the E60/E61 M5 and the E63/E64 M6 to date) delivering 414 horsepower (309 kW; 420 PS) at 8,300 rpm and peak torque of 400 Nm (300 lb-ft) at 3,900 rpm, which represents a power increase of 22% over the previous generation E46 M3.

Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG with Performance Package Plus increases output by 30 hp to 487 hp. The package also includes AMG high-performance braking system featuring composite technology on the front axle and an AMG performance steering wheel in nappa leather/Alcantara.
With the Performance Package Plus, the C 63 AMG accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.4 seconds and 0 to 200 km/h in 13.9 seconds. The top speed is 250 km/h (electronically limited).

Cadillac CTS-V is powered by a 6.2L Supercharged V8, packing 556hp at 6100 RPM and 551lb-ft of torque at 3800 RPM. The CTS-V only weighs 4200/4300lbs, in manual and automatic trim. 0-60 time is around 4.2 seconds.

The Lexus is equipped with a 5.0L V8 producing 416 horsepower and 371 lb.-ft. of torque at 5,200 rpm, with which you could reach 60 mph in 4.6 seconds.

ALPINA B3 S uses a 3.0-liter engine has been tuned to deliver an impressive 400hp at 6000rpm with a maximum torque of 397lbs-ft at 4500rpm. The result is a sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 4.7 seconds and a top speed of 186 mph.

And once again, the BMW M3 takes home the win, followed by the ALPINA B3 S and MB C63 AMG.

1st place: BMW M3 Sedan DKG Competition Package

  • 420 hp, 1670 kg
  • 0-100 km/h: 4,5 s
  • 0-200 km/h: 15,6 s
  • Braking 100-0 km/h (warm): 34,3 m

2nd place: Alpina B3 S Biturbo

  • 400 hp, 1637 kg
  • 0-100 km/h: 4,5 s
  • 0-200 km/h: 15,4 s
  • Braking 100-0 km/h (warm): 34,8 m

3rd place: Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Performance Package Plus

  • 487 hp, 1795 kg
  • 0-100 km/h: 4,4 s
  • 0-200 km/h: 14,0 s
  • Braking 100-0 km/h (warm): 36,3 m

4th place: Cadillac CTS-V

  • 564 hp, 1964 kg
  • 0-100 km/h: 4,6 s
  • 0-200 km/h: 14,0 s
  • Braking 100-0 km/h (warm): 35,8 m

5th place: Lexus IS F

  • 423 hp, 1717 kg
  • 0-100 km/h: 5,1 s
  • 0-200 km/h: 16,6 s
  • Braking 100-0 km/h (warm): 35,4 m

Sachsenring times:

  1. 1:40,1 min – C63 AMG PPP (on Continental SportContact 5P M0, 18″)
  2. 1:40,6 min – M3 Sedan CP
  3. 1:40,9 min – B3 S Biturbo
  4. 1:41,7 min – CTS-V
  5. 1:42,1 min – IS F

[Source: Autobild and GermanCarForum ]

  • Billy

    the Cadillac looks so out of place in that picture

    • Laszlo

      But not on the performance figures ! Faster to 200km/h and barely slower to 100km/h. The CTS-V is a seriously good driving car. It might be bigger, bulkier and heavier (by a lot) but the car can outrun and out-handle more expensive cars.
      GM still needs development and refinement, but at least they are on the right track. A little weight loss, a better contours on the outside and the CTS-V could have been a nightmare for all big German car makers. It got close but not close enough yet.
      But don’t write them off, if you have a chance drive a CTS-V and you will be sure to surprised !

      • Snogger

        What I’d like to know is how the CTS-V which has a 0-60 time of 3.9 seconds and a ‘ring time of 7.59 got beat by the M3 (4.4 and 8.05 respectively)?

      • Billy

        to be honest, I specifically commented the “picture” because I was referring to design. All the other cars have dynamic and refined shapes whereas the Cadillac is boxy and underdeveloped.

        again, I was referring to the design. If I felt it didn’t deserve to compete performance wise with these other cars I would have said so.

    • Billy

      I’m sure u guys just misunderstood my comment. There’s no way that the Cadillac’s design is on the same level as the others. But the Cadillac definitely has a unique aesthetic, I just think it could use some refinement.

    • Patjmullen

      And I gotta tell you lads. Seriously! Next to the CTS-V ( which by the way has the superior balance of power to weight ratio), next to the CTS-V, those other 4 sedans look like standard econoboxes.

  • Laszlo

    Why does the BMW takes home the 1st place ? The AMG C36 is faster to 100km/h and much faster (1.6s) faster to 200 km/h… and also faster on the track. The only area it is less is the braking. Supposedly it needed 2m extra to stop from 100km/h

    Was it a braking contest ? What were they testing if not performance ? Its obviously clear to anyone with number reading abilities that a smaller number in a time sheet means faster car.

    geez, this board is so biased that’s just crazy… guys, you can not even admit if a car is faster ? You must lie just to make the BMW the winner ? Come on… this is childish…

    • wazon8

      Laszlo, have you ever driven C63 amg and M3 e90? I guess that you did not. Otherwise, you wouldn’t ask a question why harder to control, worse cornering, with worse power delivery to wheels and providing less fun car lost.

      • StraightSix

        And you must own both of them surely

        • wazon8

          Having an opportunity to drive both cars is not the same as having both of them, isn’t it? I’ve never been an owner eighter of M-car or AMG-car.

    • http://www.bmwblog.com BMW Fans

      Laszlo,just admit that M3 E92 is better than the noob C63 AMG~Everyone know that,better handling = better speed~u get that?

      • Laszlo

        shorter track time suggest not. what you feel is subjective and this article was based on the test data.

        • wazon8

          These track times include m3 e92? Interesting. I see only m3 e90.

          • Laszlo

            and whats a difference ? 2 doors and 30lbs… big deal. put a skinny driver in there…
            FYI they are the same car one is 2dr coupe and the other is the 4door sedan.

          • wazon8

            What’s the difference? 30 kg is the difference, altough you constantly underestimate it. You even underestimated 100kg difference when we talked about 6-er convertible, so I should use to it. Another difference is that it has higher center of gravity, but perhaps it counts for nothing for you also. So, maybe comparision between track times of both cars convince you that such small differences count for something: M3 e92 is faster by almost one sec. over M3 e90 at Hockenheim Short, it’s faster also at: Tsakuba, Balloco, Kyalami, Vairano Handling Course, has better acceleration in all range (it’s 0.9 sec. difference to 160km/h). So, am I suppose to believe that they are the same, right?

    • wazon8

      As for objective facts: stock BMW m3 e90 is was clocked on Hockenheim Short at 1:15,20, whereas C63 AMG Performance Package Plus – 1:15,60. So, it’s not even the case that C63 amg is always faster than M3 e90 with performance package, since it lost to stock m3 e90.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000543036088 Renghea Florin
  • Kodey

    LOL!!! Who ever didn’t predict the outcome to this comparison is a moron.

  • Giom

    The fact that this comparo was done by a magazine – not BMWBlog, was lost on some of you (Laszlo, Kodey).

    Ok, for the younger reader, performance figures isn’t the whole story. The C63 has an enormous engine in its bay, so, yes, it will go quicker to 100 and therefore quicker on the straight parts of a race track. But, get to a corner, and it can not match the BMW for speed and balance through it. That’s because the M3 has a perfect weight distribution among its axels – the C don’t.

    So, by now, it’s comon knowledge that the M3 is king of this class duo to superior cornering and balancing, grip and feedback, leaving the rest in its wake. Childish? No, that description suits your argument, Laszlo.

    • wazon8

      There is relatively a lot of staight segments and light corners at Sachsenring. Perfect place for car with strong straight line acceleration.

    • BLAQU3S0UL

      Hey it is pretty obvious and pointless to go on about the obvious, top gear has once admitted that the M3 around the corners is and i REPEAT is the king and thats wat matters at the end of the day…..as a driver who knows and understand wat they need in a high perfomance car youd want smthin that recovers and responds quickly around the corners so that you are ahead of the pack……

      and BMW M3 E90 (my personal CHOICE) does just that…..is not a biased comment but the honest truth…..i min all the above cars are hot and mean i do respect that but the facts have been laid out

      LAZLO wat do u think

  • n8n

    YES!!! BMW FTW!!! :D

  • viper

    I find this very hard to belive. not only is the c63 faster and everything but the alpina on the second? who does this a bmw asskisser? wazon was that you

  • Ashton

    So what was the competition about just based on this article, performance? If so this is so biased, does not even state how this cars were compared. Handling? There was no mentioning of handling anywhere in the article.

  • Laszlo

    Not only I have driven the E90/92 M3 I have driven it on the track.
    But that is totally irrelevant here. The article says they compared the vehicles based on their performance. The performance test can be one thing, comparing data. If the MB pulled a faster lap and faster 0-100/0-200 times then its the winner. Simple as that. If you compare the feel and love and other subjective elements, make sure to write it down.
    The headline and the article does not state anything. Besides the facts are facts. The M3 lost the C63 won. Look at the actual test times.
    The fact that some guy went faster with the M3 on the ‘Ring once does not change this test results. If I go with a M3 and M Schumacher goes with a beat up old E30 325i, I’m still not sure that I would win.
    You can NOT compare the ‘Ring times unless done on the same day by the same driver.
    Why is Alonso almost winning the F1 Championship and Massa can barely get into the top 8 ?

    sorry guys, I love the E92 M3 as far as driving (hate the exterior) but in this test the MB is the winner. Just look at the numbers and read.

    a driving experience is subjective and this article did nothing to mention anything besides they compared their tests and they think the BMW won… surely mistaken. The fastest time was the MB C63 therefore the sole winner of the test.

    • Giom

      What I was trying to explain earlier, was that the C63 had a quicker lap time because it’s top speed was greater down the straights. This is not difficult to understand! Once at the corners, the C battles to go round them and this is where the M3 catches up. In my books, the better handling car, is the clear winner. No matter the lap time.

      The bigger story is that the 4.0l M3 is only .5 seconds slower than the 6.3l C63. That is shamefull!

  • wazon8

    Laszlo, you seem to be very confused here. First of all, I asked you whether you drove BOTH C63AMG and M3 e90, not whether you drove M3 alone. I described my own experiences from driving both cars on tracks since I didn’t use to push cars to their (or perhaps rather my own) limits on public roads.

    Second, you should stop to confuse M3 e92 with M3 e90. There are some clear differences between these cars, the first one is faster, the second is slower due to numbers of factors including being heavier and having higher centre of gravity. M3 e92 is all the way faster than C63AMG performance package plus:
    http://fastestlaps.com/comparisons/46f388b437911-vs-_Mercedes_C_63_AMG_Performance_Package_Plus.html
    Third, your methodological rule to not compare track times unless they are drove in the same day by the same driver leaves us without data to compare cars.
    Fourth, I saw actual test times also, but the problem is for who are such comparisions done? If for professional drivers, then maybe one could recommend C63 AMG over M3 e90 (NOT e92!!!), although it’s not clear also, since if you took both cars on more curved track, you would most likely got other result. But if it’s done for statistical driver of these cars, then 0,5 sec. is not such a great deal when you compare how much efford one need to put in order to control both cars. M3 e90 is a way easier to control and it’s not my fault that C63AMG doesn’t provide precise handling (when compared with M3 e90) and deliever power to wheels a bit unpredictable way (when compared with M3 e90). That’s why M3 took first spot, because it offers better package. For the rest of issues read Giom post.

  • Auday

    Laszlo, I usually criticize people for being too BMW biased on this forum, but I think you are wrong here. First thing, numbers don’t tell you everything, you need way more stats to compare cars, thats why you read car reviews and drive the cars yourself to have an opinion.
    Lap times are one thing, having a controllable car that you could control and maneuver easily around the track (i.e. race around the track and actually race and overtake cars ) is another. Ask any race driver if they prefer a stock M3 or C63 to take it for a race and I bet you they will all pick the M3, why? because the C63 is a bitch to drive, it’s an unbalanced car that you can’t give it any drama and expect it to survive it. Recording lap times usually happens after some practice and predetermined track line that suits the car the best, and obviously the C63 is taking a huge advantage here with it’s 6.3 litre engine.
    BTW, in every single comparison between the two cars I’ve seen so far the M3 won, so you can’t just call this one biased, you have to call them all biased. Check Top-Gear in which Clarkson is known to be anti-BMW and see the result.

    • Laszlo

      I think you guys missed a few things and not me.

      1. the article is a list of date measured on track and drag track. No analyzed driving experienced, nothing. few lines stating the cars and their engines and a list of the measurements of that day – more like a book comparo then actual testing. In this case If I’m looking at it as a race test result then the MB won. Faster track time, faster 0-100 times, end of the discussion.
      Don’t convince me that the M3 is a better handling car. I know this well. But this article is not about that. Its about data from the stopwatch. period. no bs about the m3 being faster on a different track. on this track on this day the BMW was beaten by the MB C63. end, no more, nada.
      The C63 is a 4 door sedan, so e92 comparo is not exactly fair. the difference between e92 and e90 isn’t that great. I have driven both and I actually preferred the e90 in many situations.
      this article is a short half page test result from the track day. its winner is a MB. its mathematics not rocket science. faster car won. no ‘ring comparo no real driving feel, no I saw the m3 on a track and its better… nothing.
      you forget one thing – in racing the story does not matter. The end result is what matters. Today in this test the MB came out as winner. Maybe the track was better suited to the MB’s engine but again does not matter. The article does not say anything about the track or what happened where and when. It says they tested these cars and this was the result.
      read the article a few lines above and read the test data. If you say the BMW was the fastest then I’m sorry I rest my case.

      no, I did not drive the C63 and not intend to. I do not like the way they handle (exception is the new Eclass AMG) and I do not like their porky weight and the people who usually buys them.
      But I’m an engineer and I work with numbers and fact. if a test shows faster time, then its the winner on that day. I won’t lie and bring an another test into the picture to prove that my favorite engine won the test.
      I admit defeat and I explain the results and if its important for me, I try and improve the machine. BMW was beaten on this track by a Mercedes.
      If it hurts and causes massive pain, I suggest to get a life. Fact are facts. Today MB came out on top. tomorrow is an another day…

      • wazon8

        Laszlo, please tell me, for who are these articles written? For professional drivers?! Or maybe for statistic drivers? If I see 0.5 sec. track time difference, I pay barely no attention to it, since the possibility that I by myself will perform this time is meager. What I expect from a journalist is to say me which car will suit me better during lapping track. I see numbers, but I want professional advice about which car is easier to control, in which car I will find more fun during lapping track, in which car I’ve got better chance to perform it’s official time. And sorry, but C63AMG is far from fullfiling these tasks. It’s rather unintuitive car to drive and I am pretty uninterested in the fact that some tallented driver did good time in it. Moreover, Sachsenring is not the only track around there, BMW will be faster on any more curvy track as it actually was faster on curvy section of Sachsenring by 0.5 sec.! The problem, which you ignore, is that most of race track are not power tracks like this one, but rather pose requirement on handling. Journalists have been aware enough to know that and that’s partially why they gave 1st spot to BMW. It’s barely irrational to judge the cars because of perfromance about single track with rather rare specification. If you are engineer, you should also notice the fact that C63AMG didn’t run on its stock for Performance Package Plus tires. They play role eighter, whether you like it or not.

  • Babken

    No way the C63 AMG can outrun the M3 on the track.

  • Artmic

    Most of us are forgetting one thing, are we race car drivers? Are we going to race the car on a track every minute we are in it? NO.

    Most city/highway driving is basic straight lines, and super sharp corners for going left/right in the city.

    I drove the M3, and the C63 last week, i’m actually looking to buy a new car in the next few weeks.

    I have a 2009 335 coupe right now, and driving the c63 the handling was as good if not better as the 335. i was worried the c63 would feel like a big boat, with a rocket engine, it didn’t’ feel that way, it felt way better than the 335. IMO.

    Right now i’m leaning towards getting the C63, it is more fun to drive in city/highway situations. I’m not biased at all. Not a fan boy of any car manufacturer. I want the best bang for the money i’m paying, and the C63 is it.

    No matter if i’m going 60 an hour or 30 an hour, the C63 just makes you feel like you are in a rocket, all the time. The M3 felt ok, but i didnt’ get to use its better handling(since it has that for sure) while test driving it in the city and highway. The M3 felt like it needed more coaxing to get the rocket feel out of it, like you needed to pump the rpm needle all the way to the top to feel the 300 torque. The C63 has insane speed, at any time. I also like the performance steering wheel and carbon trim on it, i think it is a very underrated car since people think on a track it doesn’t take corners as well as an M3, but who the heck will exploit that handling on city streets/highway anyway?

    I find it funny that people argue over this, the C63 is a faster car, it is a fact. In the city, race from your home to cityhall. Guess which one will be there first……. C63. Unless we start building private race tracks to get around in the city….

    • wazon8

      No, I’m not racing driver, but I like to lap tracks, not only change lines on Authobahn or moving through city. I try to avoid both of them whenever I can becasue of their deadly bore. And as a one who likes to drive on track, I couldn’t assess C63 AMG higher than M3. I wouldn’t like to fight with car each time, I would like to cooperate with it. But of course, all these things don’t matter, if you won’t take your car on track. Still you should be aware that you actually underestimated M3 drivers – there were stats here concerning this very issue and I was positively surprised how many of M3 drivers take their cars on track.

      Did you really believe that C63AMG will feel like a bout? It’s enough good for public roads for sure.

  • Artmic

    I find it funny how the 4 door M3 is faster to 100km/h than the M3 coupe…. official times are 4.6 sec to 100kmh on the M3 coupe.I doubt the tires were anything but stock M3 tires. Also, the top speed of the C63 isn’t 250 with the performance package.

  • XC

    I’m sorry hater guys, but no surprises here.

  • Artmic

    If people are so concerned about handling they might as well get a Cayman S, which handles better than the M3. But is slower in everyday city/highway driving when compare to the M3 or C63.

    • wazon8

      So, you didn’t get the point of discussion here. Why should I buy Cayman, when I would like to have a car in which I can pick up my friends on rear seat, go shopping, drive to work, drive at seeside and get some time at race track also? Are these expectations inconsitent according to you? Market shows that number of people have them. But Cayman does not fit to these requirements.

  • brian

    i own a e92. :D

    While cities are mostly straight lines and sharp left/right turns, you can tell a dramatic difference in handling when you live in a rainy city like I do.

    You try driving around in a C63 as enthusiastically as I do, esp in the rain, you’ll end up plowing into an old lady carrying an umbrella. While she can’t sue you cuz she’s dead, I’ll get to city hall first. :)

    • bmwFan

      lol well the bmw might end up at city hall second, but i’m sure the M3 could slam into a few joggers on its way there

  • Clinton

    Mercedes Benz lose points for one reason: NO STICK SHIFT AVAILABLE.

    For this reason, MB, Alpina and Lexus are automatically tossed out for me.

    I don’t care which shifts faster, flappy paddle gear boxes are for the boring, and un-coordinated. Stick shift manual is definitely more rewarding to drive.

    Usually, someone will post ” I drive in traffic, tired of shifting” That is the LAMEST excuse. A car guy would not find excuses to not drive a stick. Especially, DCT, DSG, PDK all cost more money. Spend more to have less fun? No thanks, not this car guy.

    • bmwFan

      i want the fasted possible option, if an automatic provides that i’m taking it, not a manual.

    • XC

      I am a car lover, and I love the feeling of good ol’ gearshift, but my bad knee…. (sports injury)….

    • JakeM

      Why do AMGs have automatic transmission?

      Because of their insane torque output. Only a professional driver will be capable (if at all) at channeling all that power to the rear wheels via a manual transmission. Plus, Mercedes doesn’t have a manual transmission capable of handling all that torque.

      This is the reason why cars like the BMW M3 for example have such “low torque” output – for balance. They’ve got just enough torque to be used with a manual. Interestingly enough, I’ve seen some statistics that hint that most BMW M3 products are now bought without a manual…

      I was lucky enough to drive both the current M3 coupe and the C63 AMG sedan. I like both cars. The M3 feels more like a driver’s car, balanced, responsive and dynamic, but the C63 AMG was plenty of fun in its own right being responsive, dynamic and having a great engine sound. I also found its handling to be more than adequate. The C63 AMG handles amazingly well – the M3 handles better, that’s all. I found both cars to be FUN. And “fun to drive” is a completely subjective opinion.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=791454744 John Pham

    Why you guys bother even arguing over ONE review amuses me.

    When the dust settles, the BMW E9x M3 has won COUNTLESS awards over its competitors.
    All the biggest names in the automotive industry have declared the M3 as the king of its segment. Have fun counting wins by the M3 all night if you don’t believe so.

    It’s won so many, that it’s kinda getting annoying; but at the same time wonderful to see such a magnificent machines has been created in my time. =)

  • Hapageek

    Stats are bogus. V is faster to 60mph and 200 km/h than all comers but lower to 100kmh (~62mph) ? Not bloody likely. You want the most car for your money, buy the V (which I did). You want to debate fanboyz or impress the ignorant, go german. I drive a 4 door corvette and couldn’t be happier.

  • Patjmullen

    at Billy. I agree with you. The Cadillac does look out of place in that picture. It’s hard even for Americans to realize that we’ve beat the Europeans and Asians at styling as well as performance. Cadillac made it a long term goal in the 80′s to once again become the premier luxury car builder globally. Mission accomplished even against all of the U.S. socialist government regulations! 

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