Let’s start with the low volume Vauxhall which has been selling in the UK since 2007. The model is based on the E-series HSV reworking of the Holden VE Commodore, a car underpinned by the GM Zeta platform developed exclusively in Australia.
It is powered by a 6.2-liter LS3 engine making 577 horsepower.
The competitor to the F80 BMW M3, the C63 AMG, launcheed last year with two power variants coming from a 4.0 liter V8 bi-turbocharged engine that delivers 470 hp and 650Nm (479 lb-ft) in the base model, and 503 hp and 700Nm (516 lb-ft) in the C63 S AMG. This is the same engine found on the Mercedes-AMG GT sports coupe.
The F80 BMW M3 features the S55 3.0 liter inline-six TwinPower engine producing 425 horsepower and 406 lb-ft of torque. The power is sent to the rear-wheels via a six-speed or an optional 7-speed M DCT transmission. For comparison, with the seven-speed DCT, the M3 and M4 need 4.1 seconds from 0 to 100 km/h, switching to manual speed, the two cars need 4.3 seconds.
Three sport sedan with significant differences in power output, so which one is a better car? Here is an excerpt from the Autocar review:
In the final reckoning, it’s the VXR8 that props up the order. It has to, given its spectacular underachievement against the clock. But it’s a shortcoming you may care little about – and I’d wager you’ll care even less after a drive in the car, which reveals itself in pretty short order to be a wonderful seven-and-a-half-tenths cruiser.
You mete out the GTS’s speed in glorious fractions of an inch on its long-travel accelerator pedal, listening intently to the way that behemoth V8 is expressing itself, marvelling that a 500bhp saloon can still feel so honest and armchair-like, even in 2015. Drive it too hard and you’ll be disappointed by several things: its lack of first-order pace, the lightness of its steering under load, the softness of its directional responses and the way in which harsher surfaces trouble the structural integrity of its body and cabin. So you ease off to a speed at which you can savour that throwback muscle-car character. “Balls out,” as our cork-hatted cousins would declare, “you’ll have a ripper, mate.”
But you won’t be impressed nearly as much as by the M3, nor as excited as by the C63 S. Both are excellent driver’s cars – and it’s a struggle to recommend one above the other. The BMW undoubtedly handles more keenly, rides more sweetly and makes better use of the combustive firepower at its disposal.But the C63 is more spectacularly endowed, has much greater charm and richness, greater communicative facets and better high-speed stability. And it makes every mile more memorable than in the BMW.
That’s what most of us want from a super-saloon, I reckon.