Automobile Magazine test drives and compares the 2015 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG and 2015 BMW M3. The two powerful sedans are the benchmark in their segment and head-to-head comparisons are inevitable.

The competitor to the F80 BMW M3 launches 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. Automobile uses the entry-level C63 AMG for this test.

Power is sent to the rear wheels via a seven-speed AMG Speedshift automatic transmission.

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From 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph), it only takes 4.1 seconds for the C63 S AMG and 4.2 seconds for the base model. Both cars are limited to 250 km/h (155 mph).

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

Top speed is governed at 155 mph for both the BMW and the Mercedes. Also, Mercedes barely beats BMW in fuel economy, hitting 29 mpg combined on the European cycle versus 28 mpg for the M3. The Mercedes will start at $64,825 in the States, $1,875 more than the BMW.

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Here is an excerpt from their review:

Both engines have musical talent, although the sound engineers at M and AMG alike have dialed in too much computer-generated background music. There’s fake heeling-and-toeing, fake blat-blat on overrun, fake upshift ka-chumm, fake idle-speed thud. For the AMG car, you can specify an even more hooliganesque triple-flap exhaust, which sounds positively puerile.
On Portuguese country roads that have not yet been resurfaced with European Union money, the M3 is not happy. Not happy at all. Its rear wheels scrabble about the poor pavement whenever we nail the accelerator, even when we’re already rolling at 130 mph. The Bimmer’s rigid chassis shines on the track and on smooth A-roads, but it backfires when the going gets rough.
The C-Class pulls out a small lead here, but it, too, has flaws. The low-speed ride is, for instance, disappointingly brittle, and body roll is occasionally an issue. And when it comes to crunch time, the C63 AMG will try to ever so slightly understeer out of trouble. Through the same series of corners taken at comparable velocity, the M3’s nose bites, turns in, and holds the line. And if all else fails, the M3 still has an old-fashioned hand brake to yank in the hairpins.