As it stands right now, the hottest variant of the BMW M4 money can buy is the M4 Competition Package (the M4 GTS is basically all but sold out). It’s faster, sharper, more dynamic and better looking than the standard M4 and doesn’t cost much more, at only $5,500 extra. So if BMW wants to bring a weapon to a fight, it’s the M4 Competition Package.
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And BMW is going to need a good weapon if it want to go up against the Mercedes-AMG C63 S Coupe. The latest monster from Affalterbach is a seriously powerful, sexy car that seduces with its instant thrust and sonorous engine note. And Autocar has just gotten both cars together on some wonderful Welsh roads to see which is best.
BMW’s M4 Competition Package gives the M4 far more ammunition than the standard car to take on AMG. With an extra 19 hp, the M4 Comp Pack makes a healthy 444 hp, though it makes due with the standard 406 lb-ft of torque. But that’s not all, as it also boasts a new suspension setup that’s both sportier and more comfortable, revised differential tuning, adjustments to the steering, a titanium sports exhaust and gorgeous 20″ wheels. The Competition Package makes the BMW M4 drive as it should have from the get go.
But the M4 is going to need the extra firepower, as Mercedes-AMG has just given the C63 some steroids with the ‘S’ variant. Packing a monstrous 503 hp, 516 lb-ft 4.0 liter V8, the Mercedes-AMG C63 S Coupe is a leather-lined missile. It also boasts some new handling enhancements, with an electronically-controlled rear diff (standard C63 is mechanical), wider tires and sportier suspension. So the C63 S is ready to take on the M4 Competition Package.
On twisty, scenic Welsh roads in the dry, the BMW M4 behaved better than the AMG. Its suspension is firmer than the standard car’s but revised damper and spring rates have actually made it more comfortable and respond better over rough pavement. So over the choppy Welsh roads, the M4 was the far more composed car of the two. The AMG C63 S isn’t bad at all, but it’s a bit more susceptible to getting upset over bumps and choppy bits. It’s also louder on the inside, making it feel worse than it actually might be.
But these two cars shouldn’t be measured by how comfortable they are, they’re performance cars for crying out loud. In that respect, both cars perform brilliantly, albeit very differently. The AMG is a monster, capable of roasting its tires on command and making an incredible noise on the way there. It also has much more torque, allowing it to just ride a wave of power with effortless ease. The M4 Comp Pack needs to be worked a bit harder to do so, as its smaller displacement engine and 110 lb-ft of torque deficit require more effort. However, once on boost, the M4 Comp Pack’s 3.0 later turbocharged I6 engine delivers rapid thrust. Both are very fast, very capable cars, just different in their approach to speed.
Being Wales, of course it started to rain on the Autocar crew. In the wet, the AMG became a far more reliable feeling car, surprisingly. One would assume that its mammoth torque figure would make it terrifying in the rain, but its more relaxed chassis and slower steering actually make it the more approachable car in the wet. And when the tail does step out, it’s a bit more predictable.
The M4 Comp Pack by comparison is a bit racier, with razor-sharp throttle response and an athletic chassis. So when things get wet and grip is diminished, the M4 Competition Package is actually a bit scarier to drive quickly. It’s still great fun and an awesome car to drive in the rain, but the AMG has it beat by a bit in this department.
In the end, Autocar claimed that the Mercedes-AMG C63 S Coupe was the better car of the two, but not by much. Both are silly fast, both are incredibly capable and both are fantastic cars to drive everyday. But the AMG just felt a bit more special to the folks at Autocar, thanks to its lovely cabin and thrilling tail-out driving dynamics. The BMW M4 Competition Package is a great car and one that the Autocar folks like a lot more than the standard M4. However, it just didn’t feel as special as the AMG, despite being an incredible car.