Top Gear’s Speed Week features some of the most incredible performance cars on the road, from all different makes, all different styles and all different levels of performance. Slowly but surely, Top Gear will find a winner by putting the cars up against each other and seeing which is better, and eliminating cars one by one. While it’s not the easiest task to compare two very different cars, it does show off their different strengths and weaknesses, as performance cars. The latest three-way match-up consists of the BMW M4 CS, Audi RS3 Sedan and Mercedes-AMG E63 S.
These three are very, very different cars. One is a rear-drive sports coupe, one is an all-wheel drive compact sedan and the other is an all-wheel drive/rear-wheel drive luxury performance sedan. The only real common denominator is that they’re all brutally fast. So which one is best? TG finds out.
First laps are done in the rain at Knockhill. Here, the Audi RS3 shines. Its impressive Haldex-based Quattro all-wheel drive system and rear-diff are capable of shuffling power around to the needed axle at moments notice. So it has tenacious grip, allowing the RS3 to hang onto corners in the wet far better than anything else in the test. Combined with its crazy grip, its 400 hp 2.5 liter turbocharged I5 engine makes it quite possible the fastest car in the test, in the wet, says TG.
In the wet, the Mercedes-AMG E63 S is also brutal good fun. Its all-wheel drive system is far more capable of shifting power to the rear than the RS3’s, making it far more fun. Yet, its grip and stability is just as good. Combine that grip and rear-drive bias with a 600 hp 4.0 liter twin-turbocharged V8 and the AMG becomes an absolute riot.
The only car in this test that hurts in the rain is the BMW M4 CS. Its punchy 464 hp 3.0 liter turbocharged I6 and snappy rear-wheel drive makes it a bit dangerous in the wet. It slides and oversteers a bit uncontrollably and can be a bit scary.
Once the track dried up, though, some personalities switched. Whereas the RS3 was an absolute joy to drive in the wet, where it defied physics and became a hilarious hooligan, it became a bit too safe and boring in the dry. Its traction is too good and its handling too predictable to be exciting. It’s still very fast and very effective, just a bit lifeless. So the RS3 is a great everyday sports car, as it can be fast no matter the conditions while also being civilized, but it’s the first one of these three to be eliminated.
The BMW M4 CS, however, came alive in the dry. It handling became delicate, its steering communicative and its balance sharp. While it was manic and frightening in the wet, it was predictable and dynamic in the dry, being an excellent sports car. Though, its one-trick-pony personality means it’s also eliminated.
So it’s the Mercedes-AMG E63 S that wins this comparison. The reason is that its personality never changed. It was great fun, regardless of the weather. It’s brutally fast, wild good fun and impressively predictable, regardless of conditions. So the AMG moves on.
[Source: Top Gear]