Since the new F90 BMW M5 has debuted, its been almost endlessly compared to the Mercedes-AMG E63 S. And for good reason, as they’re both extremely close competitors and they’re both the best super sedans in the world. So it only makes sense to see which is better. Typically, though, this battle happens on a race track, where you’d imagine their performance potential really shines. Except that the track only shows you a brief glimpse of the sheer engineering genius of both cars. So Top Gear recently put both of them to the test in a variety of different and challenging circumstances.
They started off in Sweden on a frozen lake, as you do. There, both the M5 and E63 were able to show off how well they go sideways and were able to do so at sane speeds. It also showed off their balance, which one was easier to slide. The BMW M5 was a bit better balanced but its sharper steering and quicker inputs made it a bit snappy, whereas the E63 S was a bit easier to slide around, thanks to its slightly slower steering and response. Still, both cars are a hoot to slide around, it seems.
Following the ice-lake shenanigans, TG took both cars on a bit of a road trip from Sweden to Britain. On the road trip, they were able to sample the top speed capabilities of each car. The AMG was a bit hamstrung by its winter tires here, which were limited to 130 mph. The BMW M5 was able to hit 175 mph. That’s flipping fast. The crazy thing was how stable and calm the M5 was at 120 mph, though. It could hold that speed for long periods of time without ever feeling out of control or nervous. Hell, it was even quiet.
I don’t want to spoil the whole comparison, because it’s worth a read. However, TG seems to be a bit torn on the two cars. In the end, they pick a winner but it’s so close that it could go either way. Here’s what they said: “Even after 1,500 miles, I’m torn. The BMW is the more rounded, comfy car. It covers all bases with a staggering depth of engineering, and might well be the most complete sports saloon ever. To an enthusiast, though, such completeness can be a help and a hindrance. The Merc is less couth, bigger hearted and encourages its driver to be more playful. Particularly if they’re on a frozen lake. Oh, and it comes as an estate, too. The AMG edges it.”