With the third-generation CLS launched in 2018, Mercedes decided to skip a “63” version to make room in its vast portfolio for the AMG GT 4-Door Coupe. For this reason, the swoopy sedan’s lineup maxes out with the CLS 53 featured here in a drag race against the equivalent BMW 5 Series, an M550i xDrive. The latter isn’t a full-fat M car either, so it’s a duel between the next best thing from both lineups.
Well, perhaps “duel” is not entirely correct since the term refers to two opponents whereas this drag race also includes a significantly different third vehicle. It’s a Maserati Levante Modena S, a high-performance SUV with the most horsepower but also the highest curb weight. The trio is all-wheel drive with automatic transmissions, boasting twin-turbo V8 engines in the case of the M550i xDrive and the Levante while the AMG CLS 53 has a smaller inline-six unit.
To no one’s surprise, the BMW was substantially faster than the other two cars. It not only launched quicker off the line, but it kept growing its lead right until the very end. Shared with the latest Range Rover and Range Rover Sport, the N63 engine remains a force to be reckoned with. It was more of the same in the subsequent drag race as the M550i immediately put the CLS and Levante in its rearview mirror.
For a bit of variety, a rolling race from 32 mph (50 km/h) followed, with the BMW making the other two cars look as if they were standing still. The ZF eight-speed automatic transmission kicked down almost instantly, providing access to the 4.4-liter engine’s copious amounts of power. It was déjà vu in the rolling race from 50 mph (80 km/h) as the AMG and Maserati never stood a chance.
According to sources close to BMW, the M550i is living on borrowed time. The next-generation 5 Series (G60) debuting this summer will reportedly not be available with a V8 engine. Only the future M5 (G90) will retain the eight-cylinder setup. Instead, a potential M Performance version of the 5er could take the shape of a plug-in hybrid with an inline-six, so think M560e xDrive or something to that effect.
Source: Sam CarLegion / YouTube