Now that the new, F90-generation BMW M5 has finally been officially revealed, the inevitable comparisons with a certain rival from Stuttgart have started. While we look forward to driving the new M5 back-to-back with the Mercedes-AMG E63 S 4Matic+, for now we’ll have to be content with comparing the two on paper.
So, just how do these two super-sedans stack up? Let’s find out by having a look at five basic areas…
The Mercedes-AMG E63 S employs a 4,0-litre V8 fed by a pair of turbochargers. Peak power is rated at 450 kW from 5 750 to 6 500 r/min, while maximum torque of 850 N.m is spread from 2 500 through to 4 500 r/min. Claimed consumption, for what it’s worth, is 9,1 L/100 km.
The new BMW M5 also uses a V8 but with a larger capacity at 4,4 litres. Peak power of 441 kW is on tap across a slightly wider range, from 5 600 to 6 700 r/min. Maximum torque is 100 units down at 750 N.m, but is again available across a wider band (1 800 – 5 600 r/min). Although it likely matters little here, BMW claims an economy of 10,5 L/100 km.
The bruising Benz employs an AMG Speedshift MCT sports transmission (combined a wet start-up clutch) with nine forward cogs. Mercedes says this multi-clutch ‘box enables “more agile response times to be achieved”.
The M5, by contrast, makes use of an eight-speed torque converter from the folks over at ZF. The Munich-based automaker promises that the new the M Steptronic unit will serve up “lightning-fast shift times”.
3. Driven wheels:
The Mercedes uses the so-called 4Matic+ all-wheel-drive system, which features fully variable torque distribution between the front and rear axles (with an electro-mechanically controlled coupling connecting the permanently driven rear axle variably to the front axle). In the E63 S 4Matic+, the system also includes a “drift mode”, which transforms the car into a purely rear-wheel drive vehicle.
Likewise, the new M xDrive system from BMW works with a central transfer case and multi-plate clutch that distributes drive fully variably between the front and rear axles. The system also includes a setting that renders the M5 a purely rear-driven vehicle, allowing for what the automaker calls “easily controlled drifts”.
4. Claimed acceleration:
Partly as a function of the all-wheel-drive systems detailed above, both of these vehicles are substantially quicker to three figures than their rear-wheel-drive forebears. Mercedes claims a 0-100 km/h time of 3,4 seconds for its hottest E-Class, while BMW matches that with its new M5.
For the record, both are electronically governed to 250 km/h, although Mercedes will optionally raise that to 300 km/h and BMW to 305 km/h.
5. Kerb weight:
In the world of fast cars, weight always plays a crucial role. Mercedes-AMG claims that its E63 S tips the scales at 1 955 kg, while BMW says the new M5 comes in at 1 855 kg, sans driver. And that weight difference allows the M5 to match the E63 S in the 0-100 km/h sprint (well, on paper, anyway), despite being down on both power and torque.
Which is your favourite? Let us know in the comments below…
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