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    • Has BMW slipped? Is Mercedes now the German performance enthusiast brand of choice?


      Many of us were attracted to German performance by BMW. There was a time when they made cars unlike anyone else. Cars that took no short cuts, with motors that represented the best their engineers had to offer. Now what do we have? Anti-tuning ecu's, the same motor in every car, M SUV's, FWD city cars coming, smaller and smaller motors paired with extreme brand dilution.

      While this has all been taking place, Mercedes has upped the ante. Mercedes is producing larger V8's with turbos. Mercedes is not afraid to place these motors in their lower end cars even if it steps on big brothers toes (C63 vs. E63, anyone?). Mercedes has rolled out the SLR, SLS, CLK63 Black Series, and SL65 Black Series. Rumor has it that Mercedes will put their twin turbo V8 in a black series C-coupe. If that isn't upping the ante, I do not know what is.

      BMW has announced the next generation M3 will have a 6 cylinder. While they are downsizing Mercedes is sticking a V8 in everything. They are even planning on expanding the AMG lineup and also considering producing an entry level SLS to rival the Porsche 911. Somehow, Mercedes went from being soft to being hardcore offering the black series which takes already potent AMG cars to the next level. Not to mention, unlike BMW and Audi, Mercedes has successfully rolled out all their performance models in the United States. Times are changing folks, and at least to this poster, it sure looks like Mercedes is now the enthusiast brand of choice.
      This article was originally published in forum thread: Has BMW slipped? Is Mercedes now the German performance enthusiast brand of choice? started by Sticky View original post
      Comments 140 Comments
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Stahlgrau Click here to enlarge
        From you. One of millions.
        From themselves as well.

        Most people probably don't care but shouldn't BMW care about those that are most loyal to them? Shouldn't they respect their enthusiasts or can they dismiss them since they know they can generate profit elsewhere with people who just want to lease the latest and cheapest car with a BMW badge on it? BMW hasn't just taken hits to their image from a small group, they have lost quite a bit of respect but $ means more to them now. What about pride?
      1. Sorena's Avatar
        Sorena -
        oh come on Sticky , you've been so negative recently
        yeah BMW did some bad moves but it's still Bmw
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by HeroSina Click here to enlarge
        oh come on Sticky , you've been so negative recently
        yeah BMW did some bad moves but it's still Bmw
        Not negative, I'm just disappointed. Mercedes is doing more for the enthusiast than BMW is, hard to respect BMW when while Mercedes is thinking about adding more performance models BMW is trying to sell us on a FWD city car.
      1. Sorena's Avatar
        Sorena -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        Not negative, I'm just disappointed. Mercedes is doing more for the enthusiast than BMW is, hard to respect BMW when while Mercedes is thinking about adding more performance models BMW is trying to sell us on a FWD city car.
        Yes , but look MB has A-Class , B-Class ,RWD is Bmw style i know but even they can't resist the large market of FWD city cars.
        You are disappointed about next gen M3 ? we can't talk about how it's gonna be with %100 , all we can do is waiting
        Let's hope M-Power goes in the right direction
      1. Stahlgrau's Avatar
        Stahlgrau -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        From themselves as well.

        Most people probably don't care but shouldn't BMW care about those that are most loyal to them? Shouldn't they respect their enthusiasts or can they dismiss them since they know they can generate profit elsewhere with people who just want to lease the latest and cheapest car with a BMW badge on it? BMW hasn't just taken hits to their image from a small group, they have lost quite a bit of respect but $ means more to them now. What about pride?

        Who is BMW dismissing? Dragsters and street racers?

        What are you even talking about? Your front page shows a race where a bunch of M3s pretty much cleaned house taking 4 of the top 5 spots. Don't see one enthusiast racing a Mercedes Benz in there. Where's the enthusiasm?

        You're a drag racer. You're realizing BMW doesn't make the best dragsters. You're mad and lashing out. Drive the car on a road course, what it was meant for, then talk about it not being an enthusiast's car. Especially after driving a Benz.

        Benz is making more performance models and BMW isn't? 135i, 1M, 335i, X6M, X5M. All new performance models within the last 5 or so years.

        Name the comparably priced MBenz that beats the M3 around a road course.
      1. Sorena's Avatar
        Sorena -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Stahlgrau Click here to enlarge
        Who is BMW dismissing? Dragsters and street racers?

        What are you even talking about? Your front page shows a race where a bunch of M3s pretty much cleaned house taking 4 of the top 5 spots. Don't see one enthusiast racing a Mercedes Benz in there. Where's the enthusiasm?

        You're a drag racer. You're realizing BMW doesn't make the best dragsters. You're mad and lashing out. Drive the car on a road course, what it was meant for, then talk about it not being an enthusiast's car. Especially after driving a Benz.

        Benz is making more performance models and BMW isn't? 135i, 1M, 335i, X6M, X5M. All new performance models within the last 5 or so years.

        Name the comparably priced MBenz that beats the M3 around a road course.
        Sticky with all my respect i with him
        Performance isn't the whole thing , i said it many times .
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Stahlgrau Click here to enlarge
        Who is BMW dismissing? Dragsters and street racers?
        Their history, ideals, and principles as well as their most loyal clientele. Frankly, going to turbo motors is what the "dragsters and street racers" would want.

        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Stahlgrau Click here to enlarge
        What are you even talking about? Your front page shows a race where a bunch of M3s pretty much cleaned house taking 4 of the top 5 spots. Don't see one enthusiast racing a Mercedes Benz in there. Where's the enthusiasm?
        You don't see the difference between motorsports with RACE CARS and production cars? Mercedes has an SLS and SLR. BMW has what?

        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Stahlgrau Click here to enlarge
        You're a drag racer. You're realizing BMW doesn't make the best dragsters. You're mad and lashing out. Drive the car on a road course, what it was meant for, then talk about it not being an enthusiast's car. Especially after driving a Benz.
        No, I'm a BMW enthusiast who knows and respects their history. If I was just interested in drag racing why in the world would I want an NA BMW motor?

        Damn straight I'm mad at BMW. I'm mad at BMW for selling out their principles. I'm mad at them for lying to us. I'm mad at them for diluting the M brand. I'm mad at them for completely selling their soul.

        I use my M car how I please but that has no bearing on the changes BMW is making. Everyone is slowly seeing what they are becoming which is a volume auto maker concerned solely with profit. They used to produce ultimate driving machines, remember?

        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Stahlgrau Click here to enlarge
        Benz is making more performance models and BMW isn't? 135i, 1M, 335i, X6M, X5M. All new performance models within the last 5 or so years.
        The X5 and X6 M aren't examples of what an M car should be. They are examples of selling out. AMG and M should be different, but now they are becoming the same thing. Stick the same motor in everything and call it a day, wow, interesting.

        Don't get me started on the pile of crap that is the 1M Coupe. An M badge on a 135 with some M3 parts? Seriously?

        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Stahlgrau Click here to enlarge
        Name the comparably priced MBenz that beats the M3 around a road course.
        Name a comparatively priced BMW that beats a Mitsubishi EVO or Subrau around a road course. If going for price per performance BMW is not exactly the best example. However, name a BMW that beats an SLS around a road course regardless of price. Can you? Same with the SLR. The problem is there isn't one, now is there? What about the SL65 Black series? CLK63 Black series? BMW performance ends at the M3 while Mercedes has you covered from top to bottom and is now even making far more hardcore models. Things are definitely changing with Mercedes embracing the enthusiast far more. BMW has fallen a bit and I'm not the only one who thinks so, that is the reality of it.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by HeroSina Click here to enlarge
        Sticky with all my respect i with him
        Performance isn't the whole thing , i said it many times .
        So M is for what? Marketing?
      1. Sorena's Avatar
        Sorena -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        So M is for what? Marketing?
        M is for M-Sport
        don't think about X5 M,X6 M because they are junk. But what about others? You don't like 1M but what about others?you hate it because it has N54 engine , come on man that car has to be cheap.
        1M was supposed to be limited just to 1500 units , but buyers made M division to make more than that , that's not fair to say they want marketing.
        You care about history? who doesn't ?You care about NA engines? now we are living on a planet that everyone thinks Prius is sent by God and M6 is devils ride just because it can rev to 9,000 rpm ,i think FI is the only way to survive
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by HeroSina Click here to enlarge
        you hate it because it has N54 engine , come on man that car has to be cheap.
        What is the point of an M model then? Body kit? It isn't supposed to be cheap and the N54 isn't an M motor. That is definitely an issue.

        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by HeroSina Click here to enlarge
        don't think about X5 M,X6 M because they are junk
        Well if you admit they are junk then you admit there is a problem. You can't just dismiss it.

        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by HeroSina Click here to enlarge
        1M was supposed to be limited just to 1500 units , but buyers made M division to make more than that , that's not fair to say they want marketing.
        Actually, you answer your own question here. It was supposed to be limited, fine, but now there is no limit and they are going to sell as many as they can. That is marketing, they played us.

        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by HeroSina Click here to enlarge
        You care about history? who doesn't ?You care about NA engines? now we are living on a planet that everyone thinks Prius is sent by God and M6 is devils ride just because it can rev to 9,000 rpm ,i think FI is the only way to survive
        I understand they say they had to do it. Yet, Lambo, Porshce, Ferrari, and even Ford and GM can make awesome NA motors. BMW can't? I think they just saw the bottom line and decided to go for profit. That is why the 1M has the same damn motor as the 135 with no changes.
      1. Sorena's Avatar
        Sorena -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        What is the point of an M model then? Body kit? It isn't supposed to be cheap and the N54 isn't an M motor. That is definitely an issue.



        Well if you admit they are junk then you admit there is a problem. You can't just dismiss it.



        Actually, you answer your own question here. It was supposed to be limited, fine, but now there is no limit and they are going to sell as many as they can. That is marketing, they played us.



        I understand they say they had to do it. Yet, Lambo, Porshce, Ferrari, and even Ford and GM can make awesome NA motors. BMW can't? I think they just saw the bottom line and decided to go for profit. That is why the 1M has the same damn motor as the 135 with no changes.
        1. look at suspension , do you see anything 1-Series in that? look at the Nurburgring time , 8:12 so it must be something M in that
        2. X5 M is a good car , but it would be better if it hadn't M badge on it. I agree that was a big mistake putting m logo on a 4WD with auto trans
        3. i don't know what i have to say , whatever i say i won't convince you
        4. Lamborghini and Ferrari make large NA engines , ok but they put those engines in cars with huge price tags so it means their buyers are rich
        but what about BMW ? Customers aren't that rich so they can't pay the extra tax on engines ( in Europe for extra displacement you have to pay tax , huge ones)
        so FI is the only solution
      1. Sorena's Avatar
        Sorena -
        Plus Ford and GM buyers in europe are much less than M buyers , so they don't give a thing about displacement
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by HeroSina Click here to enlarge
        1. look at suspension , do you see anything 1-Series in that? look at the Nurburgring time , 8:12 so it must be something M in that
        Yes, M3 suspension bits. An M car is the whole package though including the motor. BMW can now get away with sticking motors they already have in a car and calling it an M. It means less development cost for them, greater profits, and we lose out.

        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by HeroSina Click here to enlarge
        4. Lamborghini and Ferrari make large NA engines , ok but they put those engines in cars with huge price tags so it means their buyers are rich
        but what about BMW ? Customers aren't that rich so they can't pay the extra tax on engines ( in Europe for extra displacement you have to pay tax , huge ones)
        so FI is the only solution
        The M5 and M6 aren't cheap, $100k, and cost a lot of fuel up. I don't think I would call their owners poor and the M5/M6 V10 has greater displacement than the Ferrari V8's. That was the great thing about BMW, you could get high revving motors on the level of Ferrari and Porsche in cars that were cheaper. The M3 V8 feels like a race bred motor.

        It isn't a matter of the customers not being able to afford it, M3's, M5',s and M6's sold. It is that BMW doesn't want to chew in to their bottom line when they realized they could get away with simply adding more boost or even now, just giving you the same thing they already have (1M).
      1. Stahlgrau's Avatar
        Stahlgrau -
        Funny how on one side you're talking about how you want BMW to make NA motors and you want a NA motor, that's their heritage, history, and you went and put a S/C on your car off the bat.

        Ideals and principles? WTF? What are/were BMWs ideals and principles? Is Porsche less the enthusiast car for the GT2 and TT because they are F/I?

        Isn't there some world-wide nonsense going around that is forcing auto manufacturers to become more green and economical? Think that has anything to do with BMW moving toward smaller, FI'd motors? Is BMW not supposed to adapt to the auto industry? Are they not in the business of selling cars and making money?

        Performance ends at the M3? The M5 and M6 are crap? Comical.

        I never said BMW M3 was the best price/performance in the World. This thread is about Benz being the enthusiast's choice over BMW. BMW is in a comparable class as Benz because it's a luxury car manufacturer.

        Why bring STI's and EVO's into the discussion? STi's and EVOs are focused AWD and F/I'd. The M3 has been about the best blend of comfort, luxury, and performance. A car you can DD every day in style and comfort and take to the track on the weekends and tear it up. STi's and EVO's don't fit the comfort/luxury description. Are there cars that look better than the M3? Yes. Are there cars that perform better than the M3? Yes. Are there cars that have more luxury than the M3? Yes. Are there cars that have more power than the M3? Yes. Are there cars that combine all of those things so well and are comparably priced and make a great DD? Only Porsches, IMO.

        Talking about SLS/SLR. BMW has rarely been in the supercar business. Why would they change their heritage/ideals/principles to be more like MB? Isn't that what you're knocking them for in the first place? You're listing cars that cost $300,000+. Since when has BMW been aimed at that market? Never. Yet, you want them to start. Talking about both sides of your mouth again. You want them to stick to their heritage/history and be different than Benz, then you say you want them to break their history and start selling supercars aimed at a completely different customer base. CLK63AMG Black Series is the only thing even close to a pricepoint BMW would historically consider. 350 are made/year and I don't hear about enthusiast's out racing 'em.

        "The GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge features sports cars manufactured from around the world, brought straight from the showroom floor, that race side by side with only minor modifications in the area of safety." BMW cleaned up, not a Benz in sight. Yeah, they're the enthusiast's choice.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Stahlgrau Click here to enlarge
        Funny how on one side you're talking about how you want BMW to make NA motors and you want a NA motor, that's their heritage, history, and you went and put a S/C on your car off the bat.
        Not off the bat. And I did that because of the potential of the platform. Since it makes such great NA power it makes crazy power when boosted. I prefer to have the choice, not have it made for me. I can't take an N63, take off the turbos, and make it into an S65. However, I can add boost to the S65.

        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Stahlgrau Click here to enlarge
        Ideals and principles? WTF? What are/were BMWs ideals and principles? Is Porsche less the enthusiast car for the GT2 and TT because they are F/I?
        Porsche had been racing turbo motors for a long time, that is their history. BMW M principles were high revving NA motors, which is what they have always stated. They said they considered forced induction a short cut. Turns out, they decided to take short cuts.

        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Stahlgrau Click here to enlarge
        Performance ends at the M3? The M5 and M6 are crap? Comical.
        Excuse me, who said the M5 and M5 are crap? Wasn't your question about lapping a road course? Well, which is faster around the road course, the M3 or the M5 and M6? The M3 is the best drivers car in the lineup and the fastest lapping vehicle currently. That does not make the M5 and M6 crap, I have no idea why you jumped to that conclusion.

        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Stahlgrau Click here to enlarge
        I never said BMW M3 was the best price/performance in the World. This thread is about Benz being the enthusiast's choice over BMW. BMW is in a comparable class as Benz because it's a luxury car manufacturer.
        True but you mentioned price as a factor. Mercedes simply has a higher level for the enthusiast to go to that BMW does not. So yes, BMW's best drivers car offering ends at the M3.

        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Stahlgrau Click here to enlarge
        Why bring STI's and EVO's into the discussion? STi's and EVOs are focused AWD and F/I'd. The M3 has been about the best blend of comfort, luxury, and performance. A car you can DD every day in style and comfort and take to the track on the weekends and tear it up. STi's and EVO's don't fit the comfort/luxury description. Are there cars that look better than the M3? Yes. Are there cars that perform better than the M3? Yes. Are there cars that have more luxury than the M3? Yes. Are there cars that have more power than the M3? Yes. Are there cars that combine all of those things so well and are comparably priced and make a great DD? Only Porsches, IMO.
        Why bring them up? To show bang for the buck isn't BMW's focus as there are better optons. The M3 is a great overall car and the best all around vehicle in the world in my opinion, agreed.

        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Stahlgrau Click here to enlarge
        Talking about SLS/SLR. BMW has rarely been in the supercar business. Why would they change their heritage/ideals/principles to be more like MB? Isn't that what you're knocking them for in the first place? You're listing cars that cost $300,000+. Since when has BMW been aimed at that market? Never. Yet, you want them to start. Talking about both sides of your mouth again. You want them to stick to their heritage/history and be different than Benz, then you say you want them to break their history and start selling supercars aimed at a completely different customer base. CLK63AMG Black Series is the only thing even close to a pricepoint BMW would historically consider. 350 are made/year and I don't hear about enthusiast's out racing 'em.
        Um, what about the M1? Mercedes wasn't exactly in the supercar business either. The SLS is not 300,000 plus and neither is the CLK63 black series. The C black series won't be either. The fact is Mercedes has you covered from the top to the bottom as I said. You want top of the line supercars? They have it. You want a 458 Italia competitor? They have. You want a $100k track toy? They have it.

        I want BMW to start taking the M brand seriously again instead of diluting it. Maybe try bringing it upscale instead of downscale? They would not be breaking their history whatsoever by selling a higher end drivers car. They also would not be breaking their history by sticking to NA motors. They broke their history by putting an M badge on a car without an M developed motor. They broke their history by producing M suv's. They broke their history by ditching high revving NA motors which they used to pride themselves on. If they are going to make changes they should make the right decisions that agree with their principles.

        You likely don't hear much about enthusiasts racing CLK63's? Well, I would wager a larger % of them see the track than M3's.

        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Stahlgrau Click here to enlarge
        "The GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge features sports cars manufactured from around the world, brought straight from the showroom floor, that race side by side with only minor modifications in the area of safety." BMW cleaned up, not a Benz in sight. Yeah, they're the enthusiast's choice.
        Once again, I ask you, what does racing in that series have to do with OEM production? You want to see racing enthusiasm? Check out Mercedes in Formula 1, you know, the highest level. You won't find a single BMW in sight. Yeah, BMW takes racing seriously Click here to enlarge
      1. Sorena's Avatar
        Sorena -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        Yes, M3 suspension bits. An M car is the whole package though including the motor. BMW can now get away with sticking motors they already have in a car and calling it an M. It means less development cost for them, greater profits, and we lose out.



        The M5 and M6 aren't cheap, $100k, and cost a lot of fuel up. I don't think I would call their owners poor and the M5/M6 V10 has greater displacement than the Ferrari V8's. That was the great thing about BMW, you could get high revving motors on the level of Ferrari and Porsche in cars that were cheaper. The M3 V8 feels like a race bred motor.

        It isn't a matter of the customers not being able to afford it, M3's, M5',s and M6's sold. It is that BMW doesn't want to chew in to their bottom line when they realized they could get away with simply adding more boost or even now, just giving you the same thing they already have (1M).
        more profits? man these days everyone has Bmw so no need to make an M version to make more porfits , it's just wrong
        simply adding more boost ? Dude the S65 unit which you love is actually a 8 cylinder version of S85 , which is easier? try to FI an engine (notice no one can turbocharge S65) or cutting some cylinders? or maybe tweaking an engine and calling it a new engine is easier ?
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by HeroSina Click here to enlarge
        Dude the S65 unit which you love is actually a 8 cylinder version of S85 , which is easier? try to FI an engine (notice no one can turbocharge S65) or cutting some cylinders? or maybe tweaking an engine and calling it a new engine is easier ?
        I don't think you understand, making a 100 hp per liter large displacement high revving motor takes far more skill than just adding some boost. Look at the quality of the S65/S85 heads, the valetrain, the internals, etc. They need to be built to a higher standard. Motors like that are more difficult to make especially for mass produced cars.

        It isn't that the S65 can't be turbocharged, it can, anything can be. It is far more complicated to make it work with the DME and the electronics as well as with space constraints.
      1. Sorena's Avatar
        Sorena -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        Once again, I ask you, what does racing in that series have to do with OEM production? You want to see racing enthusiasm? Check out Mercedes in Formula 1, you know, the highest level. You won't find a single BMW in sight. Yeah, BMW takes racing seriously Click here to enlarge
        man you want power ? Bmw made the most powerful units there , in turbo 4 Bmw was the most powerful, in V10 Bmw was the most powerful
        you want speed? Bmw actually made fastest cars , highest speed record belongs to Bmw with Heidfield at the wheel
        You want bad drivers? check Bmw drivers , Bmw wasn't really a successful team just because it didn't have no1 drivers
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by HeroSina Click here to enlarge
        man you want power ? Bmw made the most powerful units there , in turbo 4 Bmw was the most powerful, in V10 Bmw was the most powerful
        you want speed? Bmw actually made fastest cars , highest speed record belongs to Bmw with Heidfield at the wheel
        You want bad drivers? check Bmw drivers , Bmw wasn't really a successful team just because it didn't have no1 drivers
        I'm not really sure what you are saying here.
      1. lughed's Avatar
        lughed -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        But BMW has moved downscale, so are they chasing Mercedes in the luxury department or Toyota in the volume department?They're chasing toyota in numbers. Thats why there're pumping out cars no one seems to truly want. But with their flagships (7 & 5 series) have all gotten softer rides, more technological interiors adding alot of weight, etc. This is where BMW needs to keep up with Benz so its changing the dynamics of the cars.



        This is what is changing, the Black Series was a major step and some could say Mercedes is starting to build better all around cars. When they start offering DCT's in their AMG's it will be interesting.
        Yes it is changing and i would go as far to say at some point in the future, Benz and BM will do a complete reversal of their current status. BM will be the top luxury car, finally and Benz, the top performance sedans. All do to the competition they have with one another to be no.1 in these segments. If it continues this way.

        I do believe Benz has a better understanding of what their markets are.