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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. Sorena's Avatar
        Sorena -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        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.
        i can see your perspective ,and i agree the quality of S65/S85 are really high but who said new engines have bad quality?
        i think i know why you are upset , you think just because S63 is based on N63 it doesn't deserve M logo but as far as i know it's actually a new engine
        this engine has flat crank shaft (s63) instead of cross crank shaft(N63) , to me only that is far more difficult than cutting engine block
      1. Sorena's Avatar
        Sorena -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        I'm not really sure what you are saying here.
        i'm saying Bmw is not in F1 anymore not because they couldn't make good cars , they leave the F1 just because the team didn't have best drivers
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by HeroSina Click here to enlarge
        i'm saying Bmw is not in F1 anymore not because they couldn't make good cars , they leave the F1 just because the team didn't have best drivers
        They left for financial reasons but the point is an argument was made for "enthusiasm" based on racing. Well, it would seem that in fact Mercedes races at the highest level and BMW does not.
      1. DavidV's Avatar
        DavidV -
        BMW stopped with F1 because there was too much money going into F1 and the financial crisis at hand with the possibility to fire a lot of personell at the factory made them decide to pull out of F1.
        They weren't where they wanted to be after the set period, and they pulled the plug.
        Just a business dicision.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by HeroSina Click here to enlarge
        i can see your perspective ,and i agree the quality of S65/S85 are really high but who said new engines have bad quality?
        i think i know why you are upset , you think just because S63 is based on N63 it doesn't deserve M logo but as far as i know it's actually a new engine
        this engine has flat crank shaft (s63) instead of cross crank shaft(N63) , to me only that is far more difficult than cutting engine block
        I can live with the S63. It at least has differences from the N63. At least they did something with that motor, with the 1M they just stuck in an unmodified N54. That is a tough pill to swallow.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by DavidV Click here to enlarge
        Just a business dicision.
        Exactly, as everything now is with BMW.
      1. Sorena's Avatar
        Sorena -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by DavidV Click here to enlarge
        BMW stopped with F1 because there was too much money going into F1 and the financial crisis at hand with the possibility to fire a lot of personell at the factory made them decide to pull out of F1.
        They weren't where they wanted to be after the set period, and they pulled the plug.
        Just a business dicision.
        they would stay if they could manage to win, they spent money and they couldn't achieve their goals so they quited
        i would do the same thing
      1. Sorena's Avatar
        Sorena -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        with the 1M they just stuck in an unmodified N54. That is a tough pill to swallow.
        i'll agree with you if they do it again , but with just one car (1M) i can't judge them
      1. Stahlgrau's Avatar
        Stahlgrau -
        I'll revisit this when the next generation M3 is available. Right now, the M3 is still best in it's class. Every generation of M3 owners has that group saying the same thing about the next generation. "Mine is the last true M3!" It's funny, you can follow the generations through the message boards. E36 crowd was bimmerforum. E46 crowd was E46fanatics & m3forum. Each said the same about the next generation. Overweight. Ugly. Fuel mileage. Audi and Benz have passed BMW. And yet...when is one of these comparably priced cars gonna beat an M3? I'm not holding my breath.

        F/I'd is the way to go to keep up with the power and fuel economy requirements in the segment. The 911TT, GT-R, ZR1, CTS-V, EVOs, STis, AMGs, RSs, etc., are all F/I'd. No, I don't consider all of those in M3s segment. Just pointing out all the badass cars running F/I from the factory.

        Personally, I'm kinda excited to see what the Motorsport division can do with a F/I'd six. Could it be near par with a 911TT or GT-R?

        Still find it amusing that a company, in the business to make money, is called a "sellout" like we're talking about some rock star or pro athlete, not a BUSINESS that SELLS things.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Stahlgrau Click here to enlarge
        I'll revisit this when the next generation M3 is available. Right now, the M3 is still best in it's class. Every generation of M3 owners has that group saying the same thing about the next generation. "Mine is the last true M3!"
        This is very, very true. However, there is a common factor in all those M3's which is a naturally aspirated, high revving M motor.

        E36 owners complained the E46 way too big. E46 owners complained the E92 was too big and not as "raw." It is a common factor but that is not the issue at hand here.

        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Stahlgrau Click here to enlarge
        F/I'd is the way to go to keep up with the power and fuel economy requirements in the segment. The 911TT, GT-R, ZR1, CTS-V, EVOs, STis, AMGs, RSs, etc., are all F/I'd. No, I don't consider all of those in M3s segment. Just pointing out all the badass cars running F/I from the factory.
        Absolutely, but which of these are the hardcore track models? The GT3RS, F430 Scuderia, 458, LP560 Superleggera, Mustang Boss, Viper ACR, SLS, and M3 GTS are all more raw/responsive drivers cars than what you mentioned. Why is it a high strung NA motor seems to go better with a car giving you a race car experience?

        There are badass FI cars, yes, but doesn't it just kind of suck when everybody is just producing motors with boost? Where is the fun in that?

        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Stahlgrau Click here to enlarge
        Still find it amusing that a company, in the business to make money, is called a "sellout" like we're talking about some rock star or pro athlete, not a BUSINESS that SELLS things.
        So it should just be a mindless profit machine? BMW is better than that, or at least they were. A storied history filled with emotion and great motorsports victories. Amazing well balanced models that brought the race car driving experience to the average man. The M3 having its high revving motors was a matter of pride for the M division that they could give you a race motors that matched output of the best of the best in the world. The M3 CSL was an example of a 6 cylinder matching the hp per liter of Ferrari's best V8. Just incredible engineering, we won't see that again as they can now be lazy and go for profit.

        Yes, they sell things, but what they sell should matter as they are selling products that mean something. That is why they called it the ultimate driving machine, it was more than just another car.
      1. Sorena's Avatar
        Sorena -
        i'm not in the right mode to discuss , just wanted to say i don't agree with you on 2nd parageraf
        3rd parageraf was good , i tried to find something wrong in it but i couldn't
      1. Stahlgrau's Avatar
        Stahlgrau -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        This is very, very true. However, there is a common factor in all those M3's which is a naturally aspirated, high revving M motor.

        E36 owners complained the E46 way too big. E46 owners complained the E92 was too big and not as "raw." It is a common factor but that is not the issue at hand here.

        Absolutely, but which of these are the hardcore track models? The GT3RS, F430 Scuderia, 458, LP560 Superleggera, Mustang Boss, Viper ACR, SLS, and M3 GTS are all more raw/responsive drivers cars than what you mentioned. Why is it a high strung NA motor seems to go better with a car giving you a race car experience?
        Look at what those high strung NA motors have in common. They're all from damn near supercars(minus the Mustang Boss which I know nothing about). Some are big displacement, which is not BMWs thing. But, most are $150k plust cars. That's not BMWs segment. Most of those cars are highly focused cars. The M3, and M-division are supposed to be a blend of comfort, style, luxury, and performance. Not even close to being intended for the same audience as the GT3RS, Scuderia, etc.

        The auto world has evolved. Almost everyone else has moved to F/I. They took the path of least resistance. Unfortunately, if BMW wants to continue competing, selling cars, they will have to move toward F/I. Otherwise, they won't have the power to keep up with everyone else.

        Sure, I love the high-revving NA motors. Ferrari's are my favorite. Ferrari, Lambo, etc. are aimed at a much different customer base. It was awesome while it lasted with the BMWs, but times have changed. Unless BMW starts aiming at a much richer clientele, they're not going to be able to compete with all the other manufacturers using F/I. High revving N/A motors have become cost prohibitive to compete in this segment. Just look at the power these F/I cars are putting out. It's only a short matter of time before BMW finds themselves on the outside looking in. To compete in the future, they would need 6.0L and bigger V8s or V10s putting out 100+hp/L. Even then, with the weight in these cars ever growing for safety and comfort reasons, they still wouldn't be able to keep up with the torque of the F/I cars. Not to mention, the size of those motors would begin to intrude on the weight balance BMWs are known for. The thing that truly sets them apart from cars like Audi and MB.

        There are badass FI cars, yes, but doesn't it just kind of suck when everybody is just producing motors with boost? Where is the fun in that?
        Welcome to the new millenium. CAFE restrictions are forcing auto manufacturers to slowly move toward more fuel-efficient cars. Blame the government and the green movement.

        So it should just be a mindless profit machine? BMW is better than that, or at least they were. A storied history filled with emotion and great motorsports victories. Amazing well balanced models that brought the race car driving experience to the average man. The M3 having its high revving motors was a matter of pride for the M division that they could give you a race motors that matched output of the best of the best in the world. The M3 CSL was an example of a 6 cylinder matching the hp per liter of Ferrari's best V8. Just incredible engineering, we won't see that again as they can now be lazy and go for profit.

        Yes, they sell things, but what they sell should matter as they are selling products that mean something. That is why they called it the ultimate driving machine, it was more than just another car.
        I wouldn't call it "mindless". I'd call it adapting to coming changes in the automotive industry due to stricter regulations and the cost prohibitive nature of trying to compete with F/I'd cars putting out 500-600+hp with smaller engines, while BMW has to continuosly add 2 cylinders and reduce gas mileage to compete. Sometimes, you just have to move on. You can't always hang onto history. Trebuchets and bows and arrows used to be the $#@! at one point. Now, we have F35s.

        If anything, I'd say it's impressive BMW has been able to hang onto NA as long as they have and still remain on top.

        I'm stoked to see what BMW can do with F/I in the next M3. I highly doubt they're resting on their laurels and I highly doubt the C63 will be able to beat it.

        I do find it a bit ironic that I'm on the bimmerBOOST.com forum arguing for BMW F/I with the guy who started the site.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Stahlgrau Click here to enlarge
        Look at what those high strung NA motors have in common. They're all from damn near supercars(minus the Mustang Boss which I know nothing about). Some are big displacement, which is not BMWs thing. But, most are $150k plust cars. That's not BMWs segment. Most of those cars are highly focused cars. The M3, and M-division are supposed to be a blend of comfort, style, luxury, and performance. Not even close to being intended for the same audience as the GT3RS, Scuderia, etc.
        Exactly, BMW used to give you a near race car motor in an everyday package. An 8k+ rpm independent throttle body NA V10 in a sedan? Whoa. And they did it for $80k? Who else pulled that off? Nobody. The Gallardo's V10 wasn't even as impressive as the S85 even in a package that is $100k more, now that is engineering.

        With the M3 you could get the next best thing to a GT3 with 4 seats and an everyday all around package. A real world race car and a reasonable price for what you got. Now what, we will have turbo motors like everyone else? Bland, boring, and easy.

        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Stahlgrau Click here to enlarge
        The auto world has evolved. Almost everyone else has moved to F/I. They took the path of least resistance. Unfortunately, if BMW wants to continue competing, selling cars, they will have to move toward F/I. Otherwise, they won't have the power to keep up with everyone else.
        This is what I am saying, they took the path of least resistance. This is them selling out, you see it yourself.

        I would not say going toward forced induction is evolution. What is the evolution if everyone is doing the same thing and engineers can now get away with not pushing themselves or the platform? Evolution would be taking the S65 and S85 to the next level. Just taking a motor they have laying around and adding some more boost is the path of least resistance and simply means BMW does what everyone else is doing.

        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Stahlgrau Click here to enlarge
        ure, I love the high-revving NA motors. Ferrari's are my favorite. Ferrari, Lambo, etc. are aimed at a much different customer base. It was awesome while it lasted with the BMWs, but times have changed. Unless BMW starts aiming at a much richer clientele, they're not going to be able to compete with all the other manufacturers using F/I. High revving N/A motors have become cost prohibitive to compete in this segment. Just look at the power these F/I cars are putting out. It's only a short matter of time before BMW finds themselves on the outside looking in. To compete in the future, they would need 6.0L and bigger V8s or V10s putting out 100+hp/L. Even then, with the weight in these cars ever growing for safety and comfort reasons, they still wouldn't be able to keep up with the torque of the F/I cars. Not to mention, the size of those motors would begin to intrude on the weight balance BMWs are known for. The thing that truly sets them apart from cars like Audi and MB.
        What customer base are M cars aimed at? Ford can deliver a very nice naturally aspirated V8 so don't tell me BMW can't. It isn't a matter of BMW not being able to do it for the price they did it is a matter of them seeing they can get more money by giving us less and charging the same. I don't see any discount for these turbo motors, do you? They make more money while we lose.

        How is the size of the motors intruding on the weight exactly when the S65 weighs less than the S54 and 30 pounds more than an N54? Is the twin turbo V8 any lighter than the S65? I doubt it.

        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Stahlgrau Click here to enlarge
        Welcome to the new millenium. CAFE restrictions are forcing auto manufacturers to slowly move toward more fuel-efficient cars. Blame the government and the green movement.
        I am. At the same time I blame BMW for caving in so easily.

        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Stahlgrau Click here to enlarge
        I wouldn't call it "mindless". I'd call it adapting to coming changes in the automotive industry due to stricter regulations and the cost prohibitive nature of trying to compete with F/I'd cars putting out 500-600+hp with smaller engines, while BMW has to continuosly add 2 cylinders and reduce gas mileage to compete. Sometimes, you just have to move on. You can't always hang onto history. Trebuchets and bows and arrows used to be the $#@! at one point. Now, we have F35s.
        Well, you call it adopting to changes and I call it selling out.

        Somehow Porsche is able to deliver a top of the line NA motor and great forced induction motors. They can do it but BMW can't? Chevy seems to be able to as well. BMW is simply do what is easiest, there is a hint of pride missing.

        The analogy on military weaponry is not valid as a bow and arrow vs. a plane is not even remotely the same thing. A forced induction motor isn't some generational technological achievement compared to the top NA motors.

        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Stahlgrau Click here to enlarge
        I'm stoked to see what BMW can do with F/I in the next M3. I highly doubt they're resting on their laurels and I highly doubt the C63 will be able to beat it.

        I do find it a bit ironic that I'm on the bimmerBOOST.com forum arguing for BMW F/I with the guy who started the site.
        I hope BMW does something with the new M3 that is worthy as the 1M coupe is not. BimmerBoost is not just about forced induction. It is about boosting a BMW's performance in general, forced induction, NA, whatever. I simply won't sit idly by while the BMW I know and love is destroyed and people let them get away with it without saying a single word.
      1. Sorena's Avatar
        Sorena -
        i think it's enough , i feel heat in this thread
        Sticky i believe we can't do something right now, just we have to wait and see what Bmw brings for us and hopefully it will be good as well
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by HeroSina Click here to enlarge
        i think it's enough , i feel heat in this thread
        Sticky i believe we can't do something right now, just we have to wait and see what Bmw brings for us and hopefully it will be good as well
        No heat, it's a discussion. We can all respect all the different points of view.
      1. Sorena's Avatar
        Sorena -
        very good , so you don't want to bring your shutgun? Click here to enlarge
      1. fast4door's Avatar
        fast4door -
        Sticky, since you boosted your M3 is your M3 not a "true" M anymore? I don't think so. Theres more that goes into an M car that just the motor. Just my 2 cents..good debate here, but I think I agree with Stahlgrau here
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by fast4door Click here to enlarge
        Sticky, since you boosted your M3 is your M3 not a "true" M anymore? I don't think so.
        Of course not, it is a true M to begin with.

        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by fast4door Click here to enlarge
        Theres more that goes into an M car that just the motor. Just my 2 cents..good debate here, but I think I agree with Stahlgrau here
        Of course, an M car is the complete package including the motor. The 1M coupe is an M car without an M motor though, you have to have all the pieces not just the suspension, brakes, and body work or else you just have an M-sport package.
      1. 1cleanAMG's Avatar
        1cleanAMG -
        BMW should offer a Performance Upgrade Package for the M3 just like MB offers one for the C63. The C63 now makes 481HP!!!!! and has gotten a bunch of other goodies with the facelift while BMW has not done anything since the M3 came out.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by FR305 Click here to enlarge
        BMW should offer a Performance Upgrade Package for the M3 just like MB offers one for the C63. The C63 now makes 481HP!!!!! and has gotten a bunch of other goodies with the facelift while BMW has not done anything since the M3 came out.
        I could not agree more.