If the Mercedes C63 AMG, road tested this week, isn’t a better car than the new BMW M3 then I’ll eat my feet. And wash them down with a nice drop of the rainwater that’s been amassing in the wheelbarrow outside my backdoor.
The Benz is faster that the BMW – 3.6sec faster from 0-150mph to be precise – has sharper, crisper steering, a much nicer interior, better seats and quite a few more goodies inside. Yet it costs just £692 more than the M3 and, to my eyes and backside, looks and feels much more like the real deal than the M3.
Game over for the M3 then? Not quite, because there are two big caveats that sit squarely between the C63 and total world domination. One, it eats fuel. And when I mean eats, I actually mean wolfs it down like a starving man. I drove one for a few days last week and, although I hardly went berserk in it at all (because you just can’t in the south east of England), it averaged just 12.9mpg. With a 60-litre tank that gives a real world range of about 170 miles. Which is totally and utterly pathetic in 2007.
The other issue concerns its ride, which is stiff to the point of absurdity, especially on the rutted roads in and around Hove where I live. True, it gets a lot better on smoother, faster dual carriageways, but it’s so uncompromising around town that, in the long run, it might just drive you mad.