Porsche GT3 RS 4.0 v BMW M3 GTS v Mercedes C63 AMG Black Series. On street and circuit.

Uploaded by drive on 02.05.2012


General consensus has it that if you have 100,000 pounds to
spend on a car for road and track, you buy
a Porsche GT3 RS.
But luckily for us, BMW and Mercedes beg to differ.

Well on paper, it doesn't look good for the M3.
It's down on power, it's down the thick end of 50 horsepower
on the Porsche and even more on the Benz.
Of course, power to weight ratio, it claws a bit back
against the Benz.
So it hasn't got the outright numbers.
And it also hasn't got the sort of bespoke body work that
the Mercedes has either.
So that means it's a bit weaker, too.
It has got this amazing V8, though, that revs all the way
out to eight and a half.
Listen to that noise.
That's just a great noise.
And it's got this DCT gearbox, which is shifting and a bit
smoother than the Mercedes.
So on the road, yeah, it's clever.

Other stuff about this M3 GTS--
well, it's bare.
This really is a lightweight special inside.
You get a radio and not much else.
Ironically enough, the other two have all got
the bells and whistles.
The Porsche has got SAT NAV and iPod and everything else,
and yet it still weighs a lot less than this.
Is it too bare?
No, it feels special.
Although why you have to take this cubby here away and just
put some suede down, I don't know.
It seems very mean to me.
I suppose my fundamental issue with the GTS is, I keep
thinking to myself, if I took an M3 myself, E92 coupe, how
much would it cost me to turn it into this car?
Well, most of it, not that much money.
Of course boring out the engine is something that
becomes rather expensive, and that's where the
money's being spent.
But in terms of having studs rather than wheel nuts, and
this interior--
how much does a Recaro seat cost?
It's about 1,000 pounds.
So where's the 50,000 pound premium?
I just don't see it.
I very easy to be snarky and cynical about this car because
it's too expensive and it looks a bit silly at times.
And it probably doesn't quite take the game where
we want it to be.
But actually, I love being in it and I love driving it.
And I want to state that for the record.
The world's a better place because BMW may be M3 GTS, so
please BMW, just do another one but make a few more of
them and make it a bit cheaper.

Here's a question.
Can you compare a Mercedes Benz with a Porsche GT3 RS
when the Mercedes is actually over 300 kilograms heavier?
I think you can.

Those gear shift snaps.
God, this thing's awesome.
This is probably one of the last times we'll see the
classic M156 V8 from AMG, and it is a great engine-- one of
the great engines.

There are several changes over the standard Z63.
In fact, what you've got here is a
slightly detuned SLS engine.

The transmission is the wet clutch AMG speed-shift thing,
which is seven speeds.
Not as quick as the BMW DSG or double-clutch thing, whatever
they call it.
MDCT, I think they call it.
It's not as quick or quite as effective as that, but when
it's in automatic mode, this car does feel great.
And that gives it a big advantage over
the Porsche in traffic.
But when you want to change manually on the road, this, to
me, is quick enough and good enough.
And it does give these lovely [INAUDIBLE]
those downshifts.
And now, when you do an upshift--
snap, bang, crackle, pop.
You get all sorts coming out of the exhaust.

Now when BMW launched the M3 GTS in 2010, I personally
didn't need any confirmation of the fact that I thought the
car was way overpriced at 115,000 pounds.
It's not necessary, but this car does serve to confirm
that, because this to me feels like a much more serious
engineering exercise than the M3 GTS.
We've got wider tracks, we've got a significant body changes
to this car, and it's about 110,000 pounds, this C63 Black
Series, which to me, starts to look like value given how
special it feels over a normal C63, if you could ever call
that car normal.
But for me, the big surprise about the Black Series is just
how nice it is on the road.
I honestly don't think it feels any less refined or less
comfortable than the last C63 Coupe I had driven.
In fact, shock horror, I think this car rides better.
It's really supple.
The steering's lovely.
Here on the road, to live with, if that's
valid in this test.
This is a nicer car than a GT3 RS, and on the road, for me,
it really takes care of M3 GTS, which is just, as we'll
find out, a bit too much at times.

In the case of the GT3 RS, success breeds contempt.

You either love these cars or you hate them.
There are those that buy them and use them and think they're
the best thing ever, but there are those who just get fed up
with Porsche's constantly winning magazine and video
group tests and saying it's so predictable.
But I put this to you.
The reason why BMW and Mercedes try so hard to try
and do something slightly different to the GT3 RS is
that the GT3 RS is so good it doesn't really
have a natural rival.
Now we're going to do some circuit work later on in the
video, but for now, I'm on the road.
And I do think these cars have to work on the road to have a
point, otherwise you might as well buy a Radical or a
or an Ariel Atom, and they are even more exciting.
As a road car, the base 911 shines through in this thing.
This is my car, make no secret of that.
It's got SAT NAV, which worked brilliantly.
It's got an iPod thing.
The phone is on the Bluetooth.
It's just very easy to use.
And as you can see, the ride is firm but
it's not too harsh.
In fact, whenever I drive this car on the road, I just can't
quite equate that sort of sensible usable performance
with the lunatic it becomes when you use it on a circuit.
And that's the key appeal of the GT3 RS.
This standard use for this car, certainly for a UK user
surely is, buy the car, run it in, drive it to the
[INAUDIBLE] green, lap for a couple of days,
and drive home again.
What other cars can do that?
Well, M3 GTS and C63 Black Edition
certainly are in the mold.
The key difference for me in this car, driving around,
compared to the Mercedes and the BMW, is the transmission.
On the track, I love this transformation.
On the road, I love it as well.
It just makes me feel a part of the car.
It draws me into the experience.
It's not as effective as the others two for just mooching
around town though.
What about the spec of this car compared the others?
Well what we do have is 500 horsepower from a flat six,
and we weigh about 1380 kilograms.
So it's the lightest of the three cars.
It has PASM adjustable dampers so you've got a sport and a
normal setting.
I never go anywhere near the sport setting on the road, I
just leave it in comfort.
We have a sport button to sharpen the throttle up.
We've also got traction control and ESP, which you can
turn off completely.
What It doesn't have is any clever M dynamic mode or AMG
modes where you can configure things on one button.
You just have a steering wheel, a stick here, three
pedals, and an ability to go very fast.

AMG makes some of the most charismatic V8s in the world,
and that BMW V8, it's a mighty thing,
but there's a sharpness.
How do I define the difference?
To me, this feels like a genuine racing engine, which
is fair enough because the crank is shared with
the RSR race car.
There's a sharpness to it.
It just zings.
It feels absolutely on it, the whole time.

[INAUDIBLE] the way these things look.
To me, it goes with the territory--
having the big wing and the silly paint and the just how
small is your willy overall styling.
I suppose I just learned to live with it.
I think the C63 certainly is the cooler-looking device, but
I still like this.

So here we are at Anglesey, with nary a cloud
in out in the sky.
There's a smattering, a dusting, of
snow over on the hills.
It really is quite beautiful.
There's a reason for being here.
It's partly serious.
So I'm going to split this into two parts because I think
that track driving is about two disciplines.
One being fast and neat and accurate.
So I want to test technically how fast these cars are.
It's lap time.
That's the only way to do it, isn't it?
So a timed flying lap.
But also I want to test how well--
or let's say with how much panache-- they can smash their
rear tires to bits.
So two parts.
Track time.

The BMW M3 GTS, then.
What do we think about on the warm-up lap?
Isn't this circuit just the best?
I've got snow capped mountains in the background and I've got
a load of turns.
I didn't get this car when it was launched, I really didn't.
I sort of have warmed to it, because I no longer think
about the new price because you can't buy one.
I think seven or eight came to the UK and I admire the people
that bought them.
Because it is a singular car, however, whatever it was, 120
grand, they were having a bit of a laugh, I think.
Just a bit of a laugh.
really powerful car here.
444 horsepower from its four-liter V8.
It just doesn't have the firepower of the others.
But it's a pretty special car.
It's pretty much a GT4-class racing vehicle.
How are those Pirellis going to hold up?
Let's get ready to go over the line pronto, then.
So it's an out, a flyer, and an [INAUDIBLE] each car.

I missed that apex straightaway, but understeer,
and I've got a bit of oversteer on the exit, so come
on, monkey, you could do better than that.
This fourth gear turn is very quick.
Nurse those tires, run right out onto the curbs.
That feels good.
That feels good.
Come on, mister front axle--
I'm going to leave you in third this time.
That's it.
It's turned.
Get on the gas.
Keep going.
Fourth gear.
This monstrously fast car.
Now I'm about to dive a brake to get the car settled and see
if we could drive it through the [INAUDIBLE] on the curb
stones almost.
There we are.
[INAUDIBLE] flat through this compression.
I'm going to have to lift on the way up the hill.
No, brake throttle.
Please stop.
Please stop.
30 seconds.
[INAUDIBLE] this is called, but it's a
great little section.
A bit too much oversteer there for real speed.
It just is lacking traction for the noise.
I've still got some understeer--
chase that throttle.
A little bit of oversteer on the exit.
A bit of oversteer on the curb.
I'm going to take second and slow the car down.
Don't overslow it.
Out onto the curb.
Really have to feed the power in.

Understeer over the line.
Dear, me.
What a shambles.
But forget the lap time for a minute.
Where does the M3 GTS fit when it comes to being a complete
wally in a car?

Well it feels good to me.
It feels like a classic M car.
It just feels like it wants to oversteer everywhere.
You just look at the throttle.
And there it is desperate to oversteer.

Yeah, I don't think there's any doubt that this is one of
finest machines for behaving badly that I've ever driven.
It's got so much balance.
Look at it.
You just put it in, wind the gas up--
oh, come on.
[INAUDIBLE] lap times.
This is more fun.

On the upscale, I'm giving the M3 GTS 10 and 1/2 out of 10.
It's absolutely splendid at it.

In some respects, it feels wrong coming here in the C63
Black because I know it's a track car, but to me, it just
feels a bit more like a [INAUDIBLE] car that's turned
up to a track.
It's got a fantastic bit of kick, but it feels quite
physically big.
Even after the M3, it feels quite big.

This car's got a lot more power than the BMW and a lot
more torque.
It also weighs a bit more, so it's going to be
harder on its brakes.
Listen to that V8.
What a spectacular noise.
Braking hard.
I'll tell you what.
It does stop very well.
And I've got an apex, as well-- almost got an apex.
All the systems are off.
Out over the curb--
I'm going to leave it in third through here.

A bit of oversteer there on the exit.
I'm going to leave it in third.
We've got so much torque, surely can just keep the third
through here.
I can.
[INAUDIBLE] attraction, too.
Come on.
Where's the front axle?
Where's the grip?
Turn it in, it's pretty good.
But then it feel big.
Then it feels big.
I'm out over the curbs a bit.
And now it just feels fast.

That is an impressive turn of speed.
Turned in, what's it like for this technical stuff here?
It wants to oversteer.
The diff feels quite tight, not too bad.
You know what?
I'm not finding it as taxing as the other two.
It seems to be helping me more.
The car feels quite neutral--
then it feels big.
Then it feels big.

That was slow.
It just took some oversteer.
Come on.
Leap, monkey, leap!
Feed the power.
A little bit of oversteer over the curb.
I'm braking--
oh, pedal has gone long.
I'm going to leave you in third, you big old dog,
because I think you'll be better coming out even though
we're crawling.
Out and over the curb [INAUDIBLE].
It's messy.
It just feels like a big car, this.
Full commitment over the line.
What are we going to get?
What are we going to get?
We're going to get a load of understeer, but a little bit
of oversteer on the exit.

Now to me, the specification of this car reads like it was
born to behave in an anti-social manner.

All the systems off.
I think we can safely say that this car wants
to do naughty stuff.

It feels very natural going sideways.
And whenever you put your foot down, it's there.

Oh yes.

Oh yes.
So can the Porsche beat a 139?
You have to put your money on the fact that it can, but
we'll have to just wait and see.
Now of course, the Porsche has a lot more power than the BMW
and it's lighter.
So is it a fair contest?
You can argue it's not, but that's the way of the
world, isn't it?
When they were launched, they weren't too dissimilar in
price, these cars.

So braking in third, let's see if we can find
ourselves an apex.

Here's the turn.
There's the apex.
That's fine.
Wide open on the exit.
It feels good.
Porsche attraction.
Get it turned into this very quick third-gear corner and
use all the curb on the exit.
That feels good as well.
I'll try and take second here and chase
the throttle through.
I've just got less understeer than the BMW, and then I can
get on the gas earlier, too.
It's pretty fierce in fourth-gear turns.
Get it in.
Settle in the middle and then gas on the exit.
It feels good there.
Good god, the speeds are high here.
And we're going to get through to here.
I don't know what this is called.
Let's not get too much oversteer at all, and we've
got oversteer there.
Come on, monkey.
Pull yourself out.
Oh, understeer, not very nice.

Come on, I'm being a yob, I think.
Let's nurse it through a bit.
That's better.
And then wide open.
Use that traction.
That feels pretty spectacular to me.
This circuit is just awesome.

Have to rotate there, as well.
Come on.
Don't feed the power in, just smash it in.

Just understeer over the line if you have to.
Well, maybe oversteer over the line.
Silly boy.

So mister GT3 RS four-liter, we know that you are three
seconds quicker than an M3 GTS, and that's substantial.
But know that the M3 GTS is, in fact, a 10 and 1/2 out of
10 car for being a complete nob in.
What do you like?
Being a 911, I'd hope you're quite good at it.
Pitch into this one shall we maybe?

Quite good at it, as it would seem.

911s are strange when you're trying to demonstrate
deliberately poor behavior in them because at first, after
the M3 GTS, it feels pretty leery to me.
You're aware of that mass, there.
They've done lots to make that feeling go
away, but it's there.
But then when you start to use the mass, and just back it in.

It feels pretty good.
It's up there.
It's a 10 out of 10.
Is it a 10 and a 1/2 out of 10?
I'm not sure.
Pretty damn fine car in which to behave
like a child, though.
Pretty damn fine.

If you owned any one of these cars, you would be a very
happy chap indeed, and people would envy
you, and rightly so.
The Mercedes and the BMW are viable options to the GT3.
It has to be said.
The M3 GTS, when it was launched to me,
was a bit of a folly.
I didn't understand why it was 115,000 pounds, almost twice
the money of a standard M3.
It didn't offer that much more, and it still doesn't.
But it's a right old character of a car, it makes an amazing
noise, and if you want to be a yob, it might be the best car
on the planet.
The C63 Black Edition is just a lightly-disguised muscle car
made by the most unlikely German manufacturer.
It's amazing to me that that car there is made by the
people that make the B Class and the A class.
All it wants to do is wreck rear tires.
But when you break down why you'd actually buy one of
these cars-- to use it on the track, to use it on road, to
be seen in it, to enjoy it, to reward yourself--
it's a clear winner.
There's a reason why every time you go to the Nurburgring
in the car park, every other car is a GT3.
It's because nothing else quite does the job
the way a GT3 does.
So if you offered me one of these cars to go home in, I'd
take the white one.