2021 BMW M5 vs. 2021 Mercedes-AMG E63 S By the Numbers

The niche of high-performance sedans is one of the best in the automotive world. It’s so useless but so easy to love at the same time. Why not take a massive V-8 and sink it into a midsize sedan? Exactly. Now the right people at M and AMG are fighting for the supremacy of super sedans once again with the refreshed M5 and the updated E 63 S.

Coincidentally – or, perhaps not so fortuitously – mid-cycle refreshments for these two beasts were announced the same day. If that doesn’t scream rivalry, maybe everything else about these two cars will. Both now have massive touchscreen infotainment screens, redesigned fascias and exterior lights and improved technology: the Merc gets the MBUX three-star star infotainment system and the Bimmer gets the latest iteration of the ‘iDrive.

But these are performance cars. The M5 and E 63 S have been doing this for years, so let’s see how these two fast machines are now better than ever.

2021 BMW M5 vs 2021 Mercedes-AMG E 63 S: engine

These two German giants have extremely powerful V-8 engines. The BMW M5 is powered by a 4.4-liter biturbo mill, while the V-8’s forced induction of the E 63 S displaces 4.0 liters. The Bimmer is also available in two states. The standard M5 produces 600 hp at 6,000 rpm and 553 lb-ft of torque at 1,800 rpm. The M5 Competition is a little more powerful, developing 617 hp at 6,000 rpm and 553 lb-ft of torque at 1,800 rpm.

The AMG, on the other hand, has only one tuning state on our shores – we don’t get the E 63 standard. The E 63 S produces 603 hp at 6,500 rpm and 627 lb- ft of torque at 2,500 rpm. Thus, the M5 reduces its peak torque in the speed range and the Competition variant offers more power, but the E 63 S has more direct torque. It sounds pretty good to us.

BMW M5 2021 vs Mercedes-AMG E 63 S 2021: Powertrain details

Unsurprisingly, these two super-sedans retain rear-wheel drive, electronically controlled all-wheel drive systems. The systems can also essentially cut power to the front axles and transform these two mid-size sedans into rear-wheel-drive machines. Heck, Mercedes even calls its configuration drift mode.

Both vehicles route power to the wheels via automatic transmissions with planetary gears as well – no dual-clutch automatic transmission here. Both gearboxes use multi-plate clutches instead of the typical torque converters, but the AMG tranny has nine cogs while the BMW tranny has eight.

BMW M5 2021 vs Mercedes-AMG E 63 S 2021: Go-Fast Tech

Both cars are available with Michelin Pilot Sport 4S rubber baton. The standard M5 uses 19-inch wheels, while the more powerful Competition model sits on 20s. Behind these wheels are drilled steel rotors, but both cars offer optional carbon-ceramic units, very large and very expensive.

One of the biggest mechanical differences between these two sedans concerns the suspension components of each model. AMG uses a multi-chamber air suspension system with adaptive shock absorbers. The M5 also has adaptive damping but forgoes the configuration of the air suspension. Oh, and the AMG offers a wagon variant if you need to transport children and all their equipment at high speed. In the U.S., BMW doesn’t even sell a 5 Series wagon, so don’t plan on buying an M5 moving vehicle anytime soon – assuming BMW builds such a model.

Both cars also have a multitude of driving modes for a multitude of different road conditions and situations, have advanced safety systems and carry the weight of each brand’s racing heritage. In the end, the two are so close that you’ll have to drive the sedans back to back to find the one you like the most.

Oh, and let’s not forget, there’s also the new RS 6. So it’s much more difficult to choose a mid-size sedan or station wagon.

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