RE: Audi RS4 vs. Mercedes-AMG C63 S

RE: Audi RS4 vs. Mercedes-AMG C63 S

Wednesday 24th January

Audi RS4 vs. Mercedes-AMG C63 S

Audi has fast estate heritage but Mercedes has had the upper hand in recent years - what's the result in 2018?



This Audi RS4 needs to be very good. Sounds blunt, but consider it this way: the RS4 arguably hasn't been the pick of this sector for a decade now, since the departure of the B7 generation. The current RS6 has shown a degree of Audi Sport panache, though is approaching the end of its tenure - there's no escaping that an E63 is a more complete car now. And the RS5, talented and accomplished though it is, struggles to charm against familiar German (and less familiar Japanese) rivals.

More than that, however, is the very fact that this is Audi heartland; more than the huge wagons, more than the R8 and arguably more than anything with five cylinders, doing compact and potent estates is the foundation on which the Audi Sport legend resides. The RS2 was like nothing else at the time; the first RS4 was within 20hp of a Ferrari which cost twice as much; the B7 RS4 was the first fast Audi anybody could quite happily buy over an M3. There's heritage, put simply, heritage that Audi will be only too aware of and keen to add to.

However, there's competition, too; limited in scope, yes, with the focus currently on uber SUVs rather than their estate counterparts, yet no less formidable. The Mercedes-AMG C63 picked up in 2015 where its predecessor had left off in spectacular fashion: a more serious prospect, certainly, yet still offering a compelling blend of V8 muscle, rear-drive hooliganism and haul-the-family practicality.


This W205 C63 might well sit in the shadow of its four-wheel drive senior at present, but it remains a sensational fast estate. That begins even before you've moved an inch: the front negative camber is plain to see, the V8 awakens viciously and a prod of the throttle rocks the car gently. Family estate or not, this feels an intimidating, very naughty car.

Yet it's not scary, even in January with single-digit temperatures on the display. In fact your first thought - tough ride notwithstanding - is what a big charmer this 510hp, rear-wheel drive car is. It rumbles along purposefully below 3,000rpm as the fluids come up to temp, the throttle response is great and the steering is good, if not a patch on the old hydraulic system.

Playing the V8 cruiser has never been an AMG problem however; what's transformed for this latest generation, and thrown into the starkest light on a cold and dark Monday morning, is just how good they are as driver's cars. There's precision, accuracy and confidence you simply wouldn't credit the car with, an ability to deliver and entertain on a B-road that even AMGs of a generation ago didn't have.


Because the damping is so assured, the car so composed and the reactions so instant, you have faith to push even in grimy conditions. The wheels will spin if you're greedy, though so well telegraphed is the slip and so well calibrated is the traction control that you can embrace it rather than be afraid of it. The C63 can be as sensible or as silly as you like, which makes it outrageously appealing even on a limited test. You want a true multi-purpose vehicle, a car for every scenario? This might be it.

By the time Nic arrives with the RS4, the C63 feels near-invincible. January really shouldn't suit it, yet the way it's embraced the conditions without feeling diluted or dim-witted really is some achievement.

Even in a spec that doesn't especially suit it, the RS4 does the fast estate aesthetic very well. The arches are appropriately blistered, the wheels fill them just so, and there's just enough to look out for that identifies this as not just another A4. Let's call it a score-draw on the styling front; it's the best spec of C63 we've seen, and the least desirable of RS4, so there isn't a clear victor.


Other elements of the car should come as no surprise: the interior is very nice, the materials are lovely and the driving position is spot on, too, probably better (for being lower) than the Mercedes. It sets the right tone, which a slightly contrived V6 gargle only ebbs away slightly at.

There's no doubting the effectiveness of those six cylinders, two turbos and 2,891 cubic centimetres, though. It feels even more urgent than the C63 at low revs, eager and keen to get going while the Mercedes takes the most momentary of pauses. The Audi's automatic gearbox feel a fraction sharper to up and downshift also. The key numbers might be lower, but the RS4's performance is never in doubt.

You know there's a 'but' coming, don't you? Put simply the C63's powertrain remains more of an event: it's the better sounding, the more powerful, the more entertaining. The Audi is frantic and fast, but far less memorable.


The same applies for the rest of the driving experience, sadly. There's no doubting the effectiveness or the ability of the Audi RS4, but there are issues with how much you might enjoy it. Nothing will be faster down a road (apart from maybe an RS6), of course, the RS4's appetite for asphalt remaining ferocious, insatiable and ceaseless. Its 265-section front tyres are 10mm wider than the old C63 rears! You point, it goes. Wherever, whenever. It just feels a little one dimensional at road commitment levels, even in these conditions. That the Mercedes offers such a rich experience, with speed comparable if not equal in these conditions, only compounds the Audi's issues. If it's not demonstrably quicker, then what's the aloofness for?

We tried two RS4s in our test, cars with and without the Dynamic Ride Control suspension. While the latter delivers some additional comfort at low speed, it does so at the expense of control, the car feeling vague and imprecise. The more aggressive modes restore some order with ride quality taking a hit, making it feel a rather awkward compromise. The standard set up, though firmer around town, does at least give a sense of purpose and connection to the RS4's suspension.


Even with a different set up, the RS4 can't win here. To describe it as ordinary would be unfair, but neither does it feel as special or exciting as you want from a car that's £77k as tested. There's pace and grip and ability to spare, but it achieves those by making the driver feel a little surplus to requirements. Of course that will appeal to as many as it puts off, the combination of maximum performance with minimal effort is as successful for Audi Sport as it is well practiced. That arguably wasn't the case with the previous RS4 and its 8,500rpm V8, so from a usability perspective the RS4 is improved. Trouble is the C63 has evolved too, from the slightly wild 6.2-litre car to a more well-rounded, more sensible, yet still hugely likeable package. You get out of it yearning for another go, a feeling that never materialises in the RS4.

For those after the fastest all-conditions estate there is, the RS4 remains the choice, and for all those people it will continue to impress, delivering on all the Audi virtues that have made the brand such a success story in the UK. If you're willing to sacrifice just a bit of that speed, however - and probably not as much as you think - it's the AMG C63 which delivers the more rewarding, more enjoyable and more immersive fast estate experience.

So is it the RS4 or the AMG C63 that takes your fancy? Let us know in the comments below; or for a range of great deals, checkout PH Classifieds and choose from hundreds of used cars on sale .


SPECIFICATIONS - AUDI RS4 AVANT

Engine: 2,894cc, biturbo V6
Transmission: 8-speed automatic, Quattro permanent all-wheel drive
Power (hp): 450@5,700-6,700rpm
Torque (lb ft): 443@1,900-5,000rpm
0-62mph: 4.1sec
Top speed: 155mph (optional 174mph)
Weight: 1,790kg (including 75kg driver
MPG: 32.1 (NEDC combined, 19-inch wheels)
CO2: 199g/km (19-inch wheels)
Price: £59,740 (as tested £77,720 comprising £645 for Misano red paint, £900 for head-up display, £1,250 for driver assistance pack- tour, £1,000 for parking assistance pack advanced, £400 for red brake calipers, £525 for advanced key with boot opening, £2,000 for 20-inch five twin spoke edged design forged alloy wheels in silver, £200 for electrically adjustable front seats with memory function for the driver's side, £850 for RS Matrix LED headlights with LED rear lights and dynamic front and rear indicators, £175 for storage pack, £100 for extended LED interior lighting - multi-coloured, £1,200 for RS sport exhaust system, £2,000 for RS sport suspension plus with dynamic ride control, £1,250 for panoramic sunroof, £300 for heated front and outer rear seats, £125 for folding, auto-dimming and memory function door mirrors, £1,450 for top speed restriction increased to 174mph, £350 for full leather pack, £250 for tyre pressure monitoring display, £50 for smoking pack, £750 for Bang and Olufsen, £325 for Audi phone box with wireless charging, £630 for delivery charge, half a tank of fuel and number plates, £1,200 for road fund license and £55 for first registration fee)

SPECIFICATIONS - MERCEDES-AMG C63 S ESTATE

Engine: 3,892cc, V8 twin-turbocharged
Transmission: 7-speed automatic, rear-wheel drive
Power (hp): 510@5,500-6,250rpm
Torque (lb ft): 516@1,750-4,500rpm
0-62mph: 4.1secs
Top speed: 155mph (electronically limited)
Weight: 1,800kg
MPG: 33.6 (NEDC combined)
CO2: 196g/km
Price: £70,130 (as tested £82,735 comprising £1,695 for Driving assistance package including active blind spot assistance, active land keeping assist, BAS Plus with cross traffic assist, Distronic plus with steering assist and Stop and Go pilot, pre-safe brake with pedestrian detection and presafe plus, £2,595 for premium package including exclusive package, keyless-go comfort package, Burmester surround sound system, LED intelligent light system, panoramic electric glass sunroof, £700 for AMG interior carbon fibre trim package including analogue clock, centre console in carbon fibre optic, door panels in aluminium trim, £765 for AMG driver's package, £335 for 360-degree camera, £1,000 for AMG performance exhaust, £4,285 for AMG high performance ceramic composite braking system, £585 for AMG night package and £645 for brilliant blue metallic paint)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Author
Discussion

JerryF

Original Poster:

58 posts

103 months

Wednesday 24th January
quotequote all
The initial message was deleted from this topic on 24 January 2018 at 21:31

Tim bo

1,198 posts

69 months

Wednesday 24th January
quotequote all
JerryF said:
There is a huge debate about the merits of Diesel in this environmentally aware world. These cars are equally as bad, if not worse in the environmentally sensitive world.

Surely, PH should be asking why? PH is speed matters, but not at the cost f the planet. Audi and MB should be able to do more with less.

I owned the previous generation C63 and I no longer see the point, except for bragging prowess.

Speed limits in the UK are failing everywhere and this type of gas guzzling car makes no sense and should be outlawed. Efficient vehicles must be those that manufacturers should be pushing, not these expensive behemoths.
A C63 to RS4 comparison, and you're mumbling about saving the planet?

Christ.

Mumsnet is thataway. Don't let the door hit you on the way out.


FN2TypeR

5,087 posts

22 months

Wednesday 24th January
quotequote all
JerryF said:
There is a huge debate about the merits of Diesel in this environmentally aware world. These cars are equally as bad, if not worse in the environmentally sensitive world.

Surely, PH should be asking why? PH is speed matters, but not at the cost f the planet. Audi and MB should be able to do more with less.

I owned the previous generation C63 and I no longer see the point, except for bragging prowess.

Speed limits in the UK are failing everywhere and this type of gas guzzling car makes no sense and should be outlawed. Efficient vehicles must be those that manufacturers should be pushing, not these expensive behemoths.
fk off

janesmith1950

1,635 posts

24 months

Wednesday 24th January
quotequote all
I'm amazed at how many things on the Audi are on the options list. I suppose it allows a lower basic price.

greygoose

5,317 posts

124 months

Wednesday 24th January
quotequote all
janesmith1950 said:
I'm amazed at how many things on the Audi are on the options list. I suppose it allows a lower basic price.
Astonishing that a sports exhaust isn't standard on either car too.

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jimdollar

10 posts

17 months

Wednesday 24th January
quotequote all
There is a huge debate about the merits of Diesel in this environmentally aware world. These cars are equally as bad, if not worse in the environmentally sensitive world.

Surely, PH should be asking why? PH is speed matters, but not at the cost f the planet. Audi and MB should be able to do more with less.

I owned the previous generation C63 and I no longer see the point, except for bragging prowess.

Speed limits in the UK are failing everywhere and this type of gas guzzling car makes no sense and should be outlawed. Efficient vehicles must be those that manufacturers should be pushing, not these expensive behemoths.

What a wuss, its Governments listening to people like you that have ruined a lot of the fun in life

SidewaysSi

4,180 posts

163 months

Wednesday 24th January
quotequote all
Another year, same type of cars, same type of comparison. Same outcome.

Why bother?

jimdollar

10 posts

17 months

Wednesday 24th January
quotequote all
There is a huge debate about the merits of Diesel in this environmentally aware world. These cars are equally as bad, if not worse in the environmentally sensitive world.

Surely, PH should be asking why? PH is speed matters, but not at the cost f the planet. Audi and MB should be able to do more with less.

I owned the previous generation C63 and I no longer see the point, except for bragging prowess.

Speed limits in the UK are failing everywhere and this type of gas guzzling car makes no sense and should be outlawed. Efficient vehicles must be those that manufacturers should be pushing, not these expensive behemoths.

Is this a windup Jerry or are you really this wussy?

JerryF

Original Poster:

58 posts

103 months

Wednesday 24th January
quotequote all
FN2TypeR said:
fk off
Haha = classic unreasoned response.

pirategaz

38 posts

103 months

Wednesday 24th January
quotequote all
JerryF said:
Haha = classic unreasoned response.
Maybe but the sentiment is echoed by pretty much every one on this site...

JerryF

Original Poster:

58 posts

103 months

Wednesday 24th January
quotequote all
jimdollar said:
There is a huge debate about the merits of Diesel in this environmentally aware world. These cars are equally as bad, if not worse in the environmentally sensitive world.

Surely, PH should be asking why? PH is speed matters, but not at the cost f the planet. Audi and MB should be able to do more with less.

I owned the previous generation C63 and I no longer see the point, except for bragging prowess.

Speed limits in the UK are failing everywhere and this type of gas guzzling car makes no sense and should be outlawed. Efficient vehicles must be those that manufacturers should be pushing, not these expensive behemoths.

Is this a windup Jerry or are you really this wussy?
Tongue in cheek. Good response eh? Just get fed of Pistonheads doing the same old crap. Yep have two German cars - M50D and 435D with a Nomad on order. Had some daft stuff so think I am a PHer - 6R4's - R35 GTR - Golf R and many more.

Stu08

268 posts

46 months

Wednesday 24th January
quotequote all
JerryF said:
Tongue in cheek. Good response eh? Just get fed of Pistonheads doing the same old crap. Yep have two German cars - M50D and 435D with a Nomad on order. Had some daft stuff so think I am a PHer - 6R4's - R35 GTR - Golf R and many more.
So let others enjoy this - as they may not have had the opportunities you've had to own these sorts of cars yet.

Notanotherturbo

279 posts

136 months

Wednesday 24th January
quotequote all
Meh, another pair of German high performance estates. I'm a life long car fan, why does everything new just leave me cold now. Had plenty of high performance estates over the years including the Audi 20v Turbo RS4 and C43 AMG but I think the sheer level of complication on these cars now means where I might have looked at a 5 year old one as an option I just wouldn't have the guts to take the risk of being bankrupted when they go wrong. So can't afford a new one , no bks to take a risk on an older one - looks like I've answered my own question! :0)

Onehp

395 posts

212 months

Wednesday 24th January
quotequote all
JerryF said:
There is a huge debate about the merits of Diesel in this environmentally aware world. These cars are equally as bad, if not worse in the environmentally sensitive world.

Surely, PH should be asking why? PH is speed matters, but not at the cost f the planet. Audi and MB should be able to do more with less.

I owned the previous generation C63 and I no longer see the point, except for bragging prowess.

Speed limits in the UK are failing everywhere and this type of gas guzzling car makes no sense and should be outlawed. Efficient vehicles must be those that manufacturers should be pushing, not these expensive behemoths.
Well here is another. I'd love one C63 (non-S with mech diff and bit lighter with usually less options for the same power/weight) to replace my fast fwd estate and fun rwd sportscar (can only drive one), but since I actually also am realistic and environmentally aware (automotive *and* environmental engineer), I wouldn't feel like I'm making the right contribution.

Gonna testdrive a new 530d rwd (perhaps add a quaife), good real world performance, some fun to be had in the chassis (I hope) and very low emissions (high mpg and can fuel it with 2nd gen biodiesel making it better than any Tesla, and about the only diesel (with the 520d) that has very low real world nitrous oxide emissions).

And no, there is no comparison, just trying to find a car that adresses all aspects in a complex world with uncomplicated responses (f*ck off, not here).

To those that actually have one of these. Please enjoy them, who knows you're a vegetarian and fly very seldom, which would be two personal choices with far greater impact than the somewhat low mpg on these...

Dave Hedgehog

9,947 posts

133 months

Wednesday 24th January
quotequote all
JerryF said:
FN2TypeR said:
fk off
Haha = classic unreasoned response.
but yet 100% factually accurate, and the correct way to respond to mindless trolling

2 lovely cars, but who ever is setting these prices is on crack

Alex_225

2,598 posts

130 months

Wednesday 24th January
quotequote all
I actually love both of these cars. Even as a Merc fan, I think the Audi is better looking on the outside when put side by side with the Merc but I prefer the interior of the C63.

I suspect both have great presence though and I wouldn't complain if I owned either of them. Something still awesome about a fast estate car. smile

As for the tree huggers in this thread, bit of an odd response. I doubt many of these will be used to do 20k a year or traipsing round town but for a car that does everything, these are great.

cerb4.5lee

9,740 posts

109 months

Wednesday 24th January
quotequote all
I like both a lot and there is something very appealing about a fast estate...especially a petrol one.

Onehp

395 posts

212 months

Wednesday 24th January
quotequote all
Alex_225 said:
As for the tree huggers in this thread, bit of an odd response. I doubt many of these will be used to do 20k a year or traipsing round town but for a car that does everything, these are great.
Odd maybe on PH, sure, although I don't see why the image of a car/driver enthusiasts should be the same as a one-dimentional cliché of a 'non-tree hugger', my bad that I understand that car universe exist only because of the natural world that entirely supports its being. As I see it, sustainability is because I want it to continue... Although self driving cars will probably kill the joy of driving before that. But I disgress.

Oh, C63's are used a lot here in town. One could pass past my window ten times within an hour wink


StairDominator

148 posts

4 months

Wednesday 24th January
quotequote all
JerryF said:
Speed limits in the UK are failing everywhere and this type of gas guzzling car makes no sense and should be outlawed. Efficient vehicles must be those that manufacturers should be pushing, not these expensive behemoths.
You got the wrong forum.

CaptainRAVE

310 posts

41 months

Wednesday 24th January
quotequote all
JerryF said:
There is a huge debate about the merits of Diesel in this environmentally aware world. These cars are equally as bad, if not worse in the environmentally sensitive world.

Surely, PH should be asking why? PH is speed matters, but not at the cost f the planet. Audi and MB should be able to do more with less.

I owned the previous generation C63 and I no longer see the point, except for bragging prowess.

Speed limits in the UK are failing everywhere and this type of gas guzzling car makes no sense and should be outlawed. Efficient vehicles must be those that manufacturers should be pushing, not these expensive behemoths.
Go hug a tree. While you are at it, also think about all those people with these cars who take out the secondary cats to make them even louder.

C63 for me everytime. Fantastic car.