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Looking at the Nuerburgring times, they seem very similar, except for the speed at Metzgesfeld, 49 Km/h difference!!!!!! must be something to improve.
 

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what i think is important for the average highway racer is the elastisity... it tells you the whole story- in all other tests the m5 appears to be about equal to the sl55, however the gear accelleration tells the whole story- the sl55 in motion is significantly slower than the m5...

alex
few cars
 

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Again it is in the straight lines where the Benz wins, when it comes to corner speed, the M5 comes out top! :cheers:

The score sofar is:
997S has lost, see latest CAR magazine
CLS55 has lost, see latest CAR magazine
SL55 about the same performance
 

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Too bad the testing conditions were not the same. Different track and air temps. Even a year and a half difference. Anyone seen a same day, same driver test yet? Ideally with a driver that has an equal amount of time in both cars.
 

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AJ said:
what i think is important for the average highway racer is the elastisity... it tells you the whole story- in all other tests the m5 appears to be about equal to the sl55, however the gear accelleration tells the whole story- the sl55 in motion is significantly slower than the m5...

alex
few cars
Not to sound dumb, but what is elasticity? Is that top gear acceleration?
 

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This comparison will be pointless since the SL55 is being replaced by the SL65. The Sl65 speed difference will be even greater.
 

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dmz said:
This comparison will be pointless since the SL55 is being replaced by the SL65. The Sl65 speed difference will be even greater.
The SL55 is not replaced by the SL65 mainly due to the fact that the SL65 is about 45% more expensive!! The plans are for the SL55 to be replaced by a naturally aspirated 6.3L engine which will also be used in the E55 replacement.
 

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AJ said:
what i think is important for the average highway racer is the elastisity... it tells you the whole story- in all other tests the m5 appears to be about equal to the sl55, however the gear accelleration tells the whole story- the sl55 in motion is significantly slower than the m5...

alex
few cars
I concur, this "on-the-road" acceleration, handling, and braking is what the BMW driving experience is all about. Few drivers engage in a "stoplight drag", and more often need passing/merging capability. :wroom:
 

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I think the Nordschleife time for the M5 was a disappointment. The difference in acceleration between M5 and the SL55 is minimal (same 0-200km/h time). We all put down Mercedes by saying how they just stick a big engine in a normal car yet this approach seems to give better results than BMW's 2 years of R&D. SL55 weighs almost 2 tons and is a convertible (less chassis rigidity) but somehow still manages to clock a better time than the M5. Something can't be right here.

In my opinion the M5 has (at least according to this test) failed to set the bar to a higher level than its competitors. On top of that, an SL55 can be modded to get even more HP, while the M5 with its 8250 rev limit leaves little room to play around.

It seems like BMW is struggling just to keep pace with the other cars with the M5 instead of setting new benchmarks for its competitors to follow like the E39 M5 did.
 

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Tom_K said:
In my opinion the M5 has (at least according to this test) failed to set the bar to a higher level than its competitors. On top of that, an SL55 can be modded to get even more HP, while the M5 with its 8250 rev limit leaves little room to play around.
I don't think SL55 and M5 are really in direct competition. Other one is coupe, other sedan. M5 vs E55 vs CLS55 and M6 vs SL55 maybe... and there's quite a massive price difference too.
 

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the layout of the sl55 (short and stubby rear with overall low center of gravity) along with heavy engine behind the front wheels actually allows for good weight distribution. the car is heavy, but balance is not bad and absolute adhesion is prolly good. i guess it is important to note that "lack of steering feel" and "numbness" which are common for the mercs are not necessary a prelude to slow lap times- just less driving satisfaction... imo.

the m5 on the other hand is a sedan, with a large trunk and rear space for two adults. as such the weight distribution is not necessary optimal and the balance might not be conductive to quick laps.. but who knows. no one here has driven the m5 and the sl55 to be able to comment on that.

also, people think that hp wins races, but actually this is true only with perfect driving. in most cases, a high hp race engine is also peaky which requires the pilot to be always in the correct gear, otherwise performance is greatly reduced. while if you have lots of tq- the engine is forgiving and you can actually lap faster - even if your driving is not perfect. methinks that the sl55 just cruised through the ring, while the m5 lap was an act of perfect shifting, running to redline at every possibility, following the best line, etc... in other words- perfection is hard to achieve. so yes- i am positive that the m5 ring times are "weak" due to drivers' error. no way two cars so close in performance can show at particular point on the ring with 40km speed difference... but that again- who knows.

regarding the bmw vs. merc hp war- i dont think there is a war actually. more like bmw is picking their battles. the mercs as long as they used forced induction and very large engines, will make more hp. bmw on the other hand is trying to produce the whole package- power, handling along with driving satisfaction. different philosophies methinks for different clientelle...

now, remember that those cars are company philosophy-revealing. they show what each company thinks the ultimate sedan, coupe, etc. should be. they are hardly money makers... think of them as showcase... so if bmw takes second place in straight line accelleration, yet leads in every other peformance category for them- this is an overall victory. again- matter of priorities.

now, nobody knows what will happen with the next generation of amg and m cars.. merc is going n/a with large engines. bmw so far is trying to perfect the overall experience. now, if you think- the majority of people will not buy a regular 1,3,5 series (the money makers) because they are kamikadze fast, but rather because they are fun to drive and they fit like a glove. so, maybe bmw has the correct marketing strategy while merc also has in their minds the correct one trying to flood all segments with offers hoping to preveil via sheer numbers? we will see. :cool:

alex
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Brilliant post AJ and, as usual, on the mark. It's great to read viewpoints of a person who's very passionate about cars but also very unwilling to let that passion sway them to illogical conclusions, e.g., "every BMW is better than every M-B, period." I love it.

Anyway, BMW has always had that great "balanced performance" philosophy. The unfortunate thing is that profitability is taking the front seat. So, instead of the lovely neutral balance of, say, the E36 M3, BMW has softened and luxe'd their cars to appease a wider audience, like the E46 M3. This is by no means a swipe at BMW -- Porsche has done the same with the 911 turbo.

This wider audience sometimes includes those whose mix of driving skills and self-restraint (in the worst case, a severe lack of both) aren't up to the kind of car in which they want to be "seen." It also includes those whose desire for lots of comfort doesn't play well with their desire for all-out balanced performance (see E34 M5 vs. E39 M5 for a good example of this). Or perhaps those who can't be bothered with working a good old-fashioned clutch pedal (E39 M5 vs. E60 M5), despite the immense addition to driving pleasure it can provide.

The best we can hope for is more of the dedicated, CSL-style cars from BMW. Porsche has succeeded in bringing back absolute performance at the cost of comfort and save-your-butt safety features with the GT3 and GT2 (well, and CGT, but that's outta my league at the moment). Ferrari has done the same with the Challenge Stradale. A 500hp, 2800lb M3 would fill the bill for many of us (I'd pay $100k in a flash for such a car, and I know BMW could produce it if they wanted to).

But the mainline M cars will likely get more accessible/desirable to every person with a thick enough wallet -- in the name of profitability.
 

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There is a market for a hard core Bmw, like CSL but most of the sales(and profits)will come from high performance luxury cars with all their comforts because most of them are used as daily drivers.
I could use a CSL for track or weekend play but to drive daily I prefer a little bit more comfort,even when performance suffers a bit.
And then ,there are a lot of cars specifically made for track or weekend play(GT3 ,Stradale etc)so in my mind a CSL would not be the most attractive proposition.
 

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MEnthusiast said:
I agree and it seems a bit silly in a sedan.

Don't write off the possibility for a stick shift just yet.
That's the only disappointment with the new M5 I have as of now.
 

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Both cars produce about 370kW, and that's where the similarity ends.

You can't expect the uber-sedan M5 to out run every single vehicle in the same power league, ignoring the chassis and technology. BMW doesn't have a super roadster vehicle class to compete with the SL. I wouldn't even compare the SL with the M6.
 
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