When it comes to manufacturing automobiles, nothing quite implies perfection like "German engineering"—the phrase alone paints a picture of an efficient, meticulous, and regimented operation. A reputation most certainly earned by German cars, which are today synonymous with comfort, luxury, and driver satisfaction. But, how do Bavarian automobiles compare on the speedway?
Germany's "big 3" luxury brands are Mercedes-Benz, BWM, and Audi. You can trust these German giants to deliver a handsome body with compelling features and premium comforts, but what's under the hood?
Read on to discover who's earned a reputation as the slickest speedster between Munich and Berlin.
Mercedes-Benz has always bent the rules when it comes to high-performance. And their past is full of lightning-fast cars. In 2014, Mercedes released its most powerful car ever, the 2014 Mercedes-AMG® SLS Black Series. With a light-weight frame, carbon fiber elements, and a titanium exhaust system, the SLS Black Series can accelerate from 0-60 mph in just 3.2 seconds.
However, its top speed of 196 mph, failed to surpass that of the 2009 Mercedes SLR Maclaren Stirling Moss. Taking inspiration from the iconic 300 SLR, this special edition roadster was produced through a partnership between Mercedes and McLaren. The Stirling Moss is fitted with a 5.5-litre supercharged V8 engine and boasts 650 horsepower channeled to the rear wheels. When exploiting this immense power, you can reach a top speed of 217 mph and spring from 0-60mph in 3.4 seconds. You'll have a tough time getting your hands on one of these speedsters though—just 25 were made!
•Mercedes top speed: 217 mph
•Mercedes 0-60 times: 3.2 seconds
BMW has been breaking records in the automotive industry for over 100 years. Today, BMW is a champion of design and innovation, known for both speed and aesthetics. The fastest BMW past and present goes to the Hurricane RR. Enhanced by German tuning company, G-Power, the Hurricane RR leaves its competition in the dust with a top speed of 235 mph–roughly the same as a McLaren F1.
This premium buiser completed this record-breaking time on a famous stretch of the German autobahn in 2010. Hidden under its expansive bonnet is a twin-supercharged V10 boosted engine that generates 800 horsepower—enough to demolish 60 mph in 4.35 seconds. But the Hurricane RR's title could be short-lived once the BMW M8 is released later this year.
•BMW 0-60 mph: 4.35 seconds
•BMW top speed: 235 mph
The Audi R8 V10 Decennium is unquestionably the fastest and most exclusive Audi ever made. Only 222 of the strictly limited edition were made available worldwide to pay tribute to the V10 engine and celebrate a decade of automotive excellence.
With 620 horsepower and maximum torque of 427 lb-ft, the Decennium catapults from 0 to 60 in 3.1 seconds—equaling BMW's M5 Competition. Its V10 engine doesn't slow down either, eventually launching the Decennium to a top speed of 205 mph. This strictly limited model is truly a head above the rest when it comes to an even balance of speed and power.
•Audi 0-60 times: 3.1 seconds
•Audi top speed: 205 mph
The Mercedes-Benz production range covers every corner of the automobile industry—from urban microcars and convertibles to premium sedans and luxury SUVs. But those looking for the fastest Mercedes-Benz should head directly to the AMG® models—these vehicles are manufactured by the Mercedes-Benz high-performance division for exhilarating speed and power.
The fastest model among these high-caliber vehicles is the Mercedes-AMG C 63 S. Its breathtaking 4-liter V8 bi-turbo engine is matched with the AMG® SPEEDSHIFT® MCT 9G transmission for a dynamic, responsive and rapid driving experience. The perfectly crafted machine can reach top speeds of 155 mph and power from 0 to 60 mph in a mere 3.8 seconds.
•Production Mercedes 0-60 time: 3.8 seconds
•Production Mercedes Top Speed: 155 mph
BMW has a long history of making fast cars, and despite what some say, that hasn’t changed. From coupes to sporty SUVs, BMW continues to produce race-track inspired vehicles that deliver fancy thrills. The BMW M5 Competition can hit 0-60 mph in an astonishing 3.1 seconds. It’s a serious sedan with unflinching power, packing 617 horsepower under the hood, thanks to a high-performance M TwinPower Turbo 8-cylinder engine.
With a 3-speed Steptronic transmission and 4x4 on demand, the M5 Competition model is powerful and playfully dynamic. It’s digitally limited to 156 mph, although once the electrical shackles are removed, it can sprint to 190 mph without so much as a hiccup.
•Production BMW 0-60 mph: 3.1 seconds
•Production BMW top speed: 156 mph
Audi's are renowned for luxury, safety, and performance, but these road-worthy cars are no slouch in the speed department either. Audi's fastest production car is the Audi R8 V10 Plus, and it's a formidable machine! With 610 horsepower under the hood and an S-Tronic 7-speed dual-clutch transmission, the R8 V10 Plus makes quick work of the 0-60 mph in a phenomenal 3.2 seconds. Once it's on the move, this swanky looking vehicle can reach blistering speeds of 205 mph without so much of a screech from the tires.
The R8 V10 Plus is a revved-up version of the second-generation R8. It's 15% lighter thanks to the addition of a carbon fiber firewall, splitter, and rear wing, and offers enhanced agility and responsiveness when pushed to its limits. You won't be disappointed with Audi's striking interiors either. There's an obvious element of sportiness evident at first glance.
•Production Audi 0-60 times: 3.2 seconds
•Production Audi top speed: 205 mph
Let’s recap on the fastest luxury production cars coming out of Germany:
•Most powerful production car: BMW’s M5 Competition Model (0-60 mph — 3.1 seconds)
•Fastest production car: Audi R8 V10 Plus (top speed — 205 mph)
And if you’re interested in spruced-up limited editions with barreling speed:
•Fastest German car ever: Audi Decennium (0-60 mph — 3.1 seconds)
•Greatest acceleration: BMW Hurricane RR (top speed — 235 mph)
Now you can have the best of both worlds with uncompromised comfort at motorsport speeds.