By Dumi Xaba

In the late 1800, to the early 1900, three German automotive companies were formed.

For several decades there has always been a rivalry among the three to prove which company is the crème de la crème.

In 1993, Mercedes officially adopted a private company known as Aufrecht, Melcher and Grossaspach “AMG” and produced C36 which was highly successful.

Audi joined forces with Porsche and produced their first monster in 1994 in the form of the Audi RS2 Avant. The Bavaria Motor Works were already leading this field which launched their first hyper saloon in 1978 with their first launch of an M1.

They have been leading this segment for decades without any competition.

I will however concentrate on three major flagship saloons, Audi RS6, BMW M5 competition and Mercedes E63S. All three cars have recently been face-lifted, as such all of them are relatively new products.

I have recently been privileged to test drive all three but on short distances which won’t really give me a fair feel of the products.


The Audi RS6 is powered by a 4L V8 and 48V mild hybrid jointly producing 441kw and 800Nm. The engine has a rev limiter and it’s a bit muted compared to its other 2 mates.

This is a no-nonsense hyper saloon with exceptional Quattro systems. The test model was fitted with ceramic brakes at a cost of R200,000.

This is a beautiful car with neat flowing lines. It appears to have an extremely angry face but quite modest on the petrol at around 12-litres per 100kms. It comes with all bells and whistles as standard. The interior is of such high quality that there was no reason to complain.

The cockpit is digital and the vehicle is well-insulated to give you that mature quiet and peace so as to listen to the android Bang & Olufsen sound system. It is glued to the road by 21-inch tyres and the Alcantara steering wheel which grips more than a leather and gear knob keeps it on straight and narrow. 0 to 100km is reached at 3.6s. Due to the hybrid system the car weighs over 2 tones. It has well composed Porsche-like ride.


At around R2,4 million, the Mercedes Benz E63S doesn’t come cheap. This Taranga lion is also bearing a 4-litre twin turbo mated to a split second 9 speed gearbox.

This is one of the most beautiful beasts to come out of the Mercedes stable. Unlike Audi, it doesn’t purr like a tame kitty. It roars like an alpha male lion. It has that alpha-male attitude and nothing less. The handling has also been so well-refined. Even a novice can handle this angry beast on drift mode. Press that start button and it immediately informs you, ‘I am not here to play; I am here to rule the highways.’

The interior has been refined for everyday comfort. You are welcomed by a great cockpit with Android and Apple car play capabilities.

The racing seats says it all. The AMG 5 bespoke 20T wheels keep this monster glued to the road. The front and rear have been face-lifted. Broad lights really suite the beast more. This two-ton monster can gallop from 0 to 100km in just 3.4s.


At R3 million you can’t help the feeling of being a proud owner. The BMW M5.

If you have been driving on our roads for the past four decades, you pretty much know the reputation of BMW drivers. They can’t help it but just unleash their beasts on the road.

They don’t drive this car – the car drives them!

This company has been on it for years and the competitors are just trying to keep up.

Having said that, you get a feeling of what to expect from their product.

This car has been totally disguised to look like a harmless daily ride. Besides some minor details you wouldn’t know that you are dealing with a white-collar criminal.

BMW did not try too hard to convince anyone that this is a cheetah on steroids.

Besides the rear diffuser and Motorsport four pipes, you wouldn’t know that this is a devil in a Prada.

Both the interior and exterior has been kept subtle. With minor face lift from the previous generation. The G series is as capable as the outgoing model.

You are also treated to all infotainment tools, including the fact that you can check on it while sitting in the comfort of your office via 360-degree camera. You also have bragging rights of letting you come to you via remote parking system.

Let me make it clear that this machine is the benchmark of hooliganism. Obviously, the handling is sport car-like and the acceleration too.

Their V8 is a bit bigger than the competitors.

Pricing and Power.

In a real-life test it handles better and leaves the rest choking in dust.

The consumption is on par with Mercedes. It’s also great to drive on a day-to-day basis.

At R2.4m, it’s not a cheap car. That exhaust notes give you your money’s worth and sheer driving pleasure.

This will also suit you both, whether you are dressed in an expensive suit or a cheap T-shirt and jeans. This one is a winner for me!

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