190E vs E30 M3

So, I did a comparison of two cars, in specific, two DTM legends. The BMW E30 M3 and the Mercedes 190E. This idea came from Roadduck414’s Forza PI pairings. So I decided to something like it. Just to be clear, the cars are upgraded substantially, so it is not a very useful test, just a bit of fun.

BMW E30 M3
Firstly, the BMW, a vastly respected car that sets the standard for sports cars. It has killer looks, it is lightweight and fairly zippy. Altogether an “Ultimate Driving Machine”.

Mercedes 190E 2.5-16
Yeah, what a name… Anyway, this car is pretty cool (totally not because I’ve got a 300TE from the same era). I don’t think it looks as good as the BMW, but, man, that wing. It has a lower rating also, is heavier and less powerful. Doesn’t seem much of a competition then, am I right? You’ll see.

Test 1- Top Gear test track
OK, the first test is at Top Gear. This is one of my favourite tracks- it has tight turns, sweeping corners, straights- and I am testing some of my favourite cars. This is a test of how easy it is to drive fast, with no braking line, rewind or stability control, and in manual mode. I take the BMW out first, and it is a fun, fast car. Brakes are good, tires are good and I have a lot of downforce from my rear wing and splitter. It oversteers predictably, and is altogether easy to drive. Now onto the Mercedes, off the line, it is a bit slower (hence the power deficiency). Although it is slower on the straights, in the corners that humungous rear wing really does its job. This is even more predictable and planted than the BMW. So, what are the lap times? I hear you ask. Well, the BMW had a respectable time of…. 1:19.158 and the Mercedes …drumroll… 1:18.339. This isn’t a huge gap, but still worth taking in mind.

Test 2- Twin Ring Motegi
We come to a longer track with more hairpins, but also more straights.For this test, I have turned the braking line on, for a test of proper track prowess. This time I’ll be in the Mercedes first. On the straights it is good, if a little slow. I the corners, it is a challenge to not oversteer, but still go fast. It is a lot of fun through the sweeping corners, but can’t go fast enough to really take advantage of the extra downforce over the BMW. In the end, I get a time of 2:13.519. Onto the BMW. Instantly, it is much quicker and I beat the time of the Mercedes in the first lap. Its extra power really does play a part, and I manage to get a time of 2:10.142.

So, the BMW is quicker. That doesn’t necessarily mean I prefer it, though. The Merc’s rear wing really steals the show and I think it is altogether a more rounded car than the BMW.