Mercedes-Benz versus BMW. It’s one of the age-old corporate head-to-heads that has been barging about since God was a teenager, a happy little war that has been fought on racetracks and roads, development centres and code farms. And it still goes on: these days it’s the M Division of BMW slugging it out with Mercedes’ own AMG for fast-premium dominance. But the one face-off that really got the fires burning happened way back in the late Eighties – when BMW launched the first E30 M3 to take on the Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.3-16. But given the benefit of hindsight and time… which really was best?
Words: Tom Ford // Photography: Mark Riccioni