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BMW M3, Merc C63 S and Alfa Giulia against the clock

Want the full stat breakdown of our super-saloon shootout? You got it

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This one was a bit of a grudge match, which on paper should maybe have gone the Alfa’s way. The Giulia Quadrifoglio has the same 503bhp power output as the Mercedes-AMG C63 S, but weighs 200kg less. The BMW M3 is lighter still at 1,520kg, but even with the Competition Pack fitted ‘only’ has 444bhp.

Two things helped the Merc win: it’s giant torque and the fact it got the best start. I know, the latter is pure chance, but that’s what a drag race is all about. Anyway, before we come on to that: torque. The Mercedes actually produces more torque per kilo of bodyweight than either of the others – 298lb ft per tonne, when the Giulia develops 290lb ft/tonne and the BMW 267lb ft/tonne.

But the main reason it won is basically chance. As you’ll have heard in the film, all three are rear-wheel drive, and only one – the BMW – has launch control. And it’s hopeless. It’s basically a burnout mode, sending the revs up to 4,000 and dumping the clutch. As a result, getting them off the line contains more than an element of luck.

Jack got the best start in the C63, ergo he won. Because look at the time gaps between the Merc and Alfa once they’re up and running. 50-120mph in the C63 took precisely 7.00secs, the Alfa 7.12secs. In fact, from a standing start all the way to 150mph, there’s only 0.2secs between them. That’s nothing. So once one got it’s nose in front it was going to stay there. On this occasion the Merc pulled out a car length and that’s where it stayed for the whole 402 metres.

And what of the BMW? It’s not a car that launches well even when you do it yourself, so Rowan’s ability to keep it relatively in touch with the others is worth noting. Even once up and running it did continue to lose a bit of time overall and was half a second slower than the others from 50-120mph.

There’s one other thing I want to talk about. Individually we have timed all these cars faster. Given perfect conditions and several attempts to get the launch just right, the Giulia has hit 60mph in 3.93secs and 100mph in 8.49secs, a C63 S has managed 4.04 and 8.56 respectively (and I’m sure I remember an early M4 hitting a ton in 9.1secs). So on paper we’ve had faster times out of the Giulia Quadrifoglio than we’ve ever had from a C63. But that’s not the point. A drag race is something different, not just a set of times, but an event, a one-hit, what-ya-got. And on this occasion, into a fairly vicious headwind, it was the Merc that got it.

             Merc-AMG C63 S   Alfa Giulia    BMW M3

0-10:     0.65                        0.78              0.94
0-20:     1.31                        1.44              1.68
0-30:     2.02                        2.17              2.41
0-40:     2.84                        2.85              3.08
0-50:     3.59                        3.63              3.81
0-60:     4.34                        4.42              4.65
0-70:     5.20                        5.33              5.66
0-80:     6.24                        6.35              6.83
0-90:     7.45                        7.62              8.15
0-100:   9.02                        9.12              9.64
0-120:   10.59                      10.75            11.39
0-130:   12.42                      12.60            13.36
0-140:   14.64                      14.74            15.71
0-150:   17.43                      17.63            18.61

30-70:   3.18                        3.16              3.25

¼ mile:   12.13                      12.31            12.59
@:          120.4mph                120.3mph     116.8mph

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