Man has always been fascinated with speed. Even in this modern day and age of prohibitive fuel prices, every car enthusiast dreams about powerful, high-performance machines that handle like a charm. Exotic coupes and supercars are obviously very popular, as evidenced by the success of the Audi R8 or the hype around the all-new and almighty Nissan GT-R.
Fortunately, there are more reasonable alternatives that combine power with a certain versatility. That's the case of the three sports sedans the team at Auto123.com recently put to the test, both on the road and on the track: the Lexus IS F, the BMW M3 and the Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG.
This juiced-up trio totals over 1,200 horsepower while delivering floods of adrenalin. Each of them has a few things in common with the others, starting with a fearsome V8 engine and a rear-wheel drive configuration. In addition, all three represent the ultimate expression of a regular, more civilized passenger car (the IS, 3-Series and C-Class, respectively).
Our evaluation not only included hundreds of kilometers of road testing but also an extensive lapping session at the Sanair Motorsport Complex (www.sanairracing.net) in Sainte-Pie, Quebec, where we assessed accelerations, braking performance and other driving dynamics.
While typical owners of these sedans might not drive as aggressively as we did, our goal was to test the limits of each car and to find out their actual capacities in all conditions.
Bertrand Godin, Amyot Bachand, Michel Deslauriers and myself were the designated test drivers. In addition to performance, we also evaluated such aspects as exterior design and construction, interior room and layout, fit and finish as well as cargo capacity. Thus, we came up with a global assessment of the three cars, not only in terms of sporty dynamics but also real-world practicality.
Without further adieu, here's how the competition went down:
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