The Germans build some of the best cars on the planet. Many German automakers have even bought other nations’ brands and have been designing and engineering better and more brilliant versions of those cars for decades. Brands such as Lamborghini, Bentley, and Mini.
German sports cars have always been slightly better engineered, a bit more technical, and had better build quality than their non-German competition. As such, many German sports cars are simply better than their American equivalents – companies like Ford, Chevrolet, Dodge, etc. – sometimes even beating them in terms of performance. Where the American car may have a V8 and does a burnout when leaving every set of lights, the German car has a smaller, turbocharged engine which – in many cases – is better to drive and faster around a track, yet remains comfortable and subtle during normal driving.
So, while there are some great American muscle cars out there, the German sports cars can do everything slightly better – although there are some German sports cars that simply aren’t good enough. Here are five German sports cars we’d buy over any muscle car and five we wouldn’t.
10 Would Buy Over A Muscle Car – Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Black Series
The Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG was one of the most surprising cars to be launched in the last 20 years, thanks to the 6.2-liter V8 under the hood. The normal C63 AMG produced 480 hp, however, AMG upped their game with the Black Series.
The Black Series debuted with a wide-body kit, fatter tires, and 507 hp. It also had the option of front canards and a big spoiler on the trunk. The C63 Black Series was one of the best AMG vehicles ever produced – a proper take on a European muscle car.
9 Wouldn’t Buy Over A Muscle Car – Audi TTS
The Audi TTS was never really at the top of anyone’s lists. While the first-generation TT had some pretty cool options in the form of the VR6 engine and was one of the first cars to be fitted with a DSG transmission, the second and third generations of TTS was pretty boring.
Whereas the TT-RS was fitted with Audi’s glorious 2.5-liter inline-5 turbo, the TTS got the 2.0-liter inline-4 turbo from the Golf GTI. Not a bad engine, but the TTS was less practical than the Golf – not to mention more expensive. We’d have a muscle car over a TTS.
8 Would Buy Over A Muscle Car – BMW M3 E92
The BMW M3 E92 is one of the greatest BMWs ever made. While it looks pretty good, the E92’s party trick is the soulful V8 under the hood. Only a 4.0-liter unit, but it can rev past 8,500 rpm. The engine produced 415 hp and nearly 300 lb-ft of torque, sending all the power to the rear wheels only via either a 6-speed manual or a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic.
The E92, while brilliant, wasn’t without its faults. The engine was basically the larger 5.0-liter V10 from the E60 M5, but with two cylinders chopped off. This resulted in the V8 having many of the same issues as the V10 – issues that could lead to complete engine failure and a hefty repair bill. Regardless, we’d still have the M3 over a muscle car – mostly because it is one of the best all-around cars in the world.
7 Wouldn’t Buy Over A Muscle Car – Wiesmann MF3
The Wiesmann MF3 is the small German automaker’s attempt at building a Morgan Plus 6. The Wiesmann featured on Top Gear once, where Jeremy Clarkson praised its suspension setup. The MF3 is powered by the same 3.2-liter as the E46 M3 had, with some subtle upgrades.
The MF3 produced 350 hp and 270 lb-ft of torque, with power going to the rear wheels via either a 5- or 6-speed manual, or a 6-speed SMG-II automatic. Thanks to the MF3’s 2,600 lb weight, it accelerated from a standstill to 60 mph in just 5 seconds. Even though the MF3 was an awesome car, it was more of a specialized sports car reserved for special occasions, rather than one to drive every day.
6 Would Buy Over A Muscle Car – Porsche 718 Cayman GTS
The Porsche 718 models have been good, but not great. The standard 2.0-liter and 2.5-liter turbocharged flat-4 engines are fine but do not evoke any strong emotions from the driver. While they are still sold, Porsche decided to address this issue with their GTS models.
The 718 GTS models both feature the glorious 4.0-liter naturally aspirated flat-6, mated to a 6-speed manual as standard – with the PDK dual-clutch automatic being a no-cost option. The engine singing to the redline is a fantastic sound and the manual shifting creates an involved driving experience. It is just brilliant.
5 Wouldn’t Buy Over A Muscle Car – Audi RS5 8W6
The current Audi RS5 is a superb car – no doubt about it. The unfortunate thing about it is that the previous generation RS5 exists. The current RS5 is powered by a 2.9-liter twin-turbocharged V6, feeding power to all four wheels via an 8-speed automatic transmission.
The RS5 looks fantastic with its exterior upgrades over the normal A5 and S5, and the interior is among the best in the motor industry. The issue is that Audi took away the noise. Granted, regulations necessitate the use of particulate filters and other emissions-reducing technologies, but Audi then went ahead and put a non-avoidable soft-limiter on the car – spoiling the fun.
4 Would Buy Over A Muscle Car – BMW M2
The BMW M2 is one of the best M-cars of the last 20 years. It is also one of the smallest M-cars ever made, being based on the second-generation 2-Series Coupe. The M2 got a handsome wide-body kit, wider tires, better brakes, and an uprated turbocharged straight-six – producing even more power than the M235i.
The M2 has been praised for its dynamics and level of driver involvement, almost tying with the now legendary 1-Series M Coupe. The M2 also received a Competition variant, which had the M-parts straight out of the M4 – including the twin-turbocharged engine. The M2 is brilliant and better than a muscle car.
3 Wouldn’t Buy Over A Muscle Car – BMW i8
The BMW i8 is one of those cars which looks like it came straight from the future. Released to the public in 2014, the i8 is BMW’s second mid-engine car, after the M1 supercar from the 1970s. The i8 is a hybrid, utilizing a 1.5-liter turbocharged inline-3 and two electric motors to produce a combined 370 hp.
Thanks to the layout and power distribution, the i8 can be either all-wheel, rear-wheel, or front-wheel drive, depending on the drive mode and battery charge level. The i8 was discontinued in 2020 after only 20,000 units were produced over 6 years. The i8 was ahead of its time in looks, but not entirely adequate in terms of technology.
2 Would Buy Over A Muscle Car – Audi RS5 8T
The first-generation Audi RS5 was the best. It had issues, both mechanically and ergonomically, but none of it mattered when stomping on the throttle. The 4.2-liter naturally aspirated V8 screamed to its redline, before changing up a gear and the whole sonata started again.
Yes, the car had problems with understeer – a huge problem actually – but it didn’t matter with that engine. The gearbox is responsive enough to not interfere with the brutishness of the experience and when it is all over, the RS5 is a relatively sedate GT car. When searching for an RS5 online, look for one which was fitted with the optional Titanium sports exhaust.
1 Wouldn’t Buy Over A Muscle Car – Mercedes-Benz AMG GTS
The Mercedes-Benz AMG GTS was designed and built not only to replace the artwork that is the SLS AMG but also to bring the Porsche 911 down a few pegs. Unfortunately, many still prefer the SLS AMG and the 911’s sales figures haven’t been influenced all that much.
The AMG GT is a good car, of that there is no doubt, but it’s a single sports car in an ocean of other similarly priced, similarly quick sports cars. AMG did spice up the range with the AMG GTR and GTC – which sold well – but in the end, they had to create a Black Series model to make a lasting impact. So, for the price of one AMG GT Black Series, one could buy three of the best muscle cars out there – and have enough money left to fuel them for about a week.