Friday, May 9, 2014

Forza Motorsport 5: The one with the M157 engine

e63

This is the M157 5.5L V8 BiTurbo engine. It's the mainstream in most Mercedes-AMG models bearing the 63 moniker. With the combination of direct injection and turbocharging, it delivers more exceptional power than the M156 6.2L naturally-aspirated V8 engine it replaces and it's 25% more fuel efficient as well. In 2011, most AMG models wearing the M156 engine had them replaced with this and three years from now, no racing video game is brave enough to feature any AMG model with such engine...until now...

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Yes, this is the facelifted Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG. It's now on Forza Motorsport 5 via the Alpinestars Car Pack, available now, and for the first time in racing game history, a Mercedes-AMG model with the M157 5.5L V8 BiTurbo engine made its appearance but just how good is it?

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I am one of the many people who played the Forza franchise since the first one and I am very desperate to have a Mercedes-AMG model using the turbocharged V8 engine. Three years ago in FM4, I've enjoyed the pre-facelifted E63 AMG because it feels and sounds like an American muscle car...except this isn't a muscle car, it's a German premium sedan with washboard abs. Of course the C63 AMG Black Series and the SLS AMG has this engine but because of the abundance of the 5.5L V8 BiTurbo engine in any other AMG models, it seems that a game like this never seen it that way. They're much more stay outdated rather than update with the times.

With the addition of the facelifted E63 AMG, the dream of having a video game featuring a Mercedes-AMG model with the M157 V8 engine has became a reality and I'm glad I'm not the only one whose been trying out the new version for the first time.

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However, this particular E63 AMG is not the AMG we've expect, it's the S-Model, and you know what that is, right? The S-Model adds more power on the M157 engine and this time, it's four-wheel drive. What a twist!

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When you get your foot down, you really know that the torque in this saloon is just too unpredictable but by getting off from the start, it doesn't get that catastrophic wheelspin that most high-powered rear-wheel drive cars most do. As for the exhaust note...well, not every exhaust note is textbook but as far as I can say...it is as close as the real thing as I can get...or is it?

With the added power, it seems that the E63 AMG's four-wheel drive is not so bad but the main problem to this car is its catastrophic understeer. I know, right? Because of its electric power steering that most modern cars do get combined with the 4WD drivetrain, it feels like you're struggling to follow through the right lines and it feels like...um...getting a small hard ball dropped to your sensitive foot and you can feel the pain from within.

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But despite the woes with the power steering and with the understeering issue, the four-wheel drive system is no mumbo-jumbo here and it really catches up against its rivals from a good corner and finding a way to its problem requires an unflinching commitment and this car's no exception because to see how good this car is, I've invited some neighbors from Germany...

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This is the Audi RS7 Sportback. Like the E63 AMG S-Model, it has four-wheel drive and it has a turbocharged V8 engine except it's smaller.

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And this is the latest BMW M5. Often criticized by its fakey exhaust note fired at the stereo on the inside, its hydraulic steering, rear-wheel drive, 4.4L V8 turbo, and its all-rounder personality makes it a clever contender.

I sent those three German saloons at the Top Gear Test Track and whichever's the fastest to lap is the winner. Here goes...


e63 (9) rs7 (3) m5 (3)

Like the E63 S-Model, the RS7 is all about the grip and a bad case of bad-understeer-itis when it faces a tight corner. It's like getting suffocated by two fat ladies squeezing you like a sandwich in a subway. The M5 has no risk at all because of its hydraulic steering and its rear-wheel drive layout, although it may have a risk getting spun out from a corner in a dynamic fashion. Since all of them are rigged with a double clutch gearbox, the shifting feel is gapless and it can't be matched with any other gearbox in the world but it can be a bit too messy if you're more on the fun factor. Let's not forget that the E63 has more power than the RS7 and the M5 but will it be enough to take down the opposition from its compatriots?



After a lap round the Top Gear track, here are the results;

RS7 - 1:24.032
M5 - 1:24.353
E63 - 1:23.382

So, there you have it, the new and improved E63 AMG is the victor of this comparison, proving that this German 4-door saloon is still doing the rounds on the track with the added power and its unquestionable grip but only just.

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Well I'm glad I'm driving the one with the M157 engine that no other game featured it just yet...

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