BMW and Mercedes have no qualms being direct competitors, as the two duke it out for the same customer base. That includes the BMW M5 and the Mercedes-AMG E63 – two luxury saloons that offer a lot of performance. A new video from the Track Day YouTube has a pair of 2018 models visiting an airstrip, which means we have a series of drag races between the two to watch to determine which is the superior performance saloon.

Yes, they’re a few years old now, but the power under their bonnets is still impressive. The BMW M5, a non-Competition model, has a twin-turbo 4.4-litre V8 that produces 600 bhp (447 kilowatts) and 553 pound-feet (749 Newton-metres) of torque. Power routes through a ZF eight-speed gearbox to all four wheels. The Mercedes has a smaller engine – a twin-turbo 4.0-litre unit – but it makes 603 bhp (449 kW) and 627 lb-ft (850 Nm) of torque. It has all-wheel drive, but a nine-speed gearbox delivers the power to the wheels.

Gallery: 2021 BMW M5 Competition Review

The first race is a rolling start, with the two getting an equal start off the line. However, neither leaves the other in the dust. Instead, the BMW M5 gets a small lead before the AMG ekes past it, crossing the fishing line a car length ahead of the Mercedes. The second rolling race has the M5 getting an even better launch, but it’s not enough to keep the Mercedes at bay, which wins by a bumper.

The final race, from the dig, goes to the BMW because it appears the Mercedes entered some sort of limp mode from overheating. The saloon bogs down at around 80 miles per hour (128 kilometres per hour). The video puts the cars two through a handling test, a key metric for the executive saloons. However, we doubt many owners are hitting the track every weekend.