BMWs have always handled better than Mercs. Which is why the father would drive a Merc, but the son would rather have a BMW. The decades-long rivalry between Munich and Stuttgart was not about handling, but technical showdowns and all-out power.
Audi shortcut everyone with its all mighty RS4, making the e46 M3 look like a toy. Now BMW has a superb contender. Merc will never be in the game. Too bad for Stuttgart.