Track Tested: 2010 Porsche Panamera Turbo vs. Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG


2010 Porsche Panamera Turbo vs. Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG

Edmunds.com tests hundreds of vehicles a year, but not every vehicle gets a full write-up. The numbers still tell a story, though, so we present "Track Tested." It's a quick rundown of all the data we collected at the track, along with comments direct from the test drivers. Enjoy.

We say it's official: The 2010 Porsche Panamera is the new badass of the executive sedan class. It accelerates and handles like no other four-door anything in existence, and we'd love to own one. To be sure, the rear-drive Panamera S and all-wheel-drive 4S are the sensible, maybe-I-could-afford-it-one-day-on-the-used-market options, but all the mystique surrounds the 500-horsepower 2010 Porsche Panamera Turbo.

We recently tested a Panamera Turbo. It costs $146,720, and you can see a breakdown of the options on our test car on the window sticker to the right. Just for fun, we've decided to compare it side by side with the last Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG we tested. That was all the way back in 2007, but aside from a face-lift for 2010, the king of the S-Class line hasn't changed a bit since then. The S65 brings 604 hp to the table but some 700 additional pounds as well.

Although the Porsche pulls away in a straight line, you'll be surprised by how well the big, expensive Benz keeps up in braking and handling tests.

2010 Porsche Panamera Turbo vs. Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG

Disclaimer: We've revised our acceleration testing protocol and correction factor since 2007, so this is not intended to be a hard-and-fast comparison between the two sedans.

2010 Porsche Panamera Turbo vs. Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG

  Panamera Turbo S65 AMG
     
0 - 30 (sec): 1.3 1.9
0 - 45 (sec): 2.3 3.0
0 - 60 (sec): 3.7 4.4
0 - 75 (sec): 5.3 5.9
1/4 Mile (sec @ mph): 12.0 @ 111.3 12.6 @ 115.3
0-60 With 1 Foot of Rollout (sec): 3.5 N/A
30 - 0 (ft): 28 28
60 - 0 (ft): 111 111
Skid Pad Lateral Acceleration (g): 0.92 0.90
Slalom (mph): 68.2 66.3

Vehicle: 2010 Porsche Panamera Turbo
Odometer: 585
Date: 11/24/09
Driver: Josh Jacquot
Price: $146,720

Specifications:
Drive Type: All-wheel drive
Transmission Type: Seven-speed dual-clutch automated manual
Engine Type: Twin-turbocharged and direct-injected 90-degree V8
Displacement (cc/cu-in): 4,806/293
Redline (rpm): 6,500
Horsepower (hp @ rpm): 500 @ 6,000
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm): 516 @ 2,250
Brake Type (front): 14.2-by-1.4-inch ventilated disc with 6-piston fixed caliper
Brake Type (rear): 13.0-by-1.1-inch ventilated disc with 4-piston fixed caliper
Steering System: Variable-ratio power rack-and-pinion
Suspension Type (front): Independent, double-wishbone, air springs, adaptive dampers, stabilizer bar
Suspension Type (rear): Independent, multilink, air springs, adaptive dampers, stabilizer bar
Tire Size (front): 225/45ZR19 100Y
Tire Size (rear): 285/40ZR19 103Y
Tire Brand: Michelin
Tire Model: Pilot Sport PS2
Tire Type: Asymmetrical, directional summer tires
Wheel size: 19-by-9.0-inch front, 19-by-10.0-inch rear
Wheel material (front/rear): Aluminum
As tested Curb Weight (lb): 4,382

Test Results:
0-30 (sec.): 1.3
0-45 (sec.): 2.3
0-60 (sec.): 3.7
0-75 (sec.): 5.3
1/4-Mile (sec. @ mph): 12.0 @ 111.3
0-60 with 1-foot Rollout (sec.): 3.5
30-0 (ft): 28
60-0 (ft): 111
Braking Rating: Very Good
Slalom (mph): 68.2
Skid Pad Lateral acceleration (g): 0.92
Handling Rating: Excellent
Db @ Idle: 50.1
Db @ Full Throttle: 70.6
Db @ 70 mph Cruise: 56.7

Acceleration Comments: Lots of wheelspin using launch control. Doesn't seem to hurt time. Wow! That's a very fast sedan. Insane.

Braking Comments: Typical Porsche confidence here. Intuitive. Solid. Consistent pedal. No fade.

Handling Comments: Slalom: Very Porsche-like here. Quick, immediate response. Very little yaw delay. Goes where it's pointed with little protest and with more confidence than any other four-door in the world. Skid pad: Won't transition to oversteer by simply opening throttle. Drop throttle, however, rotates Panamera effectively, allowing for precise line adjustments at the limit. Very nice.

Vehicle: 2007 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG
Date: 11/8/07
Driver: Josh Jacquot
Price: $191,415 (in 2007)

Specifications:
Drive Type: Rear-wheel drive
Transmission Type: Five-speed automatic
Engine Type: Twin-turbocharged 60-degree V12
Displacement (cc/cu-in): 5,980/365
Redline (rpm): 5,950
Horsepower (hp @ rpm): 604 @ 4,800
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm): 738 @ 2,000
Brake Type (front): 15.4-by-1.3-inch ventilated disc with 8-piston fixed caliper
Brake Type (rear): 14.4-by-0.9-inch ventilated disc with 4-piston fixed caliper
Steering System: Speed-sensitive, hydraulic-assist power rack-and-pinion
Suspension Type (front): Independent, multilink, air springs, stabilizer bar
Suspension Type (rear): Independent, multilink, air springs, stabilizer bar
Tire Size (front): 255/35ZR20
Tire Size (rear): 275/35ZR20
Tire Brand: Pirelli
Tire Model: P Zero
Tire Type: Summer
Wheel size: 20-by-8.5-inch front, 20-by-9.5-inch rear
Wheel material (front/rear): Aluminum
Curb Weight As Tested (lb): 5,100

Test Results:
0-30 (sec.): 1.9
0-45 (sec.): 3.0
0-60 (sec.): 4.4
0-75 (sec.): 5.9
1/4-Mile (sec. @ mph): 12.6 @ 115.3
30-0 (ft): 28
60-0 (ft): 111
Braking Rating: Excellent
Slalom (mph): 66.3
Skid Pad Lateral acceleration (g): 0.90
Handling Rating: Excellent
Db @ Idle: 50.3
Db @ Full Throttle: 73.1
Db @ 70 mph Cruise: 65.9

Acceleration Comments: Typical Mercedes traction control meddling despite ESP off. Upshifts to 2nd with a hint of wheelspin. Best run in Sport Drive with minimal to no spin. Shifts are crisp but not neck-snapping.

Braking Comments: "PreSafe" stranglehold and flashers on every full-ABS stop. Near zero dive and firm pedal on each stop.

Handling Comments: Steering gets much lighter at the limit. No ESP interference on the skid pad. Slight understeer can be "driven through" and coaxed into slight oversteer. No body roll.

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