Track Tested: Porsche Panamera Turbo S vs Cadillac CTS-V


Porsche Panamera Turbo S vs Cadillac CTS-V

The Fastest Production Sedan in the World. It's a coveted and debated title. Cadillac contends that the Panamera doesn't count, that it's a five-door. Porsche just keeps adding power and performance. Either way, it's exciting to live in an era where this debate is between a 550-horsepower Porsche — the 2012 Porsche Panamera Turbo S — and a 556-hp Cadillac — the CTS-V. (And let's not forget that there's a 560-hp 2012 BMW M5 about to join the fight...)

Both hyper-sedans use boosted V8 motors; the Panamera Turbo S sports a turbocharged 4.8-liter V8, while the CTS-V gets a supercharged 6.2-liter V8. That's where the similarities stop. The Porsche's transmission is a seven-speed dual-clutch (PDK) unit. The Cadillac's got a six-speed automatic. The Porsche uses a hyper-sophisticated all-wheel-drive system with launch control. The CTS-V is rear drive. And then there's the issue of the six-figure price difference.

They're both fast, but which is the king of the sedans?

  Porsche Panamera Turbo S Cadillac CTS-V
0-30 (sec.): 1.4 1.8
0-45 (sec.): 2.3 3.0
0-60 (sec.): 3.7 4.3
0-60 with 1-ft Rollout (sec.): 3.5 4.0
0-75 (sec.): 5.2 6.1
1/4-mile (sec @ mph): 11.9 @ 117.2 12.4 @ 114.7
30-0 (ft): 29 27
60-0 (ft): 112 104
Skid pad lateral accel (g): 0.96 0.89
Slalom: 68.9 69.2

Vehicle: 2012 Porsche Panamera Turbo S

Odometer: 864
Date: 8-23-2011
Driver: Chris Walton
Price: $173,200 (Base)

Specifications:

Transmission Type: Seven-speed automatic
Engine Type: Longitudinal, turbocharged V8
Displacement (cc/cu-in): 4,806/293
Redline (rpm): 6,500
Horsepower (hp @ rpm): 550 @ 6,000
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm): 553 (590 with overboost)
Brake Type (front): Vented discs with six-piston fixed calipers
Brake Type (rear): Vented discs with four-piston fixed calipers
Suspension Type (front): Independent double wishbones, adaptive air suspension
Suspension Type (rear): independent multilink, adaptive air suspension
Tire Size (front): 255/40ZR20 (101Y)
Tire Size (rear): 295/35 ZR20 (105Y)
Tire Brand: Michelin
Tire Model: Pilot Sport PS2
Tire Type: Summer performance
As tested Curb Weight (lb): 4,414

Test Results:

Acceleration
0-30 (sec): 1.4 (1.9 w/TC on)
0-45 (sec): 2.3 (3.0 w/TC on)
0-60 (sec): 3.7 (4.4 w/TC on)
0-60 with 1-ft Rollout (sec): 3.5 (4.0 w/TC on)
0-75 (sec): 5.2 (5.9 w/TC on)
1/4-Mile (sec @ mph): 11.9 @ 117.2 (12.2 @ 117.5 w/TC on)

Braking:
30-0 (ft): 29
60-0 (ft): 112

Handling
Slalom (mph): 68.9 ( 66.7 w/TC on)
Skid Pad Lateral acceleration (g): 0.96 ( 0.95 w/TC on )

Db @ Idle: 45.8
Db @ Full Throttle: 77
Db @ 70 mph Cruise: 65

Acceleration:What can I say but I was essentially along for the carnival ride. I just whack the throttle and the car does the rest. Launch mode spins tires briefly, then reroutes power. Short-shiffts 1-2 but it all works so fast and so well that it's hard to sort out what just happened. Upshifts are predictably fast and a little harsh.

Braking: Zero drama, zero dive, zero fade, run after run. Firm pedal and arrow straight..

Handling:

Skid pad:Very little ESC intrusion (ever so slight throttle closure) allows rear to step out slightly — highly receptive to throttle position to alter under-oversteer. No need to move hands; just throttle. With ESC off, a little more tail-out and a little more steering input required.

Slalom: (Run in sport +) Wow, what a sedan! It feels like a two-seat sports car. Turn-in is a little lazy, but the car takes a set immediately and remains ready to spring back in transition. More steering dial than expected, but so, so precise. Best run with ESC off allowed me to drive it like a rally car (lift-stab) to rotate and exit at WOT!

Vehicle: 2009 Cadillac CTS-V
Odometer: 2,612
Date: 11/08
Driver: Chris Walton
Price: $59,995 (base)

Specifications:
Drive Type: Rear-wheel drive
Transmission Type: Six-speed automatic
Engine Type: Supercharged V8
Displacement (cc/cu-in): 6,161/376
Redline (rpm): 6,200
Horsepower (hp @ rpm): 556 hp @ 6,100 rpm
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm): 551 @ 3,800 rpm
Brake Type (front): 15.-inch ventilated discs with six-piston fixed calipers
Brake Type (rear): 14.7-inch ventilated rotors with four-piston fixed calipers
Suspension Type (front): Independent, double wishbones, coil springs, electromagnetic dampers and stabilizer bar
Suspension Type (rear): Independent, double wishbones, coil springs, electromagnetic dampers and stabilizer bars
Tire Size (front): 255/40ZR19 96Y
Tire Size (rear): 285/35ZR19 99Y
Tire Brand: Michelin
Tire Model: Pilot Sport PS2
Tire Type: Summer Performance
As tested Curb Weight (lb): 4,315

Test Results:
0-30 (sec): 1.8
0-45 (sec): 3.0
0-60 (sec): 4.3
0-60 with 1-ft Rollout (sec): 4.0

0-75 (sec): 6.1
1/4-Mile (sec @ mph): 12.4 @ 114.7

30-0 (ft): 27
60-0 (ft): 104
Slalom (mph): 69.2
Skid Pad Lateral acceleration (g): 0.89g

Db @ Idle: 53.2
Db @ Full Throttle: 73.7
Db @ 70 mph Cruise: 67.5

Acceleration: It required four practiced runs with the traction control shut off to beat the first run with TC on, proving the highly tuned system's effectiveness. Sport Auto upshifts were rather harsh, and slow-reacting hard-to-predict manual upshifts didn't work here.

Braking: Tremendous brakes with huge thermal capacity. Best stop was on run 7 of 10 when the distance grew by only 4 inches. Pedal feel could be better; otherwise, these are fantastic brakes.

Handling:

Skid pad: Understeer on the limit, but the front tires were pretty beat from lapping Streets the day before. Steering doesn't offer much info, even in more firm mode, which seems to add only resistance.

Slalom: I can really feel the size of the vehicle here, making it difficult to sense the corners of the car — lots of cone strikes. There's plenty of grip and a very neutral attitude weaving through the cones, but I'm not convinced the limited slip is doing its job properly for the exit. The car tends to snap back too abruptly during opposite lock. Used Touring setting on the dampers for the best run

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