Only one more week, just another hot hatchback group test, eh? Arf.
The Porsche Panamera, you may have noticed, is not your typical hot hatchback, what with it being a five-Meter-long, many-doored luxury coupe. If a hot iron. The power of this to an unusual triple test even by the standards of an increasingly-diversified market for passenger cars.
The second generation of the Panamera-reports for that test in the fast-as-it-is-Turbo-form. The first Panamera was a tough car, in a drawer, but just like, as a part of the Sport-coupe, and a part of super sedan, with Porsche keen to make you feel like a real Porsche – which meant, weighty steering, and the areas in which the advocate was a sacrificed to momentum.
Less this time, apparently. The brief for the secondgeneration car feels wider. It is “the first true luxury car in the Porsche history”, we said, when we drove it in Germany last August. In Turbo specification, the new Panamera, a 4.0-Liter V8 engine produces 542bhp and mated to a responsive eight-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox, it propels all four wheels. All the lives in this huge five-door, four-seat body, with chairs in the rear aping of those in the front. They look more like lightweight sports seats, as you are. There are many comfort functions to increase the everywhere – enough to make the air-suspension on the Panamera’s curb weight to 2070kg and the price, before options, £113,075.
This leads to the question: what do you do and test it? Hundred-and-a-bit-grand luxury five-door coupe are, perhaps not surprisingly, remarkably thin on the ground, as shown by the number of times you will not see a Panamera on the road. The action for a super-sedans with the kind of grip and handling, we know the Porsche is offering tends to take a sphere of space under this STRATO. I suspect that a Mercedes-AMG E63 would be a sedan, is the Porsche a hard time dynamically, if not from a luxury standpoint, but it has not yet arrived in the UK yet. And modern luxury sedans tend to be exactly that: overdosed on luxury and malnourished dynamically for a test in this company.
This means that we have thought a little more broadly, and also no excuse for the fact that the Mercedes-AMG S63 coupe you see here, has two less front passenger door, the Panamera. Although the S-class coupe is shorter and lower than the sedan, its length is only half a centimeter shorter than the Porsche, while Mercedes-Benz has many years of experience in the production of four seat, two-door luxury cars, and absurdly powerful, or otherwise, and they are usually quite satisfying.
This is one of those absurdly powerful. The S63 is the 5.5-Liter AMG V8 makes 577bhp, which applies it, via a seven-speed automatic gearbox to the rear wheels only (right-hand drive anomaly; in the left-hand-drive markets, the S63 is available with all-wheel-drive). There are air springs, whose functionality includes an active ride control system, and can even tilt of the body in a corner, and the price is £127,675.
Then there is the BMW M6 Gran Coupé, which demonstrates that even one of the final super-saloon-the manufacturer has to diversify to keep up with him – or to generate – the market demands. Audi and BMW are the masters in this model development are: first, there was an executive sedan, then a two-door version, the of these days then an SUV, a convertible and finally a fourdoor ‘coupe spawns’ like this.
To be supported by the 6-series Gran coupe is a five meters long, if also 4cm shorter than the Porsche is the existing 5-Series platform, which was also, in his time, under a 7-series. We rose in varying degrees, the cucumber on this platform: some 5-series variants were the best in the class and some hardly to be recommended, with a curious drive and steering his head between his problems and the previous 7 series, never at the top of their class.
Everything on this architecture, then, over the years, I’ve found the M6 coupe, the most “satisfactory”. Shorn will travel with the approved compliance an executive or luxury car, it was allowed, focused, and tight, two things, which moved it pretty good. Until today, I have to cut not M6 Gran coupe driven with four doors, but in the case of 1950kg, it is gratifying, the lightest of the three and comes with a built-in, the BMW Competition package that increases the power of the twin turbo 4.4-Liter V8 to 592bhp. Add the Competition package raises the price of £6300 £101,965 but also stiffened by the coil springs, dampers and anti-roll bars, a step that might cause you to think that the M6-sacrifice is even more of the comfort, which, presumably, it would be short, in this company anyway.
Well, half would be right, and we will come. But it depends on what you want your great super-sedan, or sports sedan, or whatever you want to call it, isn’t it? And, at the risk of planting a mid-season spoiler in the box to test this group, which is ultimately what matters. These three are all terrific. I can’t remember the last time I wrote a group test of cars that I thought were capable of this, and yet so different in the way you perform the same task.
The way they do, and the interior is significantly different. The M6’s cabin is well-finished with matt black plastic and satin metals, the pain with subtle BMW class. Less opulent than the could prove it, but it is nothing like a low rent. The seats hug and to sit in the back plenty of legroom for an adult behind an adult driver. And the iDrive multimedia controller is still one of the best in the business.
Precious, although it is, the M6 is in the company of an S-class here. Mercedes itself is run on a good run executive and luxury car shape and the AMG is even better. The S63 coupe is the best of both divisions, but a cosy sink in the front seats include, and you know, when it comes to comfort or dynamism, the go, this car is more color. There are acres of soft, stitched, ripped and stitched leather. It is like a giant accent beanbag. It is solid in the back, to get obvious and more difficult than the 6 series, but even though the head is less freedom than generous, legroom is fine to sit adults in the back grown. In addition, although it is a S-class-and each of these cars is five meters long, after all, you are the driver. Who gets in this instance, the heated armrests, if you are in doubt, just how luxurious it is.
I had heard great things about the Porsche interior. And, no doubt, it is bigger than the other – back and forth – and leagues better than its predecessor. The haptic feedback from the buttons on the shiny centre console is smooth, and the large digital displays – only the Central tachometer remain Analog – to- have an extremely high resolution. I would say it is pitched closer to BMW than Mercedes in terms of luxury, the feeling and the novelty of it makes you feel special. The operating system is mostly controlled touch-screen, something I used to be a fan of, but there are so many sub-menus now that a controller with shortcut buttons is easier.
What is not a novelty in the way of the Panamera is. No, Porsche has ever ridden like this, with great insulation and refinement. There are the very occasional ‘sproing’ that gives the car away as the air suspension, and I suspect that would completely disappear when the car is on smaller wheels than the 21s it came on.
The S63 looks malnourished by comparison, riding on 19-inch wheels and shock – Board wall profiles that start with a number, as large as a four. As a result, your ride is better insulated than the Porsche. Noise levels seem to be lower, and the engine larger, lower speed, more torque Laden, – has relaxed a more seductive woofle. Both have fine gear. The Porsche dual-clutch-car comes with a creep and shifts feel almost as smooth as those of the best auto-transmission. The Mercedes has just the gearbox one of the best car.
The BMW is not one of them. His gruffness in the city of lowlight performance. But for all the BMW’s compromises on this platform over the years, at another point of the M6 shows that it in a great light.
Sure, his journey is restless in this company. The 20-inch wheels shod with serious Michelin Pilot Super Sport rubber, and although you can swing the damper between the modes of the stiffness, there is usually an underlying fidget and jitter on the experience. Not uncomfortable or budget, feel, mind, we are not in the Ford Fiesta ST levels of uncertainty here, but if you have stepped out of one of the two other test car, the M6 is an honest, noticeable patter.
Refinement is otherwise good, but the M6 feels like it wants you to know that if one of these car manufacturer has used words such as “sporty” or “fascination” in its marketing bumf, it is the M6 that has earned it. In its brightest mode, its steering is not overly remote, but you can weight, and thus more confidence. The M6 is extremely well balanced and produces a strong grip and traction, even under harsh conditions.
The Porsche takes all the numbers that can summon the BMW, and it increases more grip, more traction and more low-rev acceleration, thanks to the inimitable torque. It raises in superior sophistication. As well as the “test track” and the country road miles I spend in these cars, I’ll take all three in London. The Porsche is more isolated and, if you are feeling on a highway, as it is the one that you would choose to hammer from Hamburg to Berlin. But in all of the above, there is less participation, less analog experience is now the M6.
The S63 is less than the other two, but let’s not forget, it should be. And there is nothing exactly wrong with that. Hustle to do it, and I get it, what it can, but the Mercedes is part of the Mercedes-AMG name plate maintains the prevailing character. To criticize a tea-room for it would be, as the call to cozy.
What matters is how fit everyone is for its intended purpose, and if it is very straight, nonnuanced, purely objective scoring, which is hard on the Porsche, that does amazing things. The M6 is more satisfying, dynamic, and embodied for me what is supposed to be a super-sedan, and the S63 is convenient, more opulent, and everything should be a luxury car. But if you want to be a winner – and you probably do – bravo, Porsche. Strangely, though, it’s the one I had to choose, it is last.
1. Place – Porsche Panamera Turbo
Rating 4.5/5 – price – £113,075 (£115,490 inc Sport Chrono) engine V8, 3996cc, twin-turbo, petrol, power 542bhp at 5750-6000rpm torque 567lb ft in 1960-4500rpm gearbox 8-spd dual-clutch automatic curb weight 2070kg 0-62mph 3.8 s 3.6 s with Sport Chrono) top speed over 190 mph economy 30.1 mpg (combined) CO2 / tax, band 214g/km, 37%
2. Place – Mercedes-AMG S63 coupe
Rating 4.5/5 – price – £127,675 – Engine V8, 5461cc, twin-turbo, petrol, power 577bhp at 5500rpm torque 664lb ft at 2250-3750rpm transmission 7-spd automatic kerb weight 2070kg 0-62mph 4.2 sec top speed 155mph economy 28.0 mpg (combined) CO2 /tax band – 237g/km, 37%
3. Place – BMW M6 Gran coupe with Competition package
Rating 4/5 price – £101,965 Engine V8, 4395cc, twin-turbo, petrol, power 592bhp at 6800rpm torque 516lb ft at 1500-6000rpm gearbox 7-spd dual-clutch automatic kerb weight 1950kg 0-62mph 4.0 sec top speed 155mph economy 28.5 mpg (combined) CO2 /tax band 231 G/km, 37%