2010 BMW 760Li, Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG, Porsche Panamera Turbo Comparison

But it's not as if the owners of these cars will be drag racing on the way home from their Palm Springs boutiques. Betcha you'll never see a Panamera Turbo doing launch-control hole-shots at the quarter-mile track, an S63 exercising its way around a road course, or a 760Li doing burnouts behind the neighborhood high school. Numbers are but one piece of this pie - these cars are about so much more than that.

Someone who is laying out $135,000 - or about $150,000, as our test cars were equipped - for this type of vehicle wants a grand sedan that gives the feeling of being in a sports car. Titillating sounds, brutal acceleration, and the feel of quick responses are far more important than quarter-mile times and peak lateral g's. These buyers aren't willing to sacrifice any comfort for that performance, and if that's the game we're playing, it's the bad guy who wins this time. The Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG is the most versatile actor in this film - it plays the most comfortable cross-continent cruiser, dresses up as the most glamorous luxury sedan, and does the best impression of a sports car, replete with a sound track to scare off even the toughest gunslingers in the West.

The summary of this article indicates that if you want to pretend that you're driving a large sports sedan then get the Benz. If you want actual performance, then the Porsche is vastly superior. I agree, there seems to be a strong effort to rationalize away a huge performance difference. If you don't like the way the car looks, great. Just don't pretend it makes sense to test a performance car in comfort mode to justify your aesthetic bias.
My god, the Porsche is impressive.
Seems a little odd that excuses were made to run the Panamera in 'comfort mode' to close the performance gap; and rationalizing the AWD vs. RWD to make the other cars seem as quick. Based on those parameters, wouldn't the comparison be about the same if you used a Panamera 4S for about 40K less? Pure performance numbers are closer; and you would not have had to make excuses to ignore the big difference in the performance of the cars.
All reviewers and designers seem to agree that the rear end of the Panamera is awkward and ungainly. Having seen the car in person, I have to throw out a voice of dissent. To my surprise, it's a graceful and balanced design. To my eye, it has a hint of Maserati in its blood. Could it be that all the journalists just needed something to hate?

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