Mercedes S 63 AMG Coupe vs Porsche Panamera Turbo S
Can Mercedes' glamorous S 63 AMG Coupe steal the limelight from its Porsche Panamera Turbo S rival?
Mercedes has a long tradition of building elegant and luxurious two-door cars, so it knows how to excel at this exclusive end of the coupé market. However, the outgoing CL never quite had the kudos to match its price tag – something the new S-Class Coupé aims to rectify.
Based on a shortened version of the superb S-Class saloon’s chassis, the new Coupé features groundbreaking technology, eye-catching looks and a luxurious cabin. As ever, AMG models dominate and the S 63 tested here promises serious pace from its potent 577bhp twin-turbo V8 engine.
However, if it’s performance you’re after, the Porsche Panamera Turbo S combines twin-turbo V8 power with all-wheel drive and a practical four-door coupé body.
So which of this pair does a better job of blending the often contradicting elements of refinement, comfort and luxury on the one hand, and performance and handling on the other?
Click on the links above to read each in-depth review, then read on for the verdict.
The S-Class Coupé doesn’t have as much passenger space as its saloon cousin, while the curved roofline and tapered side windows mean you feel snug in the back. There’s still enough room to travel in comfort in the Mercedes, however, plus the sculpted rear seats are well shaped, comfortable and benefit from heaters. If it’s space you’re looking for, though, the Porsche has just a fraction more head and legroom.
A set of 10-spoke 19-inch wheels comes as standard on the S 63. The 20-inch black rims on our test car cost £1,740. The Panamera gets a wider rear tyre than the Mercedes and features 20-inch 911 Turbo-style wheels as standard. Our test car was fitted with the £258 20-inch Classic style rims.
Both these cars offer plenty of options. Our S 63 came with lots of bits from Mercedes’ designo bespoke ordering range. The £4,500 Exclusive Package adds Nappa leather, AMG illuminated door sill panels, a microfibre roof lining and an electric blind. It also had £1,520 piano black trim.
1st place: Mercedes S 63 AMG Coupe
The S 63 AMG Coupé is endowed with the amazing comfort, refinement and quality we’ve come to expect from the S-Class saloon, but wraps it up in a stylish body. Packed with technical innovation, the Mercedes isn’t an engaging sports car, but it has more performance than you’ll ever need, and it strikes a near-perfect balance between comfort and handling. It’s one of the world’s best luxury coupés.
2nd place: Porsche Panamera Turbo S
To make a near-two-tonne four-door coupé accelerate like a supercar, grip this hard and tackle corners so calmly is a remarkable achievement. But at £130,000-plus, the Turbo S is more expensive than the S 63 Coupé and it lacks the style and executive saloon refinement of the Mercedes. The cheaper Panamera models make more sense so, in spite of its practical cabin, the Turbo S finishes second.
|Mercedes S 63 AMG Coupé||Porsche Panamera Turbo S|
|On-the-road price/total as tested||£125,595/£155,735||£132,067/£138,362|
|Residual value (after 3yrs/30,000)||£61,039/48.6%||£49,129/37.2%|
|Annual tax liability std/higher rate||£8,728/£17,455||£9,181/£18,361|
|Annual fuel cost (12k/20k miles)||£3,905/£6,509||£3,637/£6,061|
|Ins. group/quote/road tax band/cost||50/£1,096/M/£490||50/£874/M/£490|
|Cost of 1st/2nd/3rd service||£41 pcm||£550/£1,250/£550|
|Engine||V8 twin-turbo/5,461cc||V8 twin-turbo/4,806cc|
|Peak power||577/5,500 bhp/rpm||562/6,000 bhp/rpm|
|Peak torque||900/2,250 Nm/rpm||800/2,250 Nm/rpm|
|Transmission||7-spd dual-clutch/rwd||7-spd dual-clutch/4wd|
|Fuel tank capacity/spare wheel||80 litres/sealant||100 litres/sealant|
|Boot capacity (seats up)||400 litres||445 litres|
|Turning circle||11.6 metres||12.0 metres|
|Basic warranty (miles)/recovery||3yrs (unlimited)/4yrs||3yrs (unlimited)/2yrs|
|Service intervals/UK dealers||Variable/136||Variable/36|
|Driver Power manufacturer/dealer pos.||9th/21st||6th/3rd|
|0-60/30-70mph||4.3/4.1 secs||3.6/3.1 secs|
|30-50mph in 3rd/4th||2.2/3.5 secs||2.1/3.8 secs|
|50-70mph in 5th/6th/7th||4.4/6.8 secs/N/A||4.5/7.2/15.2 secs|
|Top speed/rpm at 70mph||186mph/1,500rpm||192mph/1,500rpm|
|Noise levels outside/idle/30/70mph||65/48/55/61dB||62/44/57/63dB|
|Auto Express econ (mpg/mpl)/range||17.6/3.9/310 miles||18.9/4.2/416 miles|
|Actual/claimed CO2/tax bracket||371/237g/km/35%||345/239g/km/35%|
|Airbags/dyn cruise/blind spot warning||Eight/yes/yes||10/£1,589/£498|
|Met paint/LED lights/active dampers||Yes/yes/yes||Yes/£752/yes|
|Rev cam/soft close/ceramic brakes||Yes/yes/£7,090||£473/£507/yes|