In a new edition of AutoZeitung, the German magazine delivers the first comparison test drive between the new 2012 BMW M5, Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG and Porsche Panamera Turbo S. The number of ponies aligned at the start line equal 1667. All three vehicles are producing individually between 550 and 560 horsepower.
While the BMW M5 and Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG send the power to the rear-wheels, the Porsche Panamera Turbo S is an all-wheel drive vehicle.
The Panamera Turbo S boasts the same twin-turbocharged 4.8-liter V8 as the standard Cayenne Turbo model, but new turbochargers and some engine remapping bumps output to 550 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque. Mercedes-Benz uses a new 5.5-liter V8 biturbo engine instead of the old naturally-aspirated 6.2 liter unit. With the AMG performance package, the E63 outputs 557 horsepower and 590 lb-of torque. The F10 M5 uses a high-revving 4.4-liter (4395cc) turbocharged engine with 560 horsepower from 5,750-7,000 rpm and 502 lb-ft of torque from only 1500rpm.
AutoZeitung reports that the al-wheel drive Porsche dominated the sprint from zero to 62 mph. However, at the 124 mph mark, the M5 reduced its deficit from four-tenths to one tenth of a second. Specifically, the new M5 accelerates to 62 mph in 4.1 seconds and it takes 12.3 seconds to reach 124 mph. With the AMG Performance package, Mercedes follows closely behind the two vehicle, but in this comparison, it remains the slowest vehicle.
The all-wheel drive and the slightly larger dimensions make the Panamera the biggest vehicle on the scale, yet it presents itself as the sportiest of the three vehicles tested. On the track, the Porsche laps in 1:16.0 minutes, exactly eight tenths faster than the M5 and a full second faster than the E63 AMG. Out of the three vehicles tested, the M5 was the lightest one.
The magazine also says that on track, the BMW M5 shows good steering feedback and a broadly neutral handling.
Bottom line, the M5 ends up tied with on the second place with the AMG, behind the more expensive and faster Porsche Cayenne Turbo S.