Which high-powered German four-door “coupe” should you covet most?
After a long, long teaser campaign, Mercedes-AMG has finally pulled the covers off the GT 4-Door Coupe. With a big focus on style and performance, it’s one of the most thrilling production debuts at this year’s Geneva Motor Show. But when it comes to German four-door “coupes” with mega horsepower, the AMG isn’t the only game in town. In fact, it lines up pretty well against the Porsche Panamera. (We’re also looking forward to finding out how the BMW 8 Series and M8 Gran Coupe will match up, but there are no technical details on those concepts just yet.) Let’s take a closer look at how the two models compare.
How do they look?
The two cars look remarkably similar in profile, with very coupe-like rooflines that plunge behind the B-pillar to give a flowing, sloping rear window. Long hoods, flared fenders, and swept-back windshields lend both four-door coupes a sense of style and speed, while around back skinny taillights adorn the cars’ otherwise flat rumps. Of course, there are big differences: where the Porsche Panamera’s nose dips down and has a mostly plain hood, with big headlights sitting atop the flared front fenders, the AMG wears multiple strakes and a near-vertical nose with a massive grille.
Note that both models have an electrically adjustable rear spoiler, which can lower for style and aerodynamic efficiency, or raise to improve downforce when necessary. For the Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S, there’s also an optional Aerodynamics package that features a larger front splitter with aero flics, as well as a fixed rear wing that can optionally be dressed up in carbon fiber.
What are their most powerful models?
The hottest version of AMG’s four-door is the GT 63 S, which pumps up its biturbocharged 4.0-liter V8 engine to the tune of 630 horsepower and 627 pound-feet of torque. That’s enough to send it to 60 miles per hour in a claimed 3.1 seconds, with the top speed ringing in at 195 mph. That’s quick and fast for any car, never mind one with seating for four. Even the “normal” AMG GT 63 will offer up 577 hp from that engine, with its key stats clocking it as 3.3 seconds and 193 mph.
|Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S||Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid|
|Engine||Biturbocharged 4.0-Liter V8||Biturbocharged 4.0-Liter V8, Hybrid|
|Output||630 Horsepower / 627 Pound-Feet||680 Horsepower / 626 Pound-Feet|
|Transmission||9-Speed Automatic||8-Speed Dual-Clutch|
|Drive Type||All-Wheel Drive||All-Wheel Drive|
|0-60||3.1 Seconds||3.2 Seconds|
|Top Speed||195 Miles Per Hour||192 Miles Per Hour|
To get a Porsche Panamera with that kind of performance, you need to go hybrid. Specifically, the Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid, which delivers a total of 680 hp and 626 lb-ft, by combining a biturbo 4.0-liter V8 (good for 550 hp on its own) with an electric motor that adds another 136 hp. With the 14.1-kilowatt-hour battery pack charged up and both power sources working together, the Panamera thus offers up a 0-60-mph sprint of 3.2 seconds and a top speed of 192 mph. Those are incredible figures – but still a little bit behind the ‘Benz. Despite having more power, that hybrid Panamera is quite heavy, at 5,093 pounds. A curb weight for the AMG has not yet been revealed.
And the more mainstream versions?
At the lower end of the spectrum, the Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door Coupe will be offered in a “53” trim level that uses the same turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six engine and mild hybrid system as in the new CLS-Class. It’ll offer up 429 hp, getting the car to 60 mph in a none-too-shabby 4.4 seconds, with its maximum speed pegged at 174 mph.
That compares most closely to the Porsche Panamera 4S. With 440 horsepower from its biturbocharged 2.9-liter V6 engine, that variant sprints to 60 mph in 4.2 seconds and tops out at 179 mph. Again, extremely close to the performance of the AMG – though in this specific case, the Porsche is the winner.
What about handling?
All versions of the Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door Coupe will have all-wheel drive – specifically, “AMG Performance 4Matic,” which can automatically adjust its torque split front and rear. And for the GT 63 S, an electronically locking rear differential further helps traction. You’ll also find rear-wheel steering (on the 63 and 63 S only) and optional carbon-ceramic brakes.
Most Porsche Panameras have all-wheel drive, too – at least on the hotter versions. And when you step up to something like the Turbo S E-Hybrid, Porsche pretty much matches AMG’s handling components: the options list includes rear-wheel steering, carbon ceramic brakes, a sports exhaust, and so on.
How much will it cost?
We’ll have to wait some time to have pricing figures for the Mercedes-AMG, but the aforementioned Porsche Panamera models are all quite pricey. That 4S model, for instance, lists from $103,000 in the U.S. – before destination, taxes, or options – while the Turbo S E-Hybrid rings in at $184,400. The AMG will surely be a pricey affair, too, given all the technology on board. It's not scientific, but the $132,400 starting price of the Mercedes-AMG GT S two-door is a useful frame of reference.
The real test, of course, will be seeing how the two machines compare in person. For the chance to drive them back to back, well, we just can’t wait. Until then, this on-paper comparison will have to suffice – and hopefully stoke your online and in-person arguments.