The Mercedes E63 S has 450kW and 850Nm of torque at its disposal – but is this enough to overwhelm the mighty Porsche Panamera Turbo? Mercedes-AMG E63 S vs Porsche Panamera Turbo

Nothing. Accelerating from a standstill to 100km/h, not even the blink of an eye separates the fastest version of a bulky German saloon (one which, in a more basic spec, is popular with taxi companies around the world) and a Porsche 911 GT3 RS (991). At least by the reckoning of Porsche’s own figures for the GT3 and the data stream from our VBOX suckered to the windscreen of Mercedes-AMG’s E63 S. Like an apex athlete and a serial steroid abuser, they punch precisely the same hole in time and space, freezing the clock at 100km/h with perfect synchronicity: 3.4sec. I’ll give you a moment for that to sink in. And another to acknowledge the presence of another Porsche, the Panamera Turbo. It sticks in a 3.4, too. 

Of course, performance is about far more than a benchmark these days considered too paltry a gauge of a car’s true speed potential. So let’s move the goalposts: 0-100mph. The purist’s choice manual version of the GT3, after a perfectly judged start and two peachy gearshifts administered by an expert road tester or racing driver, logs a stunning 7.6sec, according to Porsche. Whoever’s driving the torque-drenched, twin-turbo taxi, no international racing licence required, has merely had to engage launch control, flatten the right-hand pedal, hang on and watch its stumpy bonnet draw ever so slightly ahead of the Porsche’s low-slung snout: 7.4sec. Were the race against a PDK-equipped GT3, it would be a dead heat. At this point, the Panamera has dropped back by nearly a second, and will continue slowly to lose ground into speed ranges we shouldn’t really talk about outside an autobahn service station. Even so, I reckon there are two stats to savour: the E63 S and Panamera Turbo accelerate from a standstill to 250km/h in 19.4 and 22.2sec respectively. And that is simply mighty.

> Mercedes-AMG E63 S review 

That’s how far we’ve come. Welcome to the new performance paradigm for the well-heeled masses. Thing is, for all their all-weather, all-drive accelerative prowess, both cars face clear and present danger in their own burgeoning megasaloon arena, not just from electric slingshot Teslas but also the forthcoming ‘Hulk smash’ iteration of the BMW M5, which will also have twin-blower V8 horsepower and all-wheel drive. Something to look forward to. But for the here and now, this is a straightforward duel.