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  1. #1
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    MotorTrend compares the 2012 991 Carrera S Convertible to the 2013 Mercedes SL550 and 2012 BMW 650i Cabriolet

    These three vehicles may all be convertibles but they are not exactly the same types of cars. The 2012 Mercedes SL500 is more of a grand touring car offering a folding hard top. The F13 6 Series has a folding soft top and sort of bridges the gap between the sports car 991 Carrera S and the SL550. If one looks at the pricing of all the models however, it is easy to see how they could all be cross shopped.

    The new SL comes in third place. MotorTrend likes the car but they say it does not have en emotional connection, it is all business. This is the same criticism the previous generation SL received. When you want to get down and dirty the SL prefers to cruise. The SL is the sophisticated and mature adult in this group.

    The 650i finishes in second place, barely. MotorTrend states it got ahead by the "skin of its teeth" simply due to its advantage in the handling department. The 650i is more fun in the curves and offers more feedback. It gets ahead because it is more fun to drive. Pretty amazing considering the 650i is the heaviest car in the test. Yes, the 6 Series is 450 pound heavier with its soft top than the SL550 is with its folding hard top. Something at BMW clearly is not efficient or dynamic when the Mercedes SL looks lightweight in comparison to the 6 Series.

    The clear winner is the Porsche 991 Carrera S Convertible and it is not all too hard to see why. It handles better than either car. It outperforms either car. It is lighter than either car. It gets better mileage than either car. Most importantly, it is much more fun to drive than either the Bimmer or Benz. The only downside to the Carrera S really is that the rear seats are useless but only in comparison to the 6 Series. If someone wants the top down with 4 people, this is the only area where the Porsche loses.

    We agree with the conclusions MotorTrend came to except that we would have put the F13 6 Series in last place. Both the SL550 and Carrera S are considerably lighter and offer greater performance. At some point, BMW really needs to start getting punished for the behemoths it is putting out in these latest generations. The SL550 and Carrera S also offer considerably more lateral acceleration on the skidpad. The numbers against the 6 Series are simply too overwhelming to look past simply because the 6 Series has a tinge more steering feedback than the Mercedes.

    Performance wise it is rather amazing the Carrera S is the fastest car here with the smallest motor and no turbos. The PDK transmission no doubt helps but the Carrera S runs a very impressive 12.1@116 all with a naturally aspirated 3.8 liter flat-6. The SL550 manages a 12.5@114 and the BMW lags behind with a 13.3@108.8 with its N63 twin turbo V8. Even the new twin turbo motors with all their torque simply can not overcome an efficient drivetrain and a great power to weight ratio. Porsche shows the other Germans once again how it is done.

    Click here to enlarge

    2012 BMW 650i 2013 Mercedes-Benz SL550 2012 Porsche 911 Carrera S Cabriolet
    POWERTRAIN/CHASSIS
    DRIVETRAIN LAYOUT Front engine, RWD Front engine, RWD Rear engine, RWD
    ENGINE TYPE Twin-turbo 90-deg V-8, alum block/heads Twin-turbo 90-deg V-8, alum block/heads Flat-6, alum block/heads
    VALVETRAIN DOHC, 4 valves/cyl DOHC, 4 valves/cyl DOHC, 4 valves/cyl
    DISPLACEMENT 268.2 cu in/4395 cc 284.6 cu in/4663 cc 231.9 cu in/3799 cc
    COMPRESSION RATIO 10.0:1 10.5:1 12.5:1
    POWER (SAE NET) 400 hp @ 5500 rpm 429 hp @ 5250 rpm 400 hp @ 7400 rpm
    TORQUE (SAE NET) 450 lb-ft @ 1750 rpm 516 lb-ft @ 516 rpm 325 lb-ft @ 5600 rpm
    REDLINE 7000 rpm 6300 rpm 7500 rpm
    WEIGHT TO POWER 11.4 lb/hp 9.6 lb/hp 8.7 lb/hp
    TRANSMISSION 8-speed automatic 7-speed automatic 7-speed twin-clutch auto.
    AXLE/FINAL-DRIVE RATIO 3.08:1/2.05:1 2.65:1/1.93:1 3.44:1/2.13:1
    SUSPENSION, FRONT; REAR Multi-link, coil springs, anti-roll bar; multi-link, coil springs, anti-roll bar Multi-link, hydraulic and coil springs, adj shocks; multi-link, hydraulic and coil springs, adj shocks Struts, coil springs, adj shocks, adj anti-roll bar; multilink, coil springs, adj shocks, adj anti-roll bar
    STEERING RATIO 17.2:1 15.9:1 (on center) 12.3:1-16.6:1
    TURNS LOCK-TO-LOCK 2.0 2.2 2.5
    BRAKES, F;R 13.7-in vented disc; 13.6-in vented disc, ABS 13.5-in vented, drilled disc; 12.6-in vented, disc, ABS 13.4-in vented, drilled disc; 13.0-in vented, drilled disc, ABS
    WHEELS, F;R 8.5 x 19-in, cast aluminum 9.0 x 18-in; 10.0 x 18-in, cast aluminum 8.5 x 20-in; 11.0 x 20-in, cast aluminum
    TIRES, F;R 245/40R19 98V M+S Goodyear Eagle LS2 RFT 255/35ZR19 96Y; 285/30ZR19 98Y Bridgestone Potenza S001 245/35ZR20 91Y; 95/30ZR20 101Y Pirelli PZero
    DIMENSIONS
    WHEELBASE 112.4 in 101.8 in 96.5 in
    TRACK, F/R 62.8/65.0 in 62.9/63.0 in 60.6/59.7 in
    LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 192.8 x 74.6 x 53.7 in 181.8 x 73.9 x 51.8 in 176.8 x 71.2 x 51.1 in
    TURNING CIRCLE 38.4 ft 36.2 ft 36.4 ft
    CURB WEIGHT 4555 lb 4104 lb 3482 lb
    WEIGHT DIST., F/R 51/49 % 52/48 % 38/62 %
    SEATING CAPACITY 4 2 4
    HEADROOM, F/R 40.3/36.5 in 39.1/-- in 38.1/30.3 in (est)
    LEGROOM, F/R 42.1/30.5 in 42.9/-- in 45.5/25.0 in (est)
    SHOULDER ROOM, F/R 56.9/49.6 in 55.5/-- in 50.8/48.3 in (est)
    CARGO VOLUME 11.0 cu ft 17.8 cu ft 5.5 cu ft
    TEST DATA
    ACCELERATION TO MPH
    0-30 2.0 sec 1.6 sec 1.3 sec
    0-40 2.8 2.4 2.0
    0-50 3.8 3.1 2.7
    0-60 4.9 4.0 3.8
    0-70 6.2 5.3 4.8
    0-80 7.7 6.5 6.0
    0-90 9.3 8.0 7.4
    0-100 11.4 9.7 9.1
    PASSING, 45-65 MPH 2.3 2.0 1.9
    QUARTER MILE 13.3 sec @ 108.8 mph 12.5 sec @ 114.0 mph 12.1 sec @ 116.0 mph
    BRAKING, 60-0 MPH 115 ft 105 ft 98 ft
    LATERAL ACCELERATION 0.87 g (avg) 0.94 g (avg) 1.03 g (avg)
    MT FIGURE EIGHT 26.4 sec @ 0.67 g (avg) 25.0 sec @ 0.73 g (avg) 24.3 sec @ 0.76 g (avg)
    TOP-GEAR REVS @ 60 MPH 1550 rpm 1550 rpm 1600 rpm
    CONSUMER INFO
    BASE PRICE $91,395 $106,405 $108,950
    PRICE AS TESTED $108,095 $124,345 $140,375
    STABILITY/TRACTION CONTROL Yes/Yes Yes/Yes Yes/Yes
    AIRBAGS Dual front, front side, front knee Dual front, front side, front knee Dual front, front sides
    BASIC WARRANTY 4 yrs/50,000 miles 4 yrs/50,000 miles 4 yrs/50,000 mi
    POWERTRAIN WARRANTY 4 yrs/50,000 miles 4 yrs/50,000 miles 4 yrs/50,000 mi
    ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE 4 yrs/Unlimited 4 yrs/50,000 miles 4 yrs/50,000 mi
    FUEL CAPACITY 18.5 gal 19.8 gal 16.9 gal
    EPA CITY/HWY ECON 15/23 mpg 16/24 mpg 21/27 mpg
    ENERGY CONS., CITY/HWY 225/147 kW-hrs/100 miles 211/140 kW-hrs/100 miles 160/125 kW-hrs/100 miles
    CO2 EMISSIONS 1.09 lb/mile 1.03 lb/mile 0.83 lb/mile
    MT FUEL ECONOMY 19.8 mpg 20.9 mpg 19.8 mpg
    RECOMMENDED FUEL Unleaded premium Unleaded premium Unleaded premium



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    This new Porsche has a freaking jewel of an engine... I really wish //M would follow in their footsteps - and keep the NA miracles while providing a turbo option. 12.1 seconds out of that car in the 1/4 is no joke considering it's 3.8: + NA.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by inlineS54B32 Click here to enlarge
    This new Porsche has a freaking jewel of an engine... I really wish //M would follow in their footsteps - and keep the NA miracles while providing a turbo option. 12.1 seconds out of that car in the 1/4 is no joke considering it's 3.8: + NA.
    I really wish BMW did exactly as you stated but they completely sold out. Porsche shows doing both successfully is possible. Porsche has earned a ton of respect while BMW is losing it.

    12.1 stock... that is serious.
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    Motor Trend comparo: SL550 (M278)

    M/T published a comparo between the SL550 (M278), BMW 6, and Porsche 911. Porsche won the comparo.
    What is interesting the SL550 0-60 time was 4.0. Click here to enlarge

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Dueclaws Click here to enlarge
    M/T published a comparo between the SL550 (M278), BMW 6, and Porsche 911. Porsche won the comparo.
    What is interesting the SL550 0-60 time was 4.0. Click here to enlarge
    Link?
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    Is this what you are referring to? http://www.germanboost.com/content.p...650i-Cabriolet
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    Hi Sticky-
    Your link seems to be similar to the article I just read in the October issue of M/T: sorry I missed the germanboost link.
    Thanks
    John

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Dueclaws Click here to enlarge
    Hi Sticky-
    Your link seems to be similar to the article I just read in the October issue of M/T: sorry I missed the germanboost link.
    Thanks
    John
    No prob, merging threads.
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    Got a chance to run what appear to be a stock PDK 991 from 40 to 160. I barely put a car on it. Baffled. I went home to find figures of 11.8@119 from major magazines for the coupe! It was as fast as my fully bolted M3.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by BrenM3 Click here to enlarge
    Got a chance to run what appear to be a stock PDK 991 from 40 to 160. I barely put a car on it. Baffled. I went home to find figures of 11.8@119 from major magazines for the coupe! It was as fast as my fully bolted M3.
    The car is damn fast. Porsche made it just about as quick as the previous 997.1 GT3. The new GT3 is going to be absurd.
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    Plus the Porsche has an optional manual!

    If I ever enter the market for a German car the 911 will be the only car car on my list. The only question will be what year and what color.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by fieldysnuts8 Click here to enlarge
    Plus the Porsche has an optional manual!

    If I ever enter the market for a German car the 911 will be the only car car on my list. The only question will be what year and what color.
    No M3's huh? I knew it.
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    I don't like the look of the newer m3. I really liked your old one.and if i had to get something other than a Porsche it would be one of those with a manual.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by fieldysnuts8 Click here to enlarge
    I don't like the look of the newer m3. I really liked your old one.and if i had to get something other than a Porsche it would be one of those with a manual.
    I like the E46 a lot too. Classic design.
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    And the engine was simply a work of art. I'm sure the new v8 is sweet too, I know they sound awesome but there is just something about BMW inline 6's that makes me happy inside.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by fieldysnuts8 Click here to enlarge
    And the engine was simply a work of art. I'm sure the new v8 is sweet too, I know they sound awesome but there is just something about BMW inline 6's that makes me happy inside.
    I think the classic I-6 is the better motor but the S65 V8 is pretty awesome as well. Read this: http://www.bimmerboost.com/showthrea...ower-potential
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