What's faster in a drag race between a Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S e-hybrid, a BMW M5 Competition, and a Porsche Panamera Turbo S e-hybrid? Is it a case of cars with electric-assist trouncing internal combustion? Or does the lone non-electric hybrid stand a chance?
BMW plans to launch a new 5 Series later this year, including a new M5 with a twin-turbo V8 and hybrid electric drivetrain, similar to the car Motor 1 spotted testing at the Nurburgring last month. But the current M5 CS is no slouch producing 627 bhp and 553 pound-feet of torque from its 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8. It's good for 0 to 60 mph in 2.6 seconds, on its way to a 190 mph top speed. With a 10.6-second quarter mile time, it has a fighting chance.
Looking at the competition, however, it will need every bit of that power. Starting with the new Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S e-hybrid that produces 843 bhp and 1,400 Newton metres of torque, the equivalent of 1,032 pound-feet, from a 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8. It hits 60 mph in 2.84 seconds, less time than it takes to say its name. We've seen it in action drag racing an AMG EQS 53, and it wasn't pretty for the electric-only EQS.
The final car in this three-way match is the Porsche Panamera Turbo S e-hybrid. Like the BMW M5, a new version of the Panamera was recently spotted working out at the Nurburgring. The current model uses a 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 and an electric motor like the AMG GT. Unlike the Mercedes, it only produces 700 bhp and 870 Newton metres or 641 pound-feet of torque. Still, it reaches 60 mph in 2.7 seconds and does the quarter mile in 11 seconds flat.
Even though three cars are racing, it quickly becomes apparent that only two are in the game. The BMW M5 is quick off the line, so much so that it looks like it jumped the launch. But a second run produces similar results. The M5 is quicker to 60 mph than the other two cars, but after that, the AMG GT makes up for it with its extra power.