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2020 BMW M8 Gran Coupe vs. Audi RS7, Mercedes-AMG GT63 4-Door and Porsche Panamera Turbo

Roadshow logo Roadshow 10/9/2019 Kyle Hyatt
a car parked on the side of a road: This aspirational aubergine continent-crusher from BMW is elbowing its way into a crowded and illustrious segment, but how does it compare with its rivals? BMW© Provided by CBS Interactive Inc. This aspirational aubergine continent-crusher from BMW is elbowing its way into a crowded and illustrious segment, but how does it compare with its rivals? BMW

This is a great time to be alive if you're a car enthusiast with a decent budget. I mean, pretty much anything you could want exists. Want a nearly 800-horsepower coupe with a warranty? No problem. Want a turbocharged, V8-powered station wagon? You've got a few options there, too. 

What if you want something really specific, like a four-door sedan-coupe-thing, with a minimum of 500 horsepower and tons of technology? Well, great news, chum, because you're spoiled for choice. That's especially true now that BMW has announced its brand-spanking-new 2020 M8 Gran Coupe, but how well does it compare to its German rivals, the Audi RS7, Mercedes-AMG GT63 4-Door and Porsche Panamera Turbo?

The 2020 BMW M8 Gran Coupe is a boulevard bruiser

a car parked in a parking lot: BMW's M8 Gran Coupe is the M5's big, bad brother.

BMW's M8 Gran Coupe is the M5's big, bad brother.
© Provided by CBS Interactive Inc.

Drivetrain and performance

The name of the game here is turbocharged V8. The BMW's S63 4.4-liter engine makes 600 horsepower, or 617 hp if you opt for the Competition trim. The Mercedes-AMG unit is smaller at just 4.0 liters, but makes more power at 639 hp in GT63 S trim, or 577 hp for the standard GT63. The Audi is no slouch, but can't crack the 600-hp mark, despite also using a 4.0-liter V8. The Porsche is the least powerful car of the group, interestingly, with just 550 hp on tap, though to be fair, this isn't the top-tier Panamera we're talking about. (Since the Turbo S E-Hybrid uses a different, electrified powertrain, we're excluding it from this comparison.) 

The transmissions are also similar. Both the BMW and the Audi use eight-speed automatic transmissions, while the Mercedes' auto is a nine-speed. The Porsche is the only vehicle in the field with a real-deal dual-clutch transmission (now with eight forward gears), and it's a honey of a gearbox. 

All of our lovely contestants are packing all-wheel drive, which means that all of them can make the sprint to 60 mph at near-nosebleed-inducing speeds. The M8 Gran Coupe is the quickest, at 3.1 seconds for the standard car and 3.0 for the Competition, but the Mercedes isn't far behind. The GT63 will hit 60 mph in 3.3 seconds, while the S version does it in 3.1. The RS7, meanwhile, will do this sprint in a slower-but-not-exactly-slow 3.6 seconds, and the Porsche will match that. 

We live in America, with no unrestricted highways on which to drive, so top speed is a basically irrelevant metric for performance. Still, it's worth pointing out that the Mercedes-AMG will do a frankly silly 195 mph, and the Audi isn't far behind, hitting the proverbial wall at 190. The BMW M8 Gran Coupe and the Panamera Turbo will match the Audi, but all will only hit those speeds if their electronic limiters have been removed.

2020 Audi RS7

Engine

4.0-liter, twin-turbo V8

Power (hp)

592

Torque (lb-ft)

590

0-60 mph (seconds)

3.6

Top speed (mph)

190

2020 BMW M8 Gran Coupe

4.4-liter, twin-turbo V8

600/617

553

3.1/3.0

190

2019 Mercedes-AMG GT63 4-Door

4.0-liter, twin-turbo V8

577/639

590/664

3.3/3.1

195

2019 Porsche Panamera Turbo

4.0-liter, twin-turbo V8

550

567

3.6

190

2019 Mercedes-AMG GT 4-door Coupe: A practical beauty

a car parked in a parking lot: The 2019 Mercedes-AMG GT 4-door is the third model exclusive to AMG.

The 2019 Mercedes-AMG GT 4-door is the third model exclusive to AMG.
© Provided by CBS Interactive Inc.

Tech

All of our cars start at prices well over $100,000, so tech is a fair metric by which to judge them. The lucky thing for buyers in this segment is that it's pretty hard to go wrong, and mostly, it comes down to which infotainment system you like the best. 

The BMW M8 Gran Coupe, being, as we said, brand-spanking-new, has BMW's latest and greatest iDrive 7 system. This tech is easy to use, responsive and highly configurable. It even has a new artificial intelligence function, activated by saying, "Hey, BMW," to access connected-car features.

Audi's interiors are among the best in the biz, and the RS7's is certainly no exception. A large part of that comes down to the way in which Audi was able to integrate the many screens of its excellent MMI Touch Response system. In fact, Roadshow's editors like this system so much, we gave it a 2019 Shift Award for best in-car tech.

Porsche refreshed its infotainment system relatively recently, and the result is a considerable departure from the typically button-heavy layout of Porsches past. This new Porsche Communication Management touchscreen system is elegantly integrated into the cockpit, and it's big, at over 12 inches wide.

Finally, Mercedes' system is arguably the least attractively integrated into the GT63's interior, and it's probably the oldest because -- somewhat inexplicably -- Mercedes opted to use its aging Comand system instead of its fancy (and totally great) MBUX tech. Is it a deal breaker on an otherwise great car? Nope, but it's a real letdown.

2020 Audi RS7 Sportback is an impressively burly German

a red car parked in front of a house: No longer the shrinking violet among Germany's high-power grand tourers, the 2020 Audi RS7 Sportback makes an impression with its snarlier widebody look.

No longer the shrinking violet among Germany's high-power grand tourers, the 2020 Audi RS7 Sportback makes an impression with its snarlier widebody look.
© Provided by CBS Interactive Inc.

Price

Well, friends, it's no secret that none of these cars are cheap, though that's to be expected. But which car gives you the most for your money?

To start, it's worth mentioning that the M8 Gran Coupe manages to sneak in at $3,000 less than its two-doored sibling, with an opening price of $130,000, excluding destination. If you need the Competition package's extra 17 hp and upgraded suspension components, then you'll have to shell out an additional $13,000 on top of that.

The Audi RS7 hasn't received official US-market pricing, but we're ballparking an MSRP of around $115,000 before options. That means that while it's a bit down on power compared with the Benz and the Bimmer, it's also a little less damaging to your wallet, and that's not nothing.

The Mercedes-AMG GT63 4-Door is as pricey as its name is long, with a starting MSRP of $136,500 for the standard version and $159,000 for the S, and a relatively extensive list of available options can push the price up over $200,000. Still, the GT63 S is the most powerful out of all the competitors here, and that's gotta count for something.

The Porsche manages to just sneak under the asking price for the Mercedes-AMG, but because almost everything is offered as an optional extra, expect that price to start climbing quickly. We'd be shocked if yours didn't end up topping $200,000. Still, for that money, you're getting Porsche's legendary build quality and an interior that's among the best in the segment.

MSRP (including destination)

2020 Audi RS7

TBD

2020 BMW M8 Gran Coupe

$130,000/$143,000

2019 Mercedes-AMG GT63 S 4-Door

$136,500/$159,000

2019 Porsche Panamera Turbo

$153,000

The 2019 Porsche Panamera Turbo is the 4-door coupe for the sports car obsessed

a close up of a car going down the highway: Porsche's Panamera Turbo is no longer the top dog in the range, but that doesn't mean it's an also-ran.

Porsche's Panamera Turbo is no longer the top dog in the range, but that doesn't mean it's an also-ran.
© Provided by CBS Interactive Inc.

This was originally published on Roadshow.



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