Comparison: Cadillac CTS-V and Porsche Panamera S

Porsche has recently fielded their first 4-door sedan, the Panamera.  The new Porsche Panamera is sort of a low-flying variant of the Porsche SUV, the Cayenne.  It uses similar nomenclature, and powertrains as the SUV.  The Panamera has widely been panned for its visual appeal (or lack thereof), but I am a function over form person.  I am also a Porsche fan from way back, so let’s see how the new German compares with Cadillac’s CTS-V Supercar Sedan.

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Cadillac CTS-V's at Montecello Motor Club

The Porsche Panamera comes in S, 4S, and Turbo Variants.  The Panamera S, which starts at $90.7K, is the Panamera model that is likely to be cross-shopped with the $60.7K Cadillac CTS-V.

Porsche Panamera S

Porsche Panamera S

Here are the stats according to Motor Trend for the Porsche Panamera S:

2010 Porsche Panamera S
Base price range $90,775
Price as tested $104,805
Vehicle layout Front-engine, RWD, 4-pass, 4-door hatchback
Engine 4.8L/400-hp/369-lb-ft DOHC 32-valve V-8
Transmission 7-speed twin-clutch auto
Curb weight (dist f/r) 4108 lb (53/49)
Wheelbase 115.0 in
Length x width x height 195.6 x 76.0 x 55.8 in
0-60 mph 5.1 sec
Quarter mile 13.5 sec @ 105.8 mph
Braking, 60-0 mph 108 ft
Lateral acceleration 0.95 g (avg)
MT figure eight 25.7 sec @ 0.72 g (avg)
EPA city/hwy fuel econ 16/24 mpg
MT observed fuel econ 16.8 mpg
CO2 emissions 1.03 lb/mile
It would be ideal to compare these cars head to head.  Lacking that, here’s some similar Motor Trend test data for the Cadillac CTS-V:

Motor Trend Data: 2009 Cadillac CTS-V

2009 Cadillac CTS-V
POWERTRAIN/CHASSIS
Drivetrain layout Front engine, RWD
Engine type Supercharged 90-deg V-8, alum block and heads
Valvetrain OHV, 2 valves/cyl
Displacement 376.1 cu in/6162 cc
Compression ratio 9.0:1
Power (SAE NET) 556 hp @ 6100 rpm*
Torque (SAE NET) 551 lb-ft @ 3800 rpm*
Redline 6200 rpm
Weight to power 7.7 lb/hp
Transmission 6-speed automatic
Axle/final-drive ratios 3.23:1/2.16:1
Suspension, front; rear Control arms, coil springs, adj shocks, anti-roll bar; multi-link, coil springs, adj shocks, anti-roll bar
Steering ratio 16.1:1
Turns lock-to-lock 2.6
Brakes, f;r 14.6-in vented disc; 14.4-in vented disc, ABS
Wheels, f;r 9.0 x 19-in; 9.5 x 19-in, forged aluminum
Tires, f;r 255/40R19 96Y; 285/35R19 99Y Michelin Pilot Sport PS2
DIMENSIONS
Wheelbase 113.4 in
Track, f/r 61.8/62.0 in
Length x width x height 191.6 x 72.5 x 58.0 in
Turning circle 37.9 ft
Curb weight 4277 lb
Weight dist., f/r 54/46%
Seating capacity 5
Headroom, f/r 38.8/37.2 in
Legroom, f/r 42.4/35.9 in
Shoulder room, f/r 56.7/57.4 in
Cargo volume 13.6 cu ft
TEST DATA
Acceleration to mph
0-30 1.8 sec
0-40 2.6
0-50 3.3
0-60 4.3
0-70 5.5
0-80 6.8
0-90 8.1
0-100 9.7
Passing, 45-65 mph 2
Quarter mile 12.6 @ 114.6 mph
Braking, 60-0 mph 106 ft
MT figure eight 25.1 sec @ 0.75 g (avg)
Lateral acceleration 0.94 g
Top-gear revs @ 60 mph 1800 rpm
CONSUMER INFO
Base price $60,700
Price as tested $66,835
Stability/traction control Yes/yes
Airbags Dual front, front side, front/rear curtain
Basic warranty 4 yrs/50,000 miles
Powertrain warranty 5 yrs/100,000 miles
Roadside assistance 5 yrs/100,000 miles
Fuel capacity 18.0 gal
EPA city/hwy econ 14/19 mpg
CO2 emissions 1.22 lb/mi
Recommended fuel Unleaded premium

Read more: Motor Trend Test

Conclusions?

  • The more expensive, Porsche Panamera Turbo, at 500 hp, comes closer to CTS-V performance than the Panamera S  model, but is unlikely to be directly shopped with a CTS-V since it costs roughly twice as much as the Cadillac.
  • The CTS-V has more power, at 556 hp/551 lb-ft vs 400-hp/369 lb-ft for the Porsche Panamera S, but weighs slighly more at 4,300 lbs vs 4,137 lbs.
  • The CTS-V acceleration numbers are notably stronger, with an advantage of 0.8 sec 0-60, at 4.3 sec for the Cadillac vs 5.1 sec for the Porsche.  At the quartermile the difference is still 0.9 sec, placing these two cars in different classes for acceleration.  Cadillac CTS-V: 12.6 @ 114.6 mph Porsche Panamera S: 13.5 sec @ 105.8 mph
  • Cornering:  The Porsche has the advantage here, pulling 0.94 g’s on the skidpad vs 0.93 g’s for the Cadillac.  However, the CTS-V powers ahead in the Figure-8: 25.1 sec @ 0.75 g (avg) for the Cadillac vs 25.7 sec @ 0.72 g (avg) for the Porsche.
  • The Porsche has the advantage in fuel economy, at 16/24 mpg city/highway vs a thirsty 14/19 mpg city/highway for the Cadillac.
  • The CTS-V is almost $30K less expensive than the Porsche, with the Cadillac CTS-V at $60.7K, and the Porsche Panamera S at $90.7K (starting prices).

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