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Porsche 911 Carrera S against Mercedes-AMG GT in the test

Hans-Dieter Seufert
Porsche 911 Carrera S (991 II) vs. Mercedes-AMG GT
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S ou first browse our data pages, inhale measured values ​​and lap times before reading the long scrolling text? Great, then the effort that we regularly put into the figures is worth it. Not so great that you then have to find out relatively quickly that an elementary component is missing today. In the first duel between the face-lifted Porsche 911 Carrera S and the Mercedes-AMG GT, of all things, we had to forcibly do without the 'lap time graphics' from Hockenheim.

Porsche 911 Carrera S 991 II with biturbo charging and 420 PS

After 15 years, the software of our GPS measuring device suddenly went on strike, and even manufacturer 2D could no longer read corner speeds, lateral forces and top speed. My loud swearing in the Motodrom should have been heard in the furthest corners of Germany. Unfortunately, the rounds could not be repeated with new software until the end of production because the rain god could not be softened. After all, in addition to photos of the lap times that have been stopped, there are also onboard videos on the display of the measuring device.

So, now let's start the story from the beginning. 9.20 a.m., dynamometer in Backnang, Swabia. Trust is good, control is better. First, the Porsche 911 Carrera S, known internally as the '991 II', rolls onto the roller dynamometer. It is less the optical bodywork retouching that anger the fan base than the change from the six-cylinder naturally aspirated boxer engine (9A1) to the three-liter six-cylinder boxer (9A2) with twin-turbo charging and 420 hp. Admittedly: four-cylinder in the Boxster, 911 Carrera only with turbo - at first glance that looks as real as the young Schalke Manuel Neuer in the FC Bayern jersey.

419.2 hp and 512.4 Nm - friends, there is nothing to complain about about the measured performance values ​​of the 911. The 911 out of the measuring hall, quickly check out the Mercedes-AMG GT. While maneuvering, we quickly send a little praise to Affalterbach. Thank you AMG, you are real sportsmen for facing the duel again, even though the GT was in the last comparison test ( sport auto 9/2015 ) still against the naturally aspirated 991 wafer-thin - with two points - the short onehad pulled.

Mercedes-AMG GT looks good in the lining

M178 rocks warmly. Behind the abbreviation is the four-liter V8 from AMG with dry sump lubrication and turbochargers in the cylinder V. A real fine specimen. In contrast to the 510 hp top model GT S, the four-liter GT without the S should officially produce 462 hp. Our dynamometer records 511.4 hp and 622.3 Nm. But one of them is good in the feed. A GT S measured a few months ago also delivered significantly more power instead of its 510 hp rated power and achieved 558 hp. 'Has a taste' is what they say here in Swabian. We hope the GT customer cars are also in good shape.

But now finally off to the Hockenheimring for a test. In front of the main course on the racetrack, there is a 100-kilometer-long mix of starters made up of country roads and motorways. First stage in the Revolutions-Carrera S. The farewell tears are limited. The ignition lock is still on the left. The optional and unchanged sports bucket seats continue to shine with excellent support. The dashboard is also similar to the first 991 generation. Nothing new in the interior, except for the modernized PCM infotainment system. In addition, S-GO 4018 carries the new optional sports steering wheel with mode switch based on the 918 steering wheel. At the push of a button, the drive train is configured for the best possible response for 20 seconds, for example when accelerating.

Press the accelerator pedal on the floor pan. The 911 engineers have finally given this kick-down threshold with their 80s US car eroticism. Sure, our Carrera S test car carries the optional seven-speed PDK for 'technical performance' reasons. After all, unlike other manufacturers, they have not yet completely let the standard handset become extinct. No kickdown, richer feedback from the paddle shifters and the new (and finally correct) shift strategy of the gear selector lever (pulling=upshifting, pushing=downshifting) - the PDK in the 'normal' 911 has now been adapted to the GT3-PDK div class='v-A_-article__inline-container'>

Hans-Dieter Seufert
The AMG GT is the louder and more emotional, the 911 the faster.

Porsche911 Carrera S to 100 km /h in 3.7 seconds

2,000, 3,000, 4,000 tours - now we finally come to the world first in the rear of the 911. Starting weakness, turbo lag - all nonsense: this modern biturbo engine hangs spontaneously and lively on the gas. And it can press extremely well, especially in the lower speed range. Better than the naturally aspirated engine, which sometimes made you have to stretch yourself against powerful diesel-torque station wagon monsters on the autobahn. Numerical values? Here you go: 3.7 seconds to 100 km /h, 13.0 seconds to 200 km /h. Wow, in the last comparison test, the vacuum cleaner 991 Carrera GTS with 430 hp took 4.4 and 14.9 for the same disciplines Seconds time.

And the power delivery? Almost evenly, without noticeable torque dents, up to a maximum of 7,500 rpm (991 suction cup: 7,800). You owed us such an easy-to-turn unit if you had already changed the Carrera worldview so radically! But there is one but: The biturbo works damn well, but it doesn’t come close to the frenetic naturally aspirated screaming that drove me to the autobahn at night instead of going to the refrigerator, especially in the rev peaks. Even if the acousticians did a good job with the now somewhat duller sawing, babbling and clearing their throat - I miss the Carrera screamer acoustically!

AMG with racing car character

Parking lot, change to the Mercedes-AMG GT. Or to put it another way: Welcome to the drama queen. With the 911, you know what you're getting. The GT surprises you and grabs you with its aggressive look even while standing. Just like the extroverted bodywork, the interior makes you greedy for cornering. The seating position in the optional performance seats is lower than in the Carrera S. Unlike the more reserved 911 cockpit, the GT control center is set up around the driver almost like in a racing car.

Let's go. As soon as the Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires have reached their working temperature in the test, the Mercedes-AMG GT zooms in with perfectly functioning Launch Control and without noticeable slippage. Up to 200 km /h. And when it comes to elasticity, the AMG is clearly ahead of the 911 Carrera S.

Even if the maximum speed of the V8 biturbo of 7,200 rpm is slightly lower than that of the 911 unit, that doesn't change the fact that the AMG engine is currently one of the best biturbo engines in the sports car segment. Spontaneous responsiveness and powerful torque over a wide speed range - this turbo is also bestial, but doesn't feel like a turbo at all.

While the seven-speed dual clutch transmission of the Mercedes-AMG GT, similar to that of the 911, is his The task can be completed with either comfortable, everyday or sporty, fast gear changes, and the optional AMG performance exhaust system (option U78) makes it immediately clear who is winning the sound competition today.Rumbling, bassy V8 hammering under full load alternates with cheeky exhaust quizzes during gear changes or throttling the accelerator. A terrific concert!

Pure driving pleasure in the Sport-Benz

AMG ride control suspension with electronic Controlled damping, 19- and 20-inch AMG forged wheels and AMG ceramic composite brake system - the Mercedes-AMG GT is well prepared for our popular excursion destination with all options. Welcome to Hockenheim. Get off the autobahn and get on the small track. In the last duel, in midsummer temperatures, the Mercedes-AMG GT had just beaten the Porsche Carrera GTS by a tenth of a second with a lap time of 1.11.6 minutes.

And today? Three-stage ESP deactivated, 'Sport Plus' damper characteristics - under ideal conditions the GT whips around the corner with even more ambition. Ambitious is the right keyword for precise steering behavior, but even more so for so-called sports parameter steering. From a driving dynamics point of view, its pointed design is almost like a racing car. Anyone who is often on the racetrack will quickly get used to the steering, for novice drivers it is probably nothing.

Especially in everyday life, at high speeds, the sports steering wheel needs to be held firmly. Even with the slightest steering movement, the GT hits noticeable hooks - every straight line on the motorway inevitably feels a bit like Döttinger Höhe. A quick pan to the Porsche 911 Carrera S 991 II in the test: At 300 km /h the straight line is so relaxed that you can let go of the steering wheel and grab a cheeseburger with both hands.

AMG GT without cup tires

Back to AMG: The chassis and tire developers also receive praise for the' small 'GT for traction under load . Unlike the top model GT S, the basic GT does not have an electronically controlled rear axle locking differential as standard, but a purely mechanical lock. Not on board this time, as not available for the basic model: the optional cup tires for the GT S (Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2).

Compared to the top GT model that has already been tested, the transition from stick-slip Friction earlier. The grip level is good, but as expected, of course, not the same as with the GT S. Where the GT S with the grippy cup tires raved fantastically neutrally over the ideal line, its smaller brother pushes a little more with the rear when accelerating out. The onset of power oversteer, however, is easy to control - pure driving pleasure. However, a fast lap is a bit of a challenge and requires a certain amount of discipline on the accelerator. Anyone who succeeds in doing this will be delighted with the GT today with a lap time that is one second faster than it was in midsummer. 1.10.6 minutes - is that enough to beat the Turbo Carrera S in the test?

Porsche 911Carrera S 991 II significantly lighter

Even when braking in the Porsche 911, it becomes clear that it will be a tight spot for the GT today. The ABS control works more sensitively and even more easily than in the GT. The Porsche 911 Carrera S 991 II is slightly ahead of the GT in terms of deceleration, and not just on the race track. Even if the AMG is quite good at hiding its weight of 1,642 kilos, the 911 not only feels subjectively more light-footed, but also is at 1,509 kilos.

PDCC roll compensation with PASM sports suspension (minus 20 mm ), for the first time with the rear-axle steering known from the 'real' 911 Turbo and the GT3 models, ceramic brake system - the new Carrera S is armed with all optional equipment that promotes lateral dynamics that is available in the option list.

In addition, the dimensions of the rear wheels have been widened by half an inch to 11.5 inches. The new generation of Pirelli P-Zero tires called N1 shines with an even higher grip level than the P-Zero predecessor tires (N0) when the working temperature is reached. Even more precise, even more neutral, even faster - as expected, the '991 two' has become even more of an ideal line nerd. The even development of power fits in very well with the lateral dynamics. The driveability remains unchanged with the high-revving turbo unit.

Phenomenal lap times for the 911

In sports Plus mode, it is better to let the PDK shift up and down independently. The transmission electronics shift down a gear with automatic double-declutching when braking dynamically on the racetrack and then up again at the ideal time when accelerating out. Better and more precise than the electronics in automatic mode D can hardly be pulled on the shift paddles even in manual transmission mode - so rather let the transmission do the work. I hardly dare to say: The perfectionist 911 trains in the border area are fascinating, but also almost a bit boring. But only almost.

The phenomenal lap time in the test on the small circuit of 1:09.8 minutes proves the Carrera S absolutely right anyway. This means that it is not only clearly faster than the AMG GT, but also the fastest 991 Carrera S with a naturally aspirated engine measured by sport auto (1:10.4 min). And the 911 GT3 is not far away with 1.09.5 minutes, but there is also a lot of work being done on a facelift model.

Yes, there is absolutely nothing to criticize? But! I am missing the note in the operating instructions: 'Please stretch your hand and arm muscles for tight racetrack curves.' On the racetrack, I just don't like the seemingly larger steering angles. Hearty Carrera character was earlier. In the narrow Hockenheim corners (exit Querspange and Sachskurve) you almost have to reach around until the 911 makes the desired change of direction.

911 R in progress

Even if the steering around the middle position doesn't feel quite as robust, this design has two advantages. At the limit, it is easier to control for the majority of customers than the GT steering, which reacts sharply. On the racetrack, the harmonious overall balance between the front and rear axles is not disturbed by hectic interventions. In addition, the steering scores with comfort in everyday life. And this is where the largest target group of the Porsche 911 Carrera S moves.

And for robust sports drivers there's still the GT department. The team is working on the perfect 991 for cast iron to be in Geneva - manual transmission, four-liter vacuum cleaner, delicious 911 R.

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