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2012 BMW 650i vs. 2013 Mercedes-Benz SL550 vs. 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera S

6-series | June 18th, 2012 by 12
Luxury-Convertible-Comparison-BMW-Mercedes-Benz-Porsche-04

MotorTrend set course to compare some of the best, sportiest and most luxurious convertibles currently available on the market. Not an easy task when the …

MotorTrend set course to compare some of the best, sportiest and most luxurious convertibles currently available on the market. Not an easy task when the contenders are the new 2012 BMW 650i Convertible, its counterpart from Mercedes-Benz, SL550, and the classic Porsche 911 Carrera S.

First and foremost, let’s have a look at the powerplants found under the hood.

The BMW 650i Convertible is powered by a 4.4 liter V8 TwinTurbo unit producing 400 horsepower at 5,500 RPM and 450 lb-ft of torque at 1,750 RPM. A 4.6 liter V8 TwinTurbo is found in the Mercedes SL550. The unit produces 429 horsepower at 5,250 RPM and 516 lb-ft of torque. The Porsche is the only model out of the three to use a lighter six-cylinder engine with a displacement of 3.8 liter and 400 horsepower at 7,400 RPM. The torque is measured in at 325 lb-ft.

Here is an excerpt from MotorTrend’s review and some of highs and lows of these models:

2012 BMW 650i vs. 2013 Mercedes Benz SL550 vs. 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera S

3rd Place: 2013 Mercedes-Benz SL550 Roadster

Associate road test editor Carlos Lago agrees. “I don’t love this car, and it’s not for any rational, empirical, or concrete reason. I simply get this clinical feeling; there’s little in the way of emotion,” he wrote.

That’s not to say there weren’t parts of the SL we loved. The twin-turbo, 4.7-liter V-8 made friends easily with its blacktop-twisting 516 lb-ft of torque and thunderous exhaust note. That it could nearly run down the Porsche while weighing 700 pounds more left us shaking our heads. Likewise, we were uniformly impressed with the SL’s ride quality. On top of that, it offered impressive grip and sharper turn-in than did the Porsche. My notes make reference to a “high-performance cloud.”

2nd Place: 2012 BMW 650i Convertible

When I asked for their final rankings, associate online editor Nate Martinez noted the SL was only a step behind the other two, and Lago’s rankings went “First, second, almost second.” The BMW slipped ahead of the Benz by the skin of its teeth.

The BMW’s biggest advantage was its handling. While the SL had a stiffer chassis and softer ride, the BMW was more composed in the corners and more fun to drive. Plenty of automakers fit Sport, Comfort, Eco, etc. modes to their cars’ computers, but BMW is one of the best in clearly differentiating among the modes. In comfort, the BMW’s ride quality was not too far behind the Benz’s. Flick it into Sport or Sport+, and the ride, handling, throttle, and shifting firm up the higher up the scale you go.

Further helping the big Bavarian’s case was its ultra-modern interior. It may not be the most beautiful design in the world, but we appreciated it for taking a chance, unlike the other two, which seemed to be trying a little too hard to channel their heritage.

1st Place: 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera S

The Porsche won us all over by playing to our emotions. It was, without question, the most fun to drive. Where I was nervous about pushing the BMW to the limit, the Porsche seemed to have no limits, or at least, none I was willing to explore on a public road. The combination of sticky Pirellis, sport-tuned suspension, and an army of computers made the 911 unstoppable, even in wet conditions. While we still don’t like the less-tactile electric power steering, the target demographic probably thinks it’s a huge improvement. After all, this is a Carrera, not a GT3.

For the full review, visit MotorTrend.com.

Share with us your opinion in the comments section below. 3776534607

  • Not-any-more BMW fan

    Another shameful defeat for BMW. And not to say, the worst engine out of the three.

    • fredyschiftan@aol.com

      You think BMW cares about these journalist opinions or , even we care about it, every person has an opinion and this car the 650i is meant to a different kind of person, he does not want a small and uncomfortable Porsche , or does not like a Mercedes . the person looking for this car is very different also than these Journalits who just need to write something to attract attention !!

  • Not-any-more BMW fan

    Oh, Jesus, look what the Bezn does to the pathetic 650i acceleration-wise. It simply turns BMW to dust. SHAME ON BMW!!!!! The same applies to cornering as well. The 650i is a clear loser here. DOUBLE SHAME ON BMW!!!

    • BMW BEST

      Luxury + Performance = BMW
      Your Benz is just luxury,performance?HAHAHAHA!!Loser!

      • Not-any-more BMW fan

        Just FYI:
        Read the performance data on the Motor Trend website and don’t talk nonsense any more. Several facts:

        Acceleration from 0-60mph:
        BMW 650i: 4.9s,
        SL550: 4.0s

        Acceleration 0-100mph:
        BMW 650i: 11.4s,SL550: 9.7s

        Quarter mile:
        BMW 650i:13.3s at 108.8mph
        SL550: 12.5s at 114mph

        Braking 60-0:
        BMW 650i:115ft
        SL550: 105ft

        Lateral acceleration:
        BMW 650i: 0.87g (average)
        SL550: 0.94g (average)

        MT figure eight:
        BMW 650i: 26.4s @ 0.67g (average)
        SL550: 25.0s @ 0.73g (average)

        So how does it come that BMW has better performance, you idiot?

        • Suckmyballs

          Those are just numbers but in reality, BMW=Brings more women and I can fit 2 more babes in the back seats.
          Where are the SL’s back seats?

          • Not-any-more BMW fan

            Is this all you can say? We talk about performance. And in this department Mercedes hopelessly beats your pathetic BMW.

    • Like A Sir

      You probably missed a fact so I’ll point it out for you, Benz was 3rd. Glad to help you.

      • Not-any-more BMW fan

        The Benz has a better ride comfort and also better performance. So that 2nd place of BMW doesn’t make a sense for me, my friend.

  • Giom

    Not sure if the 911 should be in this group, but ok, potential buyers might look at all three. I don’t like the 911 convertible. I do like the SL. They’ve designed it to stand out and look like nothing else – I like that!

    But the 6 series convertible just look so sleek and well proportioned that it makes it the only clear winner for me. If it was better performance I was after, the M6 would do the job!

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  • E52


    And not to say, the worst engine out of the three” doesn’t seem like an awfully fare, or indeed true, opinion. The BMW produces 92.5 bhp per litre as compared to 91.3 in the Merc. The SL produces 109 lbs feet of torque per litre as opposed to the 102 made by the BMW. As you can see the difference is minuscule the 6′s engine is most definitely not “t
    he worst engine out of the three” Also if you were to compare the latest version of the N63
    ( with 450 BHP and 480 lb ft) to the Benzs engine then the stats would swing in the Bimmers favour. So now do you still think MB is best??????????????

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