To be honest, these two cars aren’t direct competitors. On paper, the BMW M850i and the Porsche 911 do compare, yes; they’re similar in price, power, performance and size. However, in practice, they’re two very different cars. The Porsche 911 is a sports car that’s also luxurious and easy to live with. The BMW M850i is a grand touring car that’s also sporty. There’s a difference.
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In this new comparison video from Edmunds, we get to see just how different these two cars are, both on road and on track. The new 992-generation Porsche 911 has been completely revised and is a drastic change from the previous 991.2-gen car. Is it better, though? In a word, yes. It’s sharper to drive, more comfortable to live with and nicer on the inside.
While the BMW M850i is an all-new model, without a real predecessor, as the last 8 Series existed two decades ago. It’s about the same size and price as the 911, though the as-tested price of the Bimmer in this test is far, far cheaper. So which one is better to drive?
Powering the 911 is a 3.0 liter twin-turbocharged flat-six engine making 443 hp and 390 lb-ft of torque, while the BMW M850i gets a 4.4 liter twin-turbocharged V8. The latter makes 523 hp and 553 lb-ft of torque. So the Bimmer has a lot more muscle than the Porsche. With that power comes a lot more weight, though. So despite the 911’s significant power disadvantage, it’s actually quite a bit quicker in a straight-line, getting to 60 mph in 3.0 seconds flat, with the M850i taking 3.4 seconds. It’s pretty remarkable when 3.4 seconds to 60 mph isn’t quick enough to get the job done. Hats off to Porsche.
On track, there’s no question, the Porsche 911 is the better car to drive. It’s sharper, more dynamic and more exciting to actually drive. Its steering is significantly better and its entire chassis is more communicative. Though, you can sort of tell that the M850i hasn’t been designed to take on the 911. Instead, it’s far softer and more luxurious, making it more of a sporty GT car than all-out sports car.
So while the Porsche 911 is the better car on track, it’s the BMW M850i that you want to drive home from the track. Both are excellent cars that suit different needs but if we’re talking about which is actually more enjoyable to drive, I don’t think there’s a debate on the matter. The 911.