Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2011 Porsche 911 VS 2011 Mercedes SL-Class Near Phoenix, AZ

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2011 Porsche 911

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2011 Mercedes SL-Class

Safety Comparison

The 911 offers all wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The SL-Class doesn’t offer all wheel drive.

Both the 911 and the SL-Class have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four wheel antilock brakes, traction control and electronic stability systems to prevent skidding.

Warranty Comparison

The 911’s corrosion warranty is 6 years and unlimited miles longer than the SL-Class’ (10/unlimited vs. 4/50,000).

Reliability Comparison

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2010 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Porsche vehicles are better in initial quality than Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Porsche first in initial quality, above the industry average. With 4 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mercedes is ranked third.

J.D. Power and Associates’ surveys of the owners of three-year-old cars provide the long-term dependability statistics that show that Porsche vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Porsche first in reliability. With 32 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mercedes is ranked 9th.

Engine Comparison

The 911 GT2 RS Coupe’s 3.6 turbo 6 cyl. produces 16 more horsepower (620 vs. 604) than the SL65 AMG’s 6.0 turbo V12.

As tested in Car and Driver the 911 Turbo S is faster than the SL63 AMG (SMG transmissions tested):



Zero to 30 MPH

1.1 sec

1.8 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

2.7 sec

4.4 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

6.4 sec

10.4 sec

Quarter Mile

10.8 sec

12.9 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

129 MPH

112 MPH

The flat cylinder configuration of the boxer engine in the 911 lowers its center of gravity, enhancing handling stability. The SL-Class doesn’t offer a boxer engine configuration.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

The 911 Turbo/GT3/GT2’s optional brakes have 9% more swept area (the area covered by the brake pads) than the SL-Class (740 vs. 678 square inches).

The 911’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs standard on the SL550 are solid, not vented.

The 911 offers optional heat-treated ceramic brake rotors, which last ten to twenty times as long as conventional cast iron rotors, don’t rust, don’t fade during repeated high speed braking, and their lighter weight contribute to better braking, handling and acceleration. The SL-Class doesn’t offer ceramic brake rotors.

The 911 stops much shorter than the SL-Class:



80 to 0 MPH

184 feet

211 feet

Road & Track

70 to 0 MPH

145 feet

178 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

107 feet

120 feet

Road & Track

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The 911 Cabriolet handles at .92 G’s, while the SL550 pulls only .84 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

Chassis Comparison

The Porsche 911 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 850 to 1150 pounds less than the Mercedes SL-Class.

The 911 is 4.8 inches shorter than the SL-Class, making the 911 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The 911 is 9.4 inches narrower on average than the SL-Class, making the 911 easier to handle and maneuver in traffic.

To almost totally eliminate engine vibration in the passenger area, the 911 Sport Chrono has an electronically controlled liquid-filled front engine mount. A computer-controlled electric current in the liquid changes its viscosity, allowing the mount to dampen the engine completely at all RPMs. The SL-Class uses conventional solid rubber engine mounts.

Passenger Space Comparison

The 911 has standard seating for 4 passengers; the SL-Class can only carry 2.

The 911 has 13.5 cubic feet more passenger volume than the SL-Class (64 vs. 50.5).

Ergonomics Comparison

The 911’s instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge – which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The SL-Class does not have an oil pressure gauge.

The 911 has a lever hand brake in the console, easy to use while keeping both feet free and not impeding entry and exit. The SL-Class’ foot pedal parking brake is not handy to use as a hill holding device with a manual transmission.

The 911’s standard power mirror controls are mounted on the door for easy access. The SL-Class’ standard power mirror controls are on the center console where they can’t be seen without the driver completely removing his eyes from the road.

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