Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2014 Porsche Panamera VS 2014 Audi S8 Near Scottsdale, AZ

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2014 Porsche Panamera

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2014 Audi S8

Safety Comparison

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Porsche Panamera have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The Audi S8 doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

The Panamera has standard ParkAssist to help warn drivers about vehicles, pedestrians or other obstacles behind or in front of their vehicle. The Panamera also offers an optional backup monitor to help drivers see any and all obstacles behind their vehicle, and an optional Surround View System to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle. The S8 doesn’t offer any parking assist system.

Both the Panamera and the S8 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front and rear side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control and electronic stability systems to prevent skidding.

Reliability Comparison

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Panamera third among large premium cars in their 2013 Initial Quality Study. The S8 isn’t in the top three in its category.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2013 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Porsche vehicles are better in initial quality than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Porsche first in initial quality, above the industry average. With 28 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 13th.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2013 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Porsche vehicles are more reliable than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Porsche second in reliability, above the industry average. With 53 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 23rd.

Engine Comparison

The Panamera Turbo’s standard 4.8 turbo V8 produces 35 lbs.-ft. more torque (516 vs. 481) than the S8’s 4.0 turbo V8.

As tested in Car and Driver the Panamera Turbo is faster than the Audi S8:



Zero to 60 MPH

3.3 sec

3.6 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

8.2 sec

8.5 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

4.1 sec

4.4 sec

Quarter Mile

11.7 sec

11.9 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

119 MPH

118 MPH

Top Speed

193 MPH

155 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the Panamera S E-Hybrid running its gasoline engine gets better fuel mileage than the S8 (23 city/29 hwy vs. 15 city/26 hwy).

The Panamera S E-Hybrid can drive on battery power alone for up to 22 miles. The S8 must run its internal combustion engine to move.

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Panamera’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The S8 doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The Panamera S4/GTS/Turbo’s standard fuel tank has 2.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the S8 (26.4 vs. 23.8 gallons).

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

For better stopping power the Panamera Turbo/GTS’ front brake rotors are larger than those on the S8:

Panamera Turbo/GTS


Front Rotors

16.1 inches

15.7 inches

The Panamera 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 S8 doesn’t offer ceramic brake rotors.

The Panamera stops shorter than the S8:



70 to 0 MPH

155 feet

156 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

105 feet

107 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction and acceleration, the Panamera has larger standard rear tires than the S8 (275/45R18 vs. 265/35R21). The Panamera’s optional rear tires are larger than the largest rear tires available on the S8 (295/35R20 vs. 275/30R21).

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The Panamera offers an available adjustable active suspension system, which counteracts cornering forces actively, limiting body roll and improving handling and stability. Audi doesn’t offer an active suspension on the S8.

The Panamera Turbo 4 handles at 1.00 G’s, while the S8 pulls only .90 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Panamera Turbo 4 executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the S8 (24.4 seconds @ .81 average G’s vs. 25.1 seconds @ .79 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Panamera S E-Hybrid’s turning circle is 1.4 feet tighter than the S8’s (39 feet vs. 40.4 feet). The Panamera’s turning circle is 1.1 feet tighter than the S8’s (39.3 feet vs. 40.4 feet).

Chassis Comparison

The Porsche Panamera may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 50 to 800 pounds less than the Audi S8.

The Panamera is 4.8 inches shorter than the S8, making the Panamera easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space Comparison

The Panamera has .8 inches more front headroom and .5 inches more front legroom than the S8.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Panamera’s available rear seats recline. The S8’s rear seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The Panamera’s standard rear seats fold to accommodate long and bulky cargo. The S8 doesn’t offer folding rear seats, only a ski pass-through.

Ergonomics Comparison

The Panamera offers a remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The S8 doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The Panamera’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 S8 does not have an oil pressure gauge.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the Panamera to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The S8 doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Panamera offers an optional rear wiper. The S8 doesn’t offer a rear wiper.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the Panamera detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The S8 doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

Optional Online Services for the Panamera allows the driver and passengers access to select programs on their smartphones, including playing internet radio stations, finding fuel prices at nearby service stations, searching the internet and other connected activities without taking their eyes off the road or their hands from the wheel. The S8 doesn’t offer factory integrated smartphone program access.

The Panamera offers an optional 115 volt a/c outlet in the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters which can break or get misplaced. The S8 doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Economic Advantages Comparison

The Panamera will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The Intellichoice estimates that the Panamera will retain 45.33% to 51.12% of its original price after five years, while the S8 only retains 40.78%.

Recommendations Comparison

The Porsche Panamera won the Check it Out award in Kiplinger’s 2013 car issue. The Audi S8 didn't win any award.

The Porsche Panamera outsold the Audi A8/S8 by 27% during 2012.

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