As performance cars continue to become more and more powerful the point of diminishing returns comes up pretty quick when they are sending all that power to just 2 wheels. What’s the point of having 500-700 or even more horsepower if all you do is spin the tires when you try and use it. In the sports car world, the Nissan GT-R (545 HP), Porsche 911 Turbo S (530HP) and Lamborghini Aventador (700HP) are the kings, running 0-60 MPH in under 3 seconds with ease due to their AWD systems. Competitors like the Corvette ZR1 (638HP), Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 (662 HP) and Dodge Viper (640HP) are left for dead trying to play catch up while spinning their tires.
In the sports sedan world all of the best in class performers have gone with turbocharged engines that have massive amounts of torque and power. Audi is the only one that has all wheel drive as of now, but it’s best performer is the huge and very heavy Audi S8. Even with it’s large size and weight, it’s the S8’s all wheel drive and twin turbo V8 pumping put 520+ HP (we think they are way underrating it) is allowing for 0-60 in 3.6 seconds and high 11’s in the quarter mile at 118 MPH. This is enough to beat out the current Mercedes and BMW offerings, the M5 and E63.
Mercedes-Benz is finally coming around and is set to offer it’s first all wheel drive AMG sedan with the 2014 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG 4Matic. Motor Trend spent some time with an E63 test mule and experienced the AMG Launch Control system catapulting the new AMG from 0-60 MPH in 3.4 seconds. Torque is split 33/67 front/rear at all times which is great for all around driving although we would rather see an active system like the Nissan GT-R where it can vary the distribution at will.
We’re expecting this new AMG to be well into the 11’s in the 1/4 mile and into the 10’s after some tuning and boost increases. We’ve already seen the AMG built 5.5L V8 BiTurbo motor put down 620 horsepower to the wheels on RENNTech’s dyno which is well over 700 HP at the engine. Hopefully the AMG 4Matic drivetrain is up to the task to allow for 10 second sedans running with the GT-Rs at the drag strip. We haven’t heard anything about an all wheel drive M5 or M3, but we hope BMW follows along, if not, they’ll be literally left behind along with those ancient Vettes, Vipers and Shebys.