Impressive Skidpad Tests for Executive Vehicles

We noted with interest a recent article in Car and Driver magazine concerning the 2022 Mercedes Benz S 500. Along with many of its other attributes, the S500 managed to navigate the skidpad test at .92 Gs. The Skidpad test is driving in a circle with a known radius and increasing the speed until the driver cannot keep the car on the radius. Then they take the MPH number and apply it to a relatively simple equation that determines the vehicle cornering power measured in Gs, which is lateral acceleration.

The S500 is not the only executive vehicle with an impressive skidpad number. Here are the numbers for some other Executive Vehicles. 

  • The Audi A8  – .93 gs, 
  • BMW – .88 gs, 
  • Bentley Flying Spur – .98 gs,
  • Cadillac CT 5 – .93 gs

We are mentioning the high cornering power of these vehicles to point out that not too long ago, an executive vehicle that had this level of handling capability was unheard of. Skidpad numbers in the .9 Gs were for sports cars back then. 

Some History

Many years back, the Scotti School, through their website SecurityDriver.Com looked at executive vehicles and would develop the Executive Car of the Year Award (ECOTY). In fact, we had two awards, the Domestic Executive Car Of The Year (DECOTY) and the Foreign Executive Car Of The Year (FECOTY). Years back, you would not find a U.S. company driving a foreign car; back then, it was our opinion the selected vehicles were the best available for the environment they drove through.

Also, an interesting point is that when we first started the ECOTY awards, there was no need to have an SUV category – few, if any, corporations used them as “executive vehicles.”

When we first created the ECOTY award, a vehicle had to have a minimum skidpad handling number of .7 G’s to qualify. So when you look at the vehicles used today for secure transportation, the handling numbers have increased by close to 40%. So if we define Executive Vehicles as sedans, not SUVs, this also means that today’s Executive Vehicles capability has also risen by more than 40%.

Taking this to the next level. 

We define driving skill as the driver’s ability to use the vehicle’s capability. If the vehicle capability has gone up by 40 %, the modern security driver has that much more vehicle capability to get themselves out of a problem.

The skidpad numbers are a good measurement of vehicle handling capability. But that was just one of the measurements we used in the ECOTY test to determine the vehicle handling capability.

In an emergency, there is a substantial difference between the numbers presented via the Skidpad versus the numbers obtained from an exercise such as the Lane Change. 

For the Lane Change test, the Scotti School used the ISO 3888 -2 Lane Change Standard. This standard is used to measure a vehicle’s capability to avoid an accident.

The bottom line is that the modern Executive Sedan has far more capability than its predecessors.