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Is Audi one step ahead of BMW with new S4 and RS6?

3-Series | September 24th, 2008 by 29

BMW has a V10 M5 out and Audi will be releasing the powerful twin-turbo V10 RS6. The next generation  M5 will be equipped with a …

BMW has a V10 M5 out and Audi will be releasing the powerful twin-turbo V10 RS6. The next generation  M5 will be equipped with a twin-turbo V8. The BMW 335i is a twin-turbo outputting 300horsepower and is an amazing car, but in the same time Audi will respond with a new S4 powered by a supercharged six cylinder engine, 333horsepower.

Doesn’t it seem like Audi is really stepping up their game and trying to take on BMW even more than before? The funny thing is that BMW’s CEO  was quoted saying he does not even see Audi as a competitor, similar to what Michael Dell said to Steve Jobs.

Article By CARversation

  • http://bangledbimmer.blogspot.com Bangled

    Excellent point about not seeing the competition. As a three time BMW owner I can tell you the only competition I see is Audi. I have to confess that I was actually going to get an A4 back in ’98 because I was in the market for a new car and the E36 3er was getting a little long in the tooth at that time. I waited and was rewarded with the E46 which was stunning. Back then the only marque other than BMW with the performance and style I was looking for was Audi. Same thing goes for today, no other manufacturer come close.

    BMW pwns Mercedes, they can pump all the bHP and kW they want into their engines and the BMW will still be a superior car. For the longest time the same was true of Audi, but the gap is narrowing. While biggest engine bragging rights aren’t as important as they once were, it’s still important to maintain a performance advantage at every level of the model line. Unlike Mercedes, Audis can actually put that power to the ground in a useful manner, making them a threat. Nobody wants to pay more for less performance, so the one-upmanship continues.

    I must point out, however, that the new Audis are competing with the old BMWs. Audi has wisely set their product cycle to be a few years off of BMWs so they can find out to what level the bar has been raised. Not very sporting, but then again, playing the catch-up game never has been.

    After having a friend who has owned two Audis, and will never own another, I have been purged of any thought of considering an Audi again. When you consider performance, handling, style, technology, maintenance, longevity, and fuel economy there can only be one. For me that’s BMW.

  • adood84

    even if the Audi has a 30 BHP advantage , don’t forget that its a heavier car because of its AWD system. another thing is BMW will have better steering feel and response, because BMW steers with the front and drives with the rears

    watch this video and you will know what I mean
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aHj0zbhjLZI

  • Mauro Corti

    Adood here we are talking about S4, rs6, rs4, s6 and so on, all QUATTRO car, so the battle is between rear wheel driven and all wheel drive, and everyone must say that 4WD is better, you can use more bhp and turn better on every track with a 4wd car. Look at the amazing Nissan GT-R on the track against other 2WD car and you’ll see it.

  • Jon H

    The new S4 will barely hold a candle to the 335. The 335′s horsepower numbers are underrated, its much closer to 330hp, i mean come on it can beat the e46 M3 to 60. Now the new M3 is a whole different story, it will out perform the new S4 anyday.

  • adood84

    @Mauro Corti:

    have you even looked at the youtube video I posted , S5 has 350 BHP Quattro and the 335i still beat on track .

  • Benny

    @Mauro Corti: It is not that simple. It depends on the track and especially on the track-conditions which system is faster. Look at Porsche, they build an “easy to drive” 911 Turbo with all-wheel-drive and they build their monster for the track, the 911 GT2 – with rear-wheel-drive. If the AWD is good enough to compensate the higher weight depends on the track, not so much on the AWD-system. Have you ever asked yourself why Ferrari, Porsche, Pagani, Lotus and so on build Rear-Wheel-Drive cars when it comes to ultimate sportiness? That would make no sense at all, if AWD would be the ultimate answer. Of course, on a wet or snowy surface these cars won’t stand a chance against AWD-competitors, but most people drive their fastest “laps” in dry conditions, not when it’s raining. Of course you can say “Rain and snow separate the boys from the man” and that may not be that wrong, but in the end most people fear the risk of driving *really* fast in bad conditions. And this would be the situation where you get the advantages of AWD. Well, for someone who likes to drive like an axe-murderer in such conditions, AWD is the only solution :-)

  • Mauro Corti

    Well what I wanted to say it’s that there’s not always the sun in the sky… if you buy an S5 or a 335i you wanna use them on the road an maybe, sometimes, on the track. But in both situation if there’s a bit of rain the 4WD is still perfect on the road, the RWD needs so many traction or stability control…

    I’d prefer to buy a car that goes fast around a track even without TC or DSC or DTC or what else than a car that goes fast just with those systems on, especially on a track.

    And I’driving a RWD bmw so I’m not an owner of 4WD xd

  • LGgeek

    The one thing I have noticed is I don’t see very many old (10,20 years) Audi’s around. I see lots of old BMW’s, this says a lot about value to me.

  • Mauro Corti

    Yeah you’re right, I drive a 1991 E34 520i with 310.000 kms done, so yes, you’re definitely right :)

  • Akrion

    After Nissan GT-R I am not sure how people will be looking at sportiness in the next couple of years. Porsche, Ferrai etc are Exotic cars and ourprice BMW,AUDI and NISSAN as we all know so lets not bring them in this conversation.

    Ultimate sportiness also can mean R8 and Lamborghini for some people and those as we know are all 4WD.

    Audi is catching up and has big ambitions stated not once by its management. Audi has build a more sophisticated presence on the road and has already presented quite some competition to BMW M3 with the RS4 as we all know. Now have in mind that new models will be better then the old – common sense. So the old M3 was not as good as the RS4 but the new is and better. Now next is AUDI with the new RS4 which will beat the current BMW M3. That’s how the industry works and that’s how we the “consumers” spend our money – since there is always something better :)

  • Benny

    I agree with you, that the next RS4 will beat the current M3 and so on.
    BUT just because for some people ultimate sportiness is an Audi R8 or a Lambo that does not mean that these cars really represent ultimate sportiness. Maybe you find someone who associates a Nissan Micra with ultimate sportiness…
    The point is that ultimate sportiness is defines by laptimes. And a 911 GT2 or a F430 Scuderia is fast as hell, no matter what somebody thinks about them. Maybe the Nissan GTR will be faster, but I don’t believe this until the car has been tested by Horst von Saurma. Because if we say a GT-R is faster than this or that we always compare with his laptimes. Who knows what some Porsche-engineer gets out of the GT2? It is known that Horst von Saurma is not the fastest driver on the planet…

  • Mauro Corti

    You can’t compare the gtr performances with a GT2, because there’s an incredible price difference between the 2 cars, so if you also consider the price of the car, and you should, the GTR performances are AMAZING.

    And you should think about this. The GT2 is not a normal sedan, it’s a coupè, the GTR is instead a comfortable sedan.

    So if you compare not only performances, but also the kind of car and the price, the GTR is the REAL winner.

  • Mauro Corti

    You have a normal sedan, with a good trunk, good space inside , 4WD so you’re always safe and fast in every condition, you have an amazing engine… what a car…

  • http://www.carversation.com CARversation.com

    I do agree, BMW and Audi are a lot better than Mercedes which is slowly going to compete towards Lexus. Audi is narrowing the gap, and the S4 is aimed at the 335i not that M3, they have the RS4 for that. The thing that no one realizes and that amazes me is that the new 2009 Audi A4 is only a 4th generation car. The car has only been around since 1995 or 1996 I believe. Imagine if it has been around since the BMW 3 series. I have driven BMW’s and Audi’s for a while and must say performance is to BMW but handling hands down is to the Audi.

  • http://www.BMWtoday.de Benny

    I don’t want to judge the GT-R. I don’t care if it has 16 seats and a trunk so big that you can transport small countries. Concerning sportiness the 911 GT2 will be better. And it has RWD. You think Porsche could not sell the GT2 for the price of the GT-R? You are wrong. Look how much money Porsche earns with every sold car. The thing is: Porsche has got an image that *allows* them to sell the car for the price they want. Nissan has not got that image. If they would sell the car for the price Porsche would ask for it, nobody would buy it. So it is not fair to say “look how cheap it is, it is better” – If Nissan could sell the car for the price Porsche asks, they would do that too, believe me. It is not in their interest to sell cars cheaper than necessary…
    That is what has to be said concerning the price-difference. And if I compare different ways of bringing the power to the road and want to judge which is best, than I have to search for the best solution. No matter what the costs for the customer are, because these are not necessarily connected to the price of the product. If you look at AWD it is not that cheap either, compared to a identical car with RWD only: AWD gives you about 100 kg more weight. So you have a higher fuel consumption. So you have inferior performance. So you have higher wearout of all components (brakes, tires etc.). And it gives you more friction between the engine and the wheels. So you have less power at the wheels which gives you inferior performance again. And inferior efficiency, resulting in higher fuel costs.

  • Jordan

    @Mauro Corti: @Mauro Corti: @Mauro Corti: Hey mauro… I don’t know if you know this already but breaking news here, the GTR is officially a “coupe”!!

    Also if I used your logic I could say the Civic SI is the real winner against a Corvette but everyone who knows anything about racing would know that that isn’t true at all. So as good as the GTR is, it can’t beat some other cars on the road and I would rather spend more money to get an R8 or for about the same money a new M3, hands down I would get the M3 before the GTR. You might have slightly less performance around a track than the GTR and I mean “slightly” but you get a quality car that makes it a BMW and you can not get that anywhere else.. period.

  • Jordan

    @Benny: Couldn’t agree more with you Benny.

  • Mauro Corti

    Sry jordan I didn’t mean to say it’s a sedan, of course I know it’s a coupe…

    I agree with Benny saying that Nissan would sell the GTR at the same price of the GT2 if that would be possibile, it’s true of course. But if you think about having not all the money you want, but “just” 90k €, and you’d want a sporty car, the GTR should be your choice.

    I agree with you, if I had 200k € to spend for a car I’d not buy the nissan gtr, but you have to admit that for 90k€ that is an impressive performancing car

  • Mauro Corti

    performing sry… I hate theese things :)

  • Akrion

    @ Benny – “ultimate sportiness is defines by laptimes.” Right :) Check Top Gear Test Records (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Top_Gear_Test_Track) where you can see that your beloved GT2 is not even in the top 5. How is that possible? Based on the Nürburgring lap times (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nordschleife_fastest_lap_times) the GT2 is #4 but based on Top Gear is far behind. So the driver, the track and the car all matter right? So do you want to rethink your definition of “ultimate sportiness” ?
    If ultimate sportiness depends on so many things then R8 or GT-R can easily get the best time if the conditions are adequate and the driver is “lucky”.

  • http://www.BMWtoday.de Benny

    @Akrion: Well, I don’t know why, but Porsche never performed to good at Top Gear. Don’t know if this is because Jeremy doesn’t like them, who knows. I believe that you can build a track for certain cars. If you build an extremely twisty circuit with very few straights, a Lotus Elise or Exige will be very very fast, as well as an Ariel Atom, KTM X-Bow and so on. If you have a track that has very long straights and as few corners as possible, these cars won’t be anywhere in the Top 10. I believe that the Nürburgring Nordschleife is a track that can be compared to normal roads very good. Better than the Hockenheimring or the Top-Gear track if you ask me. A car that is fast on the Nordschleife will be fast on every road – not on every circuit. On the other you see that a Porsche 911 GT2 is about 1:30 minutes quicker than a VW Golf GTI – on a 20 km track. So you can also say that all these things are not that important and the driver is much more important in everyday-driving. I would agree on that. In the end all these things concerning 3 seconds here or 5 seconds there are just useless, what matters most (to me) is the pleasure you can have when you are driving.
    As an example I give you the Audi R8. On the Nordschleife it is not quicker than an E92 M3, but on the Hockenheimring it is a lot faster. Same driver, same wheater. You see, what matters is how well the track fits to the car or vice versa. And as I said, I believe the Nordschleife gets very close to normal roads, at least much closer than most other tracks.

    @Mauro Corti: Of course, if you have to buy a supercar for under 100.000€, there are only two possible choices. The GT-R and the Z06. Any other car in this price-range is way slower on most tracks, no question.

  • http://www.bmwblog.com Horatiu B.

    @Benny: Yes, the Porsche brand name is more powerful than Nissan, so that gives them a solid advantage.

  • http://www.carversation.com CARversation.com

    Ya that is true Nissan could never sell if it sold at Porsche’s price. It depends on what you want, if you want a fast car for racing purposes only then get the Nissan, If you want a car you can turn heads, attract ladies, and feel successful then get the Porsche. I like both cars obviously and I’m impressed with Nissan for making a car like that and setting new standards.

  • adood84

    there is no denying that the GT-R is a great car , but bringing up that Lambo has 4WD is lime , Lambo’s have been RWD until Audi became in charge ad teh only reason they are AWD is because the VAG group doesn’t have any rear wheel drive drivetrains in their line up , I guess Lambo was loosing too much money for Audi that the decided not develop a RWD drivetrain

  • Lance

    OF COURSE NOT. BORING INTEIOR, CHEAP INTERIOR PLASTICS(EXCLUDE DASH), POOR HANDLING AND MOST OF ALL A VW WITH AN AUDI BADGE THAT DOESN’T MEAN MUCH EXCEPT FOR BMW WANT TO BE. I WOULD RATHER GET SOMETHING THAT’S ORIGINAL AND THE BEST – BMW.

  • Gragop

    If anyone wants a good comparison of BMW to Audi then go download the episode (circa 2002 or 2003?) where Jezza compares the B6 S4 to the E46 M3. It’s a good comparision in terms of what to expect from each company. The M3 is, of course, more hardcore and driver-oriented whereas the S4 is more of a high powered sedan that can move you from A to B in a rapid, controlled manner.

    I drove the 2.0T version of the new B8 A4 about 2 weeks ago. It’s a very nice car and handles exceptionally well – I took turns at 70mph I didn’t think I could do at 50mph – and a lot of the understeer is gone over previous models. But it’s still boring to drive, it’s easy to drive but it feels like you’re on rails – this is indicative of most Audi models and where they’ll never surpass BMW – regardless of horsepower. Thus my decision on a new car is always easier after realizing this.

  • VASA

    are fu…ing kidding me?? audi one step ahead of BMW???? IS THIS A JOKE OR WHAT??

  • u make one then.

    Man, you bmw fiends really cringe and become insecure when audi is brought up. why is that? they both are superb cars and both have there pros and cons. have any of you been to germany and visited these factories and spoken with any of the designers or engineers. It’s interesting to know the motivations and goals these engineers have when you speak with them. you should hold your opinions until you realize where the car comes from, or who it comes from for that matter.

  • http://www.carversation CARversation.com

    I agree both are extremely fine automobiles. I just find it amazing because less than 10yrs ago I didn’t really know of Audi and about 5yrs ago, I thought they were ok. Now here I am comparing Audi to BMW

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