2013 Audi RS6 Avant vs. 2013 BMW M5 – Comparison Test Drive

BMW M5 | November 11th, 2013 by 7
bmw m5 audi rs 750x457

UK magazine CAR test drives and compares the Audi RS6 Avant against the BMW M5.

The Audi RS6 Avant is powered by a 4.0-liter V8 engine generating 560 horsepower between 5,700 and 6,700 rpm, and 516 pound-feet of torque (700Nm) between 1,750 and 5,500 rpm. This engine is equipped with two large twin-scroll turbochargers and an additional intercooler inside the cylinder-bank valley. With the new engine the RS6 Avant will sprint from 0 to 62 mph in just 3.9 seconds and up to an electronically limited top speed of 155 mph. However, when the car is equipped with the optional Dynamic Plus package, it can go up to a sphincter-clinching 189 mph.

bmw m5 audi rs 750x415

The engine is mated to an eight-speed Tiptronic transmission with “D” and “S” modes. Power to the wheels is sent via the QUATTRO system.

The 2013 BMW M5 is powered by a high-revving 4.4-liter turbocharged unit that uses the BMW M TwinPower Turbo technology. The engine outputs 560 horsepower from 5,750-7,000 rpm and 680Nm (502 lb-ft) of torque from only 1500rpm. It comes in both manual and 7-speed DCT transmission.

Here is an excerpt from the review:

Thanks to Quattro, aggressively spaced bottom gears, launch control and superglue rubber it can accelerate to 62mph in 3.9sec, accompanied by a whiff of tyre smoke and a faint trace of charger whine, yet the claimed fuel consumption is a remarkably frugal 28.8mpg.

The RS6 remains, in the true tradition of fast Audi estates, a blunt instrument to drive. Despite ceding 20bhp to its Lamborghini V10-engined predecessor it produces a massive 37lb ft of extra torque (516lb ft in all) which it smears onto the road in a fat, flat, juicy curve all the way to 5500rpm. Leave it in Auto and rely on the hugely flexible Quattro drivetrain – which can dish up to 70% of the torque to the front wheels or up to 85% to the rear – and you can simply hoon it like a hot hatch, not even worrying about understeer unless you suddenly change direction mid-corner. Switch to Manual and you’ll have to be constantly on the ball to stop the V8 crackling into the limiter through the first few cogs.

The tweakable steering works best left in Comfort – stick it in Dynamic and it weights up without any appreciable feel, plus there’s a vague spot as you turn into a quick corner.

The M5, though hefty by M Sport standards, is 65kg lighter than the RS6 (no Quattro gubbins, see?), yet it’s half a second slower to 62mph. With similar torque on tap at comparable revs, the difference is down to the extra traction and better gear ratios, but again the figures aren’t the whole story. The BMW’s steering is far superior, remaining haptically connected no matter how much lock you wind on, and its input/output ratio is both linear and immediate. Tip: don’t fiddle with the steering calibration options – they merely morph ‘perfect’ into ‘heavy’ into ‘very heavy’.

The M5 feels really quick in the mid-range, its steady torque complemented by proper dramatic punch as the revs rise, and the DCT dual-clutch seven-speed ’box outshines the Audi’s eight-speeder, albeit with less artillery drama than the previous M5. The BMW’s variable damper settings are better sorted, too, with Dynamic being less firm than the RS6’s and Comfort being less mushy. Audi may have gone too far off the scale at both ends.

Full review