Just yesterday, the news of the upcoming F90-generation BMW M5 dropped. Many journalists (not us, of course) were able to fly out to Mirimas, France to test drive BMW’s newest hot-rod sedan. These were pre-production models and the real-deal won’t be debuting until the Frankfurt Motor Show in September, but we still learned quite a bit about the upcoming M5. So how will it stack up against the current, but aging, Audi RS6 Performance?
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Under the hood of the Audi RS6 Performance is a 4.0 liter twin-turbocharged V8 that makes 605 hp and 553 lb-ft of torque. That twin-turbo engine is mated to an eight-speed automatic gearbox and powers all four wheels. That allows it to get from 0-60 mph in 3.7 seconds and get on to its top speed of 189 mph. That’s mighty quick and impressive but it might not be enough to take on the upcoming BMW M5. The Bimmer uses a 4.4 liter twin-turbocharged V8 that makes over 600 hp (BMW was mum on the exact figure but it should be around the same 605 as the Audi) and 516 lb-ft of torque. It, too, uses an eight-speed automatic and powers all four wheels, although the BMW M5 will be able to become rear-wheel drive only at the push of a button. With all-wheel drive and launch control, BMW claims the new M5 can get from 0-60 mph in under 3.5 seconds and we’ve heard as low as 3.3. So it’as already faster than the RS6 to 60 mph. Credit its significant weight advantage, over the wagon-only RS6 for the extra speed, considering the RS6 has more torque but is still slower.
The M5 isn’t all about brute force, though, as there’s some clever tech underneath. The all-wheel drive system has three different modes — 4WD, 4WD Sport and 2WD. In the first mode, it’s all-wheel drive all the time with a rear bias. In the second mode, it’s mostly rear-wheel drive with only some front wheel intervention when it’s deemed necessary. In 2WD, it’s full-time rear-wheel drive and can do some proper tire-shredding stuff. Apparently, it’s a real hooligan and likes to drift quite a bit.
By contrast, the Audi RS6 Performance is a much more serious car. It’s not designed to do smokey burnouts or slidy drifts. It’s designed to be brutally fast in a straight line and it is. Though, we have a feeling that the M5 will be the driver’s car of the two. Whereas the Audi RS6 is the sort of car that can double as a supercar killer and a full-on family luxury car. While the BMW M5 will likely double as a track monster and luxury family car. We obviously haven’t driven either, as the new M5 isn’t out yet and the RS6 Performance is frustratingly kept out of America, but we’ll find out soon enough.