BMW M6 Gran Coupe vs Audi RS7 Sportback

Audi RS7 vs BMW M6 Gran Coupe
14 Jan, 2014 9:45am

Can Audi’s fiery 552bhp RS7 beat four-door coupe rival from BMW?

Only the most powerful and exclusive Audis get to wear the hallowed RS badge. Yet the brand describes the latest addition to its ever-expanding range as “the most seductive model in Audi RS history”. 

BMW M6 Gran Coupe review 

Audi RS7 Sportback 

The new RS7 Sportback combines the 552bhp twin-turbo V8 of the RS6 Avant with the sleek A7 body to create a luxurious four-seat coupé with supercar performance. It’s not the only upmarket, four-door coupé with a hugely powerful engine, because BMW has shoehorned the 552bhp 4.0-litre V8 from the M5 supersaloon into the sophisticated 6 Series Gran Coupe. But while the Audi is four-wheel drive, the BMW features a rear-wheel-drive layout that promises greater driver thrills.

What our contenders have in common are eye-watering prices that wouldn’t look out of place on a bona fide supercar. So which one of our fast four-doors better justifies the cost?

Head-to-head

Engines

The pressure to make engines ever cleaner and more fuel efficient has created a trend towards smaller capacities – which means that the days of the V8 may be numbered. Thankfully, BMW and Audi haven’t abandoned them just yet. These 552bhp turbos are epic – the Audi’s 4.0-litre has 20Nm more torque, but the BMW’s 4.4 generates its 680Nm peak torque output 250rpm sooner. Both deliver scintillating performance and tuneful soundtracks.

Cylinder shut-off

The RS7 gets Audi’s cylinder shut-off tech. This means the engine runs as a four-cylinder at low loads. Active engine mounts isolate extra vibrations, so you hardly notice it. Like the BMW, it also has fuel-saving stop-start.

Putting it on the road

Channelling more than 550bhp on to the road is a challenge, but with its quattro all-wheel drive and sports differential, the RS7 has the upper hand in terms of traction. The set-up features a standard 40:60 torque split, yet 85 per cent can be sent to the rear axle or 70 per cent to the front, depending on grip. While the rear-wheel-drive BMW includes a clever limited-slip differential, it works its traction control harder – although it always intervenes smoothly. On the track, you can go for a dynamic setting that gives you more freedom, or turn the electronic safety nets off completely for tyre-smoking tail slides.

Worth considering

Porsche Panamera Turbo- The recently revised £107,903 Panamera Turbo has the badge kudos, power and performance to match the two cars in this test, thanks to its thumping 513bhp turbocharged V8 engine.

1st place - BMW M6

It's very expensive (especially compared to the mechanically identical M5), but the M6 Gran Coupé looks and feels special. With its agile rear-drive chassis, it’s rewarding to drive and offers pleasures beyond its staggering performance. It’s also more comfortable than the Audi. 

2nd place Audi RS7

With its powerful engine and quattro all-wheel drive, the RS7 offers supercar pace in a practical and stylish body. But while there’s lots of grip, the chassis disappoints, with an inert driving experience and an uncomfortable ride. And at this price you need more than just a great engine.

BMW M6 Audi 
Gran Coupé RS7
On-the-road price/total as tested £97,700/£116,055 £83,495/£115,405
Residual value (after 3yrs/30,000) £44,063/45.1% £37,740/45.2%
Depreciation £53,637 £45,755
Annual tax liability std/higher rate £6,776/£13,553 £5,782/£11,564
Annual fuel cost (12k/20k miles) £6,215/£10,359 £5,455/£9,092
Ins. group/quote/road tax band/cost 50/£1,790/L/£475 47/£1,670/L/£475
Cost of 1st/2nd/3rd service £1,000 (5yrs/50k miles) £420/£420/£420
Length/wheelbase 5,011/2,964mm 5,012/2,915mm
Height/width 1,393/1,899mm 1,419/1,911mm
Engine V8/4,395cc V8/3,993cc
Peak power  552/6,000 bhp/rpm 552/5,700 bhp/rpm
Peak torque  680/1,500 Nm/rpm 700/1,750 Nm/rpm
Transmission  7-spd auto/rwd 8-spd auto/4wd
Fuel tank capacity/spare wheel 80 litres/sealant 75 litres/sealant
Boot capacity (seats up/down)  460/1,265 litres 535/1,390 litres
Kerbweight/payload/towing weight 1,950/460kg/N/A 1,920/585kg/N/A
Turning circle/drag coefficient 12.5 metres/0.33Cd 11.9 metres/0.30Cd
Basic warranty (miles)/recovery 3yrs (unlimited)/3yrs 3yrs (60,000)/3yrs
Service intervals/UK dealers Variable/153 Variable/121
Driver Power manufacturer/dealer pos. 15th/24th 10th/23rd
Euro NCAP: Adult/child/ped./stars N/A N/A
0-60/30-70mph 4.9/3.1 secs 4.2/3.6 secs
30-50mph in 3rd/4th  2.1/3.0 secs 1.9/2.6 secs
50-70mph in 5th/6th/7th/8th  3.6/4.6/6.6 secs/N/A 2.4/4.7/7.2 secs/N/A
Top speed/rpm at 70mph  155mph/2,300rpm 155mph/1,800rpm
Braking 70-0/60-0/30-0mph  50.5/36.2/9.8m 47.5/34.7/9.8m
Noise levels outside/idle/30/70mph 73/50.5/64/71dB 71/51/67/70dB
Auto Express econ (mpg/mpl)/range 12.2/2.7/215 miles 13.9/3.1/229 miles
Govt urban/extra-urban/combined 20.2/37.2/28.5mpg 20.3/37.7/28.8mpg
Govt urban/extra-urban/combined 4.4/8.2/6.3mpl 4.5/8.3/6.3 mpl
Actual/claimed CO2/tax bracket 535/232g/km/35% 469/229g/km/35%
Airbags/Isofix/ceramic brakes Six/yes/£7,395 Six/yes/£8,650
Metallic paint/LED lights/night vision Yes/yes/£1,535 Yes/yes/£1,510
Park sensor/camera/adapt dampers Yes/£355/yes Yes/£400/yes
Sat-nav/DAB radio/Bluetooth Yes/yes/yes Yes/yes/yes
Soft-close doors/leather/heated seats £560/yes/yes £620/yes/yes

Disqus - noscript

So by my reckoning, the RS7 beats the M6 on every level except the chassis and firmness of the suspension?

Yeah two really big factors when your spending that much on a car. If the bmw had 4wd it would cream the audi because the torque comes in sooner. Bmw has a longer history of great big cars in the 80's , 90's what did audi have, not a lot the 80 and 100 models which were not class leading. Audi are still playing catch up in many terms.

Ha this is the second time auto express have posted this. But have removed all previous comments about the audi being the better car, due to the conclusion it had phenomanol acceleration and sheer grip.
Comments were based on the audi thrashing the bm on the straights, let alone leaving the bm for dead in the corners as the bm would loose its rear end in the bends.
Why did AE remove all the comments and repost the article again? Interesting

Matt one word - R8. Untill bmw catch up ay.

"(Audi)... inert driving experience" - same criticism levelled at nearly every S and RS model in the last decade. Why don't Audi work on this? Buyers of Audi's don't seem too concerned! Although in certain climatic conditions they obviously have little choice as a RWD might kill you :)

The M6 is the better car. Yes the Audi will cover ground quicker in wet situations, yes it has slightly quicker in-gear times for a few gears, and yes it is cheaper. However, dynamically, the RS7 is just another average-steering and understeer-happy Audi RS of recent years. The M6 is a happier handler and ride comfort does matter a lot when spending 90k+ on a 4-seat Grand Tourer. So nice attempt Audi, the RS7 is great, but the M6 Gran Coupe is magnificent. And the cheaper M5 Competition Pack trumps both!

Thrashing the BM on the straights? It just edges it in the in-gear acceleration tests. Hardly sounds like a thrashing to me.

So the Audi beat the BMW in pretty much every test, its a lot cheaper, its better looking and its better on fuel. I honestly cannot see how the BMW won??

No it's not that, there was a video with a drag race and Audi finished that far ahead of the bm, they didn't bother to time it.
Given it was slightly wet, but wouldn't make a difference really, similar as the Lamborghini's with the Quattro set up these days. All the power goes to the road instead of burning out your back tyres.

As big saloon cars or gt cars I meant moe ,not supercars.Thats where bmw excell!

If you look the in gear 30 to 70 figures they show the bmw 0.5 sec quicker now that's after its lost its grip from standstill both rolling theres nothing in it apart from the bmw can handle sweetly.

I agree!

britain test are always the worst, all the world says RS7 is the best in class, then here go english clowns

rs7 is a better car in every way. you're wrong

plus:

autozeitung tested rs7 and says it's the best
the same story for carandriver
same plot with motor und sport
edmundus says rs7 is better than panamera turbo

than here come you britain guys and the world starts laughing

"Only the most powerful and exclusive Audis get to wear the hallowed RS badge"

Ummmm, durrgh!!! And here was me thinking Audi would bring out a 1.4TDI A3 with RS badges on it.

1 Car 2 Badges as far as im concerned same simple old school twin turbo V8 engines & same output no complex naturaly asspirrated V10's, V8's cheaper & more simple with turbo power, BMW AUDI MERCEDES group all work together there secret partners only unaware buyers/customers dont know or may not even care i just dont get why silly little boys who will Never Own or Even Drive these Cars arg ue over which is best Pathetic, VAG BM MERC have this car industry all sewn up. Same Simple smaller capacity engines with higher power in the same cars with different badges on & different suspension, Steering, Drive Rwd/4wd & Powerband setup etc to give a different feel.

A big factor in what makes a car good or bad is how well it responds to the roads in a country. This is a UK car review for UK roads, and our verdict reflects that.

Lots of upset Audi fans.

I recently drove both the RS7 and M6 GC with comp. package. After reading other reviews I was expecting to prefer and purchase the RS7. In the end I bought the M6. The interior and driver centric cockpit was far superior. Perfomance was thrilling in both. I also thought the M6 had great styling from all angles, whereas the RS7 still looked like an A7 from the side and back. Both are great cars!

Completely agree. From the back the RS7 isn't a good look.

Auto Express 1,343
For more breaking car news and reviews, subscribe to Auto Express - available as a weekly magazine and on your iPad. We'll give you 6 issues for £1 and a free gift!

Sponsored Links