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      11-10-2013, 01:41 PM   #1
JOHNBMWM5
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RS6 vs M5 (Car Magazine review)

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http://www.carmagazine.co.uk/Drives/...13-CAR-review/

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Audi RS6 Avant vs BMW M5 (2013) CAR review
By Georg Kacher
07 November 2013 07:00

Numbers don’t lie. But they rarely tell the full truth either. Just look at the new Audi RS6 Avant which, numerically, is an absolutely bulletproof choice. Its 4.0-litre V8 generates 552bhp. 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.

In addition it has eight gears to the M5’s seven, has a cavernous 565-litre boot (45 litres more than the BMW), 21in wheels instead of 20s and 420mm front brakes where the M5 has 400s. If this was a points contest then it’s game over.

But consider this: the true test of a great driver’s car is not the amount of tech or power, but how those assets are deployed. Too much technology can get in the way, and both these cars are flirting with tech overload. Audi’s Drive Select system has evolved into hard work by encouraging the driver to programme an increasing variety of vehicle characteristics, including everything from damper settings to the pitch of the exhaust note. There are no less than five different driving modes to choose from: Comfort, Auto, Dynamic, Individual and Lift (the latter being specific to the air suspension). It would be quicker to start up an Airbus.

The BMW M5’s more like a 737. They’ve learned from the mistakes in the overly complex DNA of the previous V10-engined M5. You can still personalise engine/transmission, steering, shift speed, dampers and the stability programme, but the keys to do so are now grouped around the transmission lever, ready for action. Better still, you can programme two pre-set modes through a pair of steering-wheel buttons. So, you get airborne quicker.

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.

Inside the cabins both cars make a decent fist of creating a bit of driver theatre – the M5’s head-up display features a rev counter that changes colour from amber to red as 7000rpm approaches, while the RS6 pulls the same stunt using LEDs that flash the cabin with, ahem, ‘upshift lightning’. Both cars are dark, cool and honed inside, the Audi’s honeycomb seats and milled controls being the more stylish, but the M5’s rubber-coated gear paddles stealing the honours for fingertip tactility.

But this test is not decided by cc, bhp, lb ft, mph, mpg, sec, litres or pounds sterling. Our preferred yardsticks are heart and head, in this order. The Audi is bi-turbo fast, Quattro-earthed and four-rings-solid. A future champ, no doubt, a highly competent attempt at perfection. But at the same time this is a strangely soulless automobile, remote and rather cold, chip-biased and not a particularly gifted communicator. Kind of a triumph of machine over man, really. The M5 is an extremely well balanced all-rounder, a master of feedback, honest through and through, always ambitious but never aloof. It is, by a short head, the better car.

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Interesting aya.
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      11-10-2013, 04:48 PM   #2
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First review I've seen praising the M5 steering. If RS6 steering is anything like the S5, I'm not surprised they didn't like it. It is very nice to look at though.

Not sure why they're calling the M5 half a second slower to 60 than the RS6 -- most people and mags are testing it at 3.6 - 3.7.
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      11-10-2013, 05:04 PM   #3
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Thanks for sharing. This was sans LCI and ZCP, also.
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      11-10-2013, 07:13 PM   #4
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M6 Gran Coupe has just beaten the RS7 in the latest Evo magazine. Evo are also now running an M6 GC on their long term fleet.
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      11-10-2013, 07:40 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Palmnuts View Post
M6 Gran Coupe has just beaten the RS7 in the latest Evo magazine. Evo are also now running an M6 GC on their long term fleet.
Evo were not fans of the M6 GC at launch as they thought it was a dilution of the M divisions core values. I believe they concluded that the M6 GC made the M5 look like a bargain and a hardcore driving machine (comparing 4dr to 4dr). It will be interesting to read if their initial views differ with a longer term test.
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      11-10-2013, 07:53 PM   #6
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It's a very positive review surprisingly.

In fact, Evo seem to like the M5/6 - the M6 even won it's Evo group test last year (almost unheard of for an M6 to win a group test), which is most unusual - I need to dig it out but IIRC, it was against the CLS63, Maserati Grantusimo and Panamera.
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      11-10-2013, 08:10 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Palmnuts View Post
It's a very positive review surprisingly.

In fact, Evo seem to like the M5/6 - the M6 even won it's Evo group test last year (almost unheard of for an M6 to win a group test), which is most unusual - I need to dig it out but IIRC, it was against the CLS63, Maserati Grantusimo and Panamera.
I could understand Evo preferring the 2dr M6 to the M5, it was the concept of the 'softer & more expensive' M6 GC (even allowing for the more stylish looks than the M5) that they seemed to have concerns with. Group test win above is a different matter, especially when you take into aesthetics & value for money. I'm assuming the Maserati was Quattroporte?

Thanks for the tip; I'll have to browse their review

John, sorry for the slight thread jack - I do like the look/practicality of the RS6 Avant & the security Quattro would bring. My first new car was a B5 A4, so I do admit to having a soft spot for Audi, however, if selecting again tomorrow would still opt for the M5.

Last edited by Dionysus; 11-10-2013 at 08:16 PM.
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      11-10-2013, 10:32 PM   #8
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long term test review: M5 vs Panamera GTS

http://www.carmagazine.co.uk/Drives/...ong-term-test/ (see his views month 4 and month 9, which appear to have shifted: "Just to keep twisting the knife, let’s throw in a rival too, say the BMW M5, which has 128bhp more power, costs £18k less, and when you drive it hard it’s better than the Panamera – and every other super-saloon on sale.")

http://www.carmagazine.co.uk/Drives/...m-test-review/ (see months 10 and 11)
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      11-11-2013, 12:44 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bm323 View Post
long term test review: M5 vs Panamera GTS

http://www.carmagazine.co.uk/Drives/...ong-term-test/ (see his views month 4 and month 9, which appear to have shifted: "Just to keep twisting the knife, let’s throw in a rival too, say the BMW M5, which has 128bhp more power, costs £18k less, and when you drive it hard it’s better than the Panamera – and every other super-saloon on sale.")

http://www.carmagazine.co.uk/Drives/...m-test-review/ (see months 10 and 11)
Read exactly like someone who has spent some time with the F10 M5. Indeed when driven hard, very few super saloon could compare with our M5.
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      11-11-2013, 01:38 AM   #10
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I'd kill for an RS6. Sweet rides, M5 has some stiff competition out there.
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      11-11-2013, 02:13 AM   #11
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I'm not surprised. In Europe, consensus is that the M5 still is king.
RS6 and E AMG are fantastic packages as well though.

Nevermind clowns like Lieberman.
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      11-11-2013, 02:02 PM   #12
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Although I love the M5 and I'm a BMW fan through and through, I have to admit the RS6 looks absolutely STUNNING...
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      11-11-2013, 02:06 PM   #13
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So we have the M5, M6, and the M6 GC..... What's the difference between the M5 and M6 GC??
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      11-11-2013, 02:11 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skhmund View Post
So we have the M5, M6, and the M6 GC..... What's the difference between the M5 and M6 GC??
Go to the configurator all will be revealed.
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      11-11-2013, 02:27 PM   #15
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Odd pair the RS6 and M5. Direct competitors but in different bodystyles
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      11-11-2013, 03:01 PM   #16
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Having extensive seat time in E46 M3, E60 M5, E92 M3, F10 M5 and all sorts of in between models and in rivals such as the C63 AMG and other Audi models I can sure tell you that they fixed everything on the 2014 model. You have to push the car harder but from a stock perspective the steering is a lot better. True it's a tad off from pure hydraulic feel and precision but now it is so close that hey whatever. Drive it like you stole it. I see a lot of cost savings in the higher end Audis now.

It may take some getting used to but if you have forward progressive thinking you will admire the improvements. I sometimes think there are wonderful things about intro year models but sometimes those initial bugs are finally fixed by the third year. So do you go LCI or the new model. It just all depends. The LCI model is where it's at for now.
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      11-11-2013, 03:03 PM   #17
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I had the chance to test drive an RS7 this weekend. I know unrelated to the RS6 but I have to say I was completely underwhelmed by the car.

The sticker price was 119k US DOLLARS. In comparison the the M6 GC I could not justify the 6 figure price tag. Yes it has tremendous power. But the inside was very blah and looks exactly like an A7. The seats are the same that are in every S model.

When you step into an M6, M5 or M6 GC it's beautiful and well appointed inside. The fine detail to stitching and leather running all through the dash and center console. This RS7 had a rubber dash that I could pull and twist with my fingers. Very cheap. The headliner is cheap and the same as every Audi. But in the M models its Alcantara and the M6 GC has that beautiful strip of leather running down the middle.

In addition, the paddle shifters and transmission seemed to be very delayed and must stay in auto mode. Every time you accelerate and try and up shift there is a delay and the RPMs continued to wind out and almost hit rev limiter. Well after I hit the paddle to up shift. You almost have to plan ahead when shifting.

Steering was very blah as well.

Overall, I am an Audi fan. I have owned several RS and S models.

The M division has definitely got the upper hand in terms of interior looks, driver feel and just a beautiful design on the exterior.

My two cents.

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      11-11-2013, 03:35 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SouthShoreM3 View Post
I had the chance to test drive an RS7 this weekend. I know unrelated to the RS6 but I have to say I was completely underwhelmed by the car.

Overall, I am an Audi fan. I have owned several RS and S models.
Agreed.. I currently own an RS, considered by many the benchmark RS. The most recent iteration of RS6/7 is very mediocre (at least based what they could have been). Chris Harris has a great series of RS videos that I tend to agree with. So it's no surprise that one mildly mediocre car (M5) beat out the other solidly mediocre car. Heh, remember that mediocre is a relative term to these two awesome cars.. but the comparison result is a no-brainer

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      11-11-2013, 03:54 PM   #19
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Looks wise.... I'd burn 10 Monte Carlo blue M5's for an RS6 Avant
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      11-11-2013, 04:05 PM   #20
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Odd pair the RS6 and M5. Direct competitors but in different bodystyles
It's really a shame that Audi doesn't make a non-Avant version of the RS6.
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      11-11-2013, 04:05 PM   #21
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Quote:
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Looks wise.... I'd burn 10 Monte Carlo blue M5's for an RS6 Avant
To me the RS6 Avant looks like a civil servants car. i could imagine someone like the local postmaster driving one of these. Station Wagons are not cool.
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      11-11-2013, 04:47 PM   #22
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M5 and M6 gc seems to be winning in many of the European magazines, but loosing in the American ones. I remember in C&D, the M6 GC beat the RS7 for almost everything except acceleration, yet it lost pretty much because RS7 has bigger trunk.
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