Head to head: BMW Gran Coupe v Audi S7Motor Reviews Motor News New Car Comparison
BMW 650i v Audi S7
Audi S7 Sportback 4.0 TFSI Limited Edition v BMW Gran Coupe 650i.
- 4G MY13
- Badge Description
- TFSI Sportback S-Tronic Quattro
- Sports Automatic Dual Clutch
- Engine Configuration Description
- Gear Num
- Build Country Origin Description
- Overall Green Star Rating
- Fuel Type Description
- Petrol - Premium ULP
- Drive Description
- Four Wheel Drive
BMW Gran Coupe 650i: From $238,800 plus on-road and dealer costs; 4.4-litre V8; 330kW/650Nm; eight-speed automatic; RWD; 8.9L/100km and 206g/km CO2.
Audi S7 Sportback 4.0 TFSI Limited Edition: From $179,900 plus on-road and dealer costs; 4.0-litre V8; 309kW/550Nm; seven-speed dual-clutch automatic; RWD; 9.6L/100km and 225g/km CO2.
Starts off on the front foot with a $60,000 price advantage. Gets electric boot lid, rear camera, sunroof, four-zone air-con, head-up display, Bluetooth with audio streaming, sat-nav, digital TV, heated seats but lane assist, park assist, blind spot warning and adaptive cruise cost another $6300.
Behind the eightball on list price and gets worse with $16,500 worth of options on test car. Standard gear matches Audi's head-up display, sunroof, four-zone air-con, Bluetooth with streaming, sat-nav and TV and trumps it with internet access, standard surround-view camera and adaptive cruise.
Oozes luxury with big centre screen for sat-nav and entertainment functions, ambient lighting and classy instrument readouts with a mix of digital and analog displays. Leather seats are supportive but not as sporty as BMW, and white cross-stitching looks a little old-fashioned. Carbon-fibre inserts and chunky steering wheel give a sporty feel. Rear seat headroom is a little restricted and only two seats in the back. Legroom only average.
Orange ambient lighting lifts mood in cabin, and centre screen matches Audi for size and functionality, if not for presentation. Great seats and steering wheel feels good in the hands, but the cabin lacks the sense of theatre of the Audi. A little too derivative of cheaper BMWs. Has same issues as Audi in the rear, which is a little light on for head and legroom for a big luxury car. Conventional boot doesn't have the load flexibility of the Audi's liftback layout.
Hardly undernourished but power down 21kW and torque 100Nm less. Official figures say it is one-tenth slower than the more powerful BMW, although by the seat of the pants it still feels damn quick off the mark, thanks to an ultra-sensitive throttle and all-wheel-drive traction. The exhaust note is ballsier than BMW. Dual-clutch transmission is lightning quick on the shifts in sports setting, but combined with the touchy throttle it can be a bit jerky around town.
Quiet and strong rather than raucous and brutal, the 4.4-litre V8 builds speed effortlessly and spins freely right through the rev range, never feeling like it's going to run out of puff. The eight-speed transmission is a ripper, with seamless shifts more in keeping with its role as a grand tourer. Definitely smoother to drive around town. It's also more frugal on the official test, with an eye-popping 8.9L/100km fuel use figure.
How it drives
The limited edition model comes with standard adaptive air suspension, which allows you to tune the ride for comfort or road-holding. Isolates occupants pretty well from imperfections in the road, especially in comfort, although the odd sharp pothole still induces a thump in the cabin. Plenty of grip through corners but still feels heavy and the steering feel is a little disconcerting, feeling too vague at times, then loading up mid-corner.
Also comes with adaptive suspension, offering comfort, sport and sport plus, which backs off the stability control. For the most part the ride is firm but well-controlled and comfortable, although joins and potholes betray a harshness you don't expect from a luxury car. Steering feel is more consistent than the Audi and corners are confidently dispatched, although the sheer size of the car means it's more at home in sweeping corners than hairpins.
Big imposing grille and 20-inch wheels scream luxury limousine, but the sleek, coupe-like silhouette lends a sporty feel to the look. Rich dark blue metallic colour on our test car gave it a regal feel.
Shark-like front snout looks intimidating, while optional “frozen grey” matte paintwork makes it an absolute standout in the traffic. One of the best looking BMWs in recent memory.
Loses the engine bragging rights and not as accomplished as the BMW through the bends, but a classy interior and huge price advantage give it the win here.
Superior drive and more imposing presence on the road, but the interior lacks a little sparkle, the ride is sharp and that price difference is a deal-breaker.