BMW and Audi fight for the same class of customers who want performance and luxury offered in a tightly engineered package. The two brands are notorious for trolling each other, but the battle for real superiority is often won on the track. Last year, Carwow discovered that the BMW M5 is quicker than the Audi RS6 Avant in a drag race, so it decided to see how the BMW M550i would stack up against the Audi super estate.
The M550 is a step below the full-blown M model in BMW’s lineup, but it packs a potent powertrain. Under the bonnet is the same twin-turbocharged 4.4-litre V8 that powers the M5, though it’s tuned to make 530 bhp (395 kilowatts) and 553 pound-feet (750 Newton-metres) of torque in the M550i. That’s less than the 600 bhp (447 kW) and 590 lb-ft (800 Nm) of torque from the Audi’s twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8. However, the BMW is lighter by 160 kilograms (352 pounds).
Gallery: 2021 Audi RS6 Avant: Review
Both German cars have eight-speed gearboxes with launch control powering all four wheels, but the less-powerful BMW is just no match for the Audi. The first standing-start drag race shows the BMW getting a solid start, but the Audi easily claws its way ahead to an easy victory. The two rolling-race starts are no different, with the Audi’s gearbox kicking down quicker through the gears and launching it to victory two more times.
Carwow ends this video like its others – with a braking test. If BMW were going to win any of the events, it would have been this one, but it didn’t. The Audi stopped in a shorter distance, sweeping the BMW, though it did not win by much. The Audi RS6 appears to split the difference between two BMW performance models, hot on the heels of the M5, though firmly ahead of the still-potent M550i. Audi isn’t making it easy for shoppers.