- Same idea, implemented differently
- Audi S6 Avant TDI
- Thanks to the black radiator grille and larger air intakes, the front of the S6 looks more dramatic than the civilian A6 versions.
- Audi S6 Avant TDI
- Classic: Slightly revised front bumper and filigree spoked wheels. The difference to the basis of BMW lies in the detail.
- BMW Alpina D5S Touring
Same idea, implemented differently
The Audi S6 wants to become a long-distance athlete with V6 diesel. A comparison with the BMW Alpina D5S shows whether this is possible.
Audi S6 Avant TDI
The concept for the current Audi S6 was born out of necessity to a certain extent, but it makes perfect sense.
In order to make the sporty station wagon the perfect long-distance glider, the Ingolstadt-based company removed the comparatively thirsty V8 petrol engine from the previous model and replaced it with a V6 diesel. This means that the power drops from formerly 450 hp to 349 hp; but this also reduces the factory consumption from 9.4 to 6.5 l/100 km. This brings the S6 a little closer to the current CO2 specifications and a range of around 1000 kilometers on the motorway in everyday life – a big plus on long journeys.
Thanks to the black radiator grille and larger air intakes, the front of the S6 looks more dramatic than the civilian A6 versions.
To ensure that driving fun is not neglected, Audi relies on complex technology. The conventional turbocharger is supported by an additional compressor powered by the 48-volt vehicle electrical system. So the dreaded turbo lag should be stuffed, so the car should accelerate without delay. So much for the promising theory.
The astonishment of the test driver was all the greater in practice: entering the first roundabout, a truck approached from the left. But the gap seems big enough. So step on the gas and it happens: nothing. It’s measured around two seconds, but it feels like an eternity before the actually strong station wagon starts moving. But then with an unpleasantly jerky emphasis, as if the S6 wanted to make up for lost time. That seems more hectic than confident.
A picture that shows not only when starting. Even with slight acceleration, the 8-speed automatic has to downshift one or more gears before the 2-ton station wagon picks up speed.
The solution to the riddle can finally be found in the data sheet: The maximum torque of 700 Nm is only available at late 2500 revolutions. Despite high-quality workmanship, good suspension and noise comfort and great special equipment, such as all-wheel steering (2480 francs) or LED matrix light (2730 francs), the S6 cannot be what it actually wants to be: a confident, sporty fast everyday athlete. The concept, which is coherent in itself, was not implemented consistently enough.
Audi S6 Avant TDI
Engine: V6 Diesel, 2967cc
Power: 349 hp/700 Nm
Drive: Auto. 8, 4×4
L×W×H: 4954×1886×1481 mm
V max: 250 km/h
Consumption factory/test: 6.5/7.2 l/100 km
There’s another way
The basic idea of the BMW Alpina D5S is the same. The small-series manufacturer from the Allgau also relies on a powerful 3-liter diesel, which is intended to turn the BMW 5 Series Touring, which serves as the basis, into a sporty, elegant long-distance glider. Alpina relies on three turbochargers instead of an additional electric compressor and achieves 388 hp and 800 Nm of maximum torque. However, the smooth-running six-cylinder in-line engine delivers its maximum pulling power to the crankshaft at 1750 rpm. He appears much more relaxed, stronger and more agile in everyday life.
This is not only due to the spontaneous and revving diesel, but also to the successful transmission tuning: The 8-speed automatic lets the engine come into its own because it lets it use its torque instead of downshifting unnecessarily. In addition, the transmission knows via GPS when there are uphill gradients and selects the right gear beforehand.
Classic: Slightly revised front bumper and filigree spoked wheels. The difference to the basis of BMW lies in the detail.
The comfortably tuned chassis and the finely furnished interior match the outstanding drive. This makes the Alpina D5S the perfect car for long distances – including sufficient loading space, appealing driving characteristics and impressive efficiency: Although 8.6 l/100 km are due according to the WLTP measurement standard, in everyday life it is almost 7 l/100 km, whereby consumption values of less than 6 l/100 km are also possible on overland stages.
The BMW Alpina D5S thus puts the concept of the sporty, efficient diesel station wagon into practice much better.
BMW Alpina D5S Touring
Engine: R6 Diesel, 2993cc
Power: 388 hp/800 Nm
Drive: Auto. 8, 4×4
L×W×H: 4956×1868×1466 mm
Vmax: 283 km/h
Consumption factory/test: 8.6/7.0 l/100 km
Price: from 102,700 francs
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