BMW 6-Series GC takes on the rivals
The days of the traditional boxy saloon are numbered. Meet the new breed of more-door supercoupe
Posted: 07 Aug 2012
And the thing is, the new Audi engine doesn't sound like a diesel either. Honestly, as it careers between 3,500rpm and beyond the big five (that's major revs for a diesel) it reminds me of the noise of the classic Alfa V6 petrol. Actually, Audi cheated - there's a loudspeaker in the exhaust that adds to the effect, but, when you hear it, you probably won't care it's cheating. The BMW sounds more dieselly, but it's still a straight-six so we aren't complaining. These two - as you'd expect given they have the same power, very nearly the same torque and weight, and the same auto 'box - are, for performance, to all intents and purposes, matched. They're plenty quick.
But if it's slippery, the Audi scoots out of tight wet corners and roundabouts while the BMW is still flashing its traction light. Real-world, then, it's the fastest car here. But sometimes it feels quite the opposite. BMW's eight-speed 'box is telepathically good at matching its ratio to the engine's torque and the way you want to drive. The Audi's 'box sometimes leaves you becalmed in too high a gear, and hesitates before kicking down a couple of ratios, hitting engine boost and catapulting you away as absurdly rapidly as it was, a second ago, frustratingly languid.