Twin test: Mercedes CLS vs Audi A7
A new luxury upstart takes on the undisputed benchmark in an A7 versus CLS shootout
Posted: 07 Mar 2011
Both CLS and A7 (above) are slicked-back versions of their makers' regular saloons. The CLS is related to the two-year-old E-Class. Audi, clearly in a hurry to plug the long-standing CLS-shaped gap in its range, has got the A7 out before its mechanical twin, the 2011 A6.
We're testing the V6 diesels of each, which will be the big sellers because they're effortlessly fast, remarkably economical and likely to be bought on the company-car quid. The Mercedes is a 3.0, despite the 350CDI badge, but then you can't begrudge it fiddling its CV, given the stonking 265bhp and 457lb ft of torque. A seven-speed auto is standard, and rear-drive. The Audi's 3.0-litre comes in two outputs: 204bhp for the FWD, and 245bhp for this quattro version. This too has a seven-speed transmission, but it's a twin-clutch S-tronic, which, as we'll see, has consequences.