InsideLine: 2012 Audi A6 vs. 2011 BMW 535i Comparison Test

  1. Welcome to GM Inside News Forum – General discussion forum for GM

    Welcome to GM Inside News Forum - a website dedicated to all things GM.

    You are currently viewing our forum as a guest, which gives you limited access to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our community, at no cost, you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload content and access many other special features. Registration is free, fast and simple, Join GM Inside News Forum today!
     
Results 1 to 14 of 14

Thread: InsideLine: 2012 Audi A6 vs. 2011 BMW 535i Comparison Test

  1. #1
    GMI Staff Member Premium Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    12,553
    Thanks
    46
    Thanked 839 Times in 411 Posts

    InsideLine: 2012 Audi A6 vs. 2011 BMW 535i Comparison Test

    2012 Audi A6 vs. 2011 BMW 535i Comparison Test
    Who Will Protect the 5 Series Legacy?
    InsideLine
    By Erin Riches
    Aug 1, 2011


    BMW has defined the rules in the midsize luxury sedan class for some time now. If the executives in Munich decide the 2011 BMW 535i should be quieter, gentler and less focused on performance, we half expected everyone else to follow suit.

    But Audi didn't. The redesigned 2012 Audi A6 3.0 TFSI Quattro goes through a corner like no A6 before it, accelerates hard in a straight line and feels a lot like the 5 Series we used to love. But this isn't some one-dimensional homage, as Audi has also loaded the A6 with leading-edge technology to appease modern car guys and their iDevices.

    And just like that, the 2012 Audi A6 has become the most desirable car in the midsize luxury sedan class, leaving the 2011 BMW 535i in the unfamiliar position of 2nd place.

    I'm Your Biggest Fan
    With this redesign, the A6 finally joins the A4, A5 and A7 on Audi's MLB chassis. It mounts the engine longitudinally, but places it farther back behind the front axle to lessen the sensation that you're in a front-drive-based Audi instead of a rear-wheel-drive Bimmer.

    Notably, this A6 has 3 fewer inches of front overhang, which translates to less mass up front and helps the car respond more quickly to steering input. All A6s with the 3.0 V6 also get standard Quattro all-wheel drive. Its torsen-type center differential biases 60 percent of engine torque to the rear axle, so it steers more naturally under normal conditions.

    Even with its all-wheel-drive hardware, the 2012 Audi A6's curb weight is within the BMW's ballpark. The use of aluminum body panels and suspension parts holds our Audi A6 tester to 4,175 pounds — just 100 more than the rear-drive 2011 BMW 535i. The two cars are within an inch of each other in length, width and height, while the BMW has an extra 2 inches of wheelbase (116.9 inches).

    I Heart Forced Induction
    Anyone would have a tough time coming up with an engine worthy of competing with BMW's turbocharged inline six-cylinders. The smooth, refined engines deliver the goods when you floor the throttle, while serving up a sweet soundtrack of induction noise and exhaust snarl.

    1st Place: 2012 Audi A6
    The new A6 takes over as the sport sedan of the midsize luxury car class. It's as luxurious and tech-laden as any rival, yet rewarding to drive on a back road or anywhere else.

    2nd Place: 2011 BMW 535i
    BMW cedes its crown. The athleticism might still be there, but it's buried under layers of isolation measures that make the 535i feel like a downsized 7 Series.

    More at link above.

  2. Remove Advertisements
    GM Inside News
    Advertisements
     

  3. #2
    6.2 Liter LS3 V8 ral1960's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    3,362
    Thanks
    49
    Thanked 366 Times in 212 Posts
    My Ride
    2008 DTS Perf-Plat

    Re: InsideLine: 2012 Audi A6 vs. 2011 BMW 535i Comparison Test

    90% of the people who are likely to buy cars in this segment don't want a bone-jarring ride. We have too many messed up roads compared to Germany. BMW will eat even more of Audi's lunch with the cushier 5 while the car magazines scream.

  4. #3
    Firebird Concept (the turbine one) wescoent's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    383 Madison Ave
    Posts
    13,043
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1,722 Times in 999 Posts

    Re: InsideLine: 2012 Audi A6 vs. 2011 BMW 535i Comparison Test

    As we well know, front-wheel drive platforms, even loosely based on lesser vehicles, can never deliver a true luxury experience.

    Edmunds must be mistaken.
    "They say Eve tempted Adam with an apple, but man I ain't goin' for that. I know it was her pink Cadillac!"

  5. Remove Advertisements
    GM Inside News
    Advertisements
     

  6. #4
    GMI Staff Member Premium Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    15,292
    Thanks
    15
    Thanked 8 Times in 7 Posts

    Re: InsideLine: 2012 Audi A6 vs. 2011 BMW 535i Comparison Test

    Quote Originally Posted by wescoent View Post
    As we well know, front-wheel drive platforms, even loosely based on lesser vehicles, can never deliver a true luxury experience.

    Edmunds must be mistaken.
    It's because Audi put forth the effort to make it as RWD-feeling as possible. The engine orientation and positioning, as well as the default rear-biased torque split are vital components, here. It's one that Lincoln (MKS, MKZ) and Cadillac (XTS) have decided is not worth the expense. Maybe it's not; but Audi clearly seems to be doing well with their approach.

  7. #5
    6.2 Liter LS9 Supercharged V8 AdmiralViscen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    8,781
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Re: InsideLine: 2012 Audi A6 vs. 2011 BMW 535i Comparison Test

    Why does everyone say that the 300 and Taurus weigh too much if these midsizers are 4100 pounds?


    good ownage Buick61, beat me to it
    Hidden Content
    God Bless the Blue Bullet.

  8. #6
    Firebird Concept (the turbine one) Amphibian's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    11,998
    Thanks
    281
    Thanked 1,162 Times in 762 Posts

    Re: InsideLine: 2012 Audi A6 vs. 2011 BMW 535i Comparison Test

    I mostly agree with the article (agree with Edmunds WHAT?!). I like the new A6 a lot more than the 5-Series so far. As long as Audi reserves the tight ride for the sport packaged models, I don't think sales will be killed. I don't see it selling as much as the E-Class but it should handily outsell the new M for example, which is only moving about a third of the 5/E inventory.

    But ... ouch, 71,000 bucks? I love it design, but if I wanted a sport sedan that started around 50K, I have to admit I'd defect from this class and buy one I Chrysler's SRT8 products.

  9. #7
    7.0 Liter LS7 V8 377Z's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Hinsdale, IL
    Posts
    4,125
    Thanks
    4,701
    Thanked 747 Times in 347 Posts

    Re: InsideLine: 2012 Audi A6 vs. 2011 BMW 535i Comparison Test

    Quote Originally Posted by Buick61 View Post
    It's because Audi put forth the effort to make it as RWD-feeling as possible. The engine orientation and positioning, as well as the default rear-biased torque split are vital components, here. It's one that Lincoln (MKS, MKZ) and Cadillac (XTS) have decided is not worth the expense. Maybe it's not; but Audi clearly seems to be doing well with their approach.
    +1 I'd argue that the powertrain positioning & orientation make the platform much more closely resemble a RWD car than a transverse FWD with the engine between the front bumper and front wheels. It really blurs the distinctions...

    It also reminds me of the pushrod vs. OHC debate--IMO GM, Ford, and Chrysler did the pushrod layout a huge disservice by not putting forth the effort to address NVH or keep power consistently competetive with many of their pushrod designs. Thus, now there are many people that are convinced that those negative qualities are inherent to the layout, while ignoring the packaging & lower friction advantages vs. OHC.
    2019 Ford F-150 XLT Supercrew 3.3L 4WD
    2007 Volvo XC90 V8
    2005 Volvo V70R M66
    2006 BMW 750Li

  10. #8
    6.2 Liter LS9 Supercharged V8 AdmiralViscen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    8,781
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Re: InsideLine: 2012 Audi A6 vs. 2011 BMW 535i Comparison Test

    Pushrod V6s were never going to be putting out 330hp the way DOHC ones do because you can only push displacement so far. Chrysler and GM are doing a fine job maintaining strong sentiment for pushrod V8s
    Hidden Content
    God Bless the Blue Bullet.

  11. #9
    Firebird Concept (the turbine one) wescoent's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    383 Madison Ave
    Posts
    13,043
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1,722 Times in 999 Posts

    Re: InsideLine: 2012 Audi A6 vs. 2011 BMW 535i Comparison Test

    Quote Originally Posted by Buick61 View Post
    It's because Audi put forth the effort to make it as RWD-feeling as possible. The engine orientation and positioning, as well as the default rear-biased torque split are vital components, here. It's one that Lincoln (MKS, MKZ) and Cadillac (XTS) have decided is not worth the expense. Maybe it's not; but Audi clearly seems to be doing well with their approach.
    Audi is definitely the model of how to run a luxury brand out of a mass-market automaker. They certainly don't use truly exclusive platforms or engineering, but rather, apply unique design, features, and hardware to create an exclusive-feeling experience. This A6 is yet another vindication of their approach.

    It hasn't gone unnoticed.
    "They say Eve tempted Adam with an apple, but man I ain't goin' for that. I know it was her pink Cadillac!"

  12. #10
    7.0 Liter LS7 V8 377Z's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Hinsdale, IL
    Posts
    4,125
    Thanks
    4,701
    Thanked 747 Times in 347 Posts

    Re: InsideLine: 2012 Audi A6 vs. 2011 BMW 535i Comparison Test

    All there is to power, is 1. how large is your displacement, 2. how well can you fill the cylinders, and 3. how fast can you spin it.

    Where the cam is, and how many there are has no effect on the first two, and the third is debatable with modern tech—heck (turn your head and spit) NASCAR engines have reached 10,000RPM reliably with 50 year old tech.

    The sentiment for GM & Chrysler pushrod V-8’s would be even stronger if they had better NVH characteristics, which should actually be easier to address with pushrod motors, fewer moving parts for example. But since they were both primarily designed for trucks unfortunately the mftr’s didn’t see the merit in addressing those attributes to gentrify the NVH sufficiently for luxury cars.
    2019 Ford F-150 XLT Supercrew 3.3L 4WD
    2007 Volvo XC90 V8
    2005 Volvo V70R M66
    2006 BMW 750Li

  13. #11
    6.2 Liter LS3 V8 schmallz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Del Mar/Rancho Santa Fe(San Diego),CA
    Posts
    3,248
    Thanks
    18
    Thanked 65 Times in 53 Posts

    Re: InsideLine: 2012 Audi A6 vs. 2011 BMW 535i Comparison Test

    Quote Originally Posted by 377Z View Post
    All there is to power, is 1. how large is your displacement, 2. how well can you fill the cylinders, and 3. how fast can you spin it.

    Where the cam is, and how many there are has no effect on the first two, and the third is debatable with modern tech—heck (turn your head and spit) NASCAR engines have reached 10,000RPM reliably with 50 year old tech.

    The sentiment for GM & Chrysler pushrod V-8’s would be even stronger if they had better NVH characteristics, which should actually be easier to address with pushrod motors, fewer moving parts for example. But since they were both primarily designed for trucks unfortunately the mftr’s didn’t see the merit in addressing those attributes to gentrify the NVH sufficiently for luxury cars.
    Sure, you can spin an OHV big block to 10,000 rpms with solid lifters and aggressive cams, but when it comes to luxury cars, those solid lifters become a draw back, as the car becomes unrefined and nearly unstreetable.

    A Camaro/ Mustang/Charger/G8 that shouldn't be a problem, as most car gear heads would consider the added noise to be music to their ears. But some one in a mild manered 300hp 5 Sereis, A6 or CTS most likely doesn't appreciate the same rough, powerful idle.
    I have seen the boobs. And they is us.

  14. #12
    7.0 Liter LS7 V8 377Z's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Hinsdale, IL
    Posts
    4,125
    Thanks
    4,701
    Thanked 747 Times in 347 Posts

    Re: InsideLine: 2012 Audi A6 vs. 2011 BMW 535i Comparison Test

    Quote Originally Posted by schmallz View Post
    Sure, you can spin an OHV big block to 10,000 rpms with solid lifters and aggressive cams, but when it comes to luxury cars, those solid lifters become a draw back, as the car becomes unrefined and nearly unstreetable.

    A Camaro/ Mustang/Charger/G8 that shouldn't be a problem, as most car gear heads would consider the added noise to be music to their ears. But some one in a mild manered 300hp 5 Sereis, A6 or CTS most likely doesn't appreciate the same rough, powerful idle.
    An 'aggressively cammed solid lifter big block' that spins to 10,000 RPM isn't necessary to achieve 300HP. Well, maybe with a VERY outdated motor like a flathead or something, but I'm not talking about recycling old engine designs. Thats the quandry of using outdated designs to try to illustrate what the limitations of the state of the art is. The rough rumpety idle that solid cam 'street machines' have is not because the lifters are solid, its due to lots of overlap designed in as a way to encourage cylinder heads originally designed to flow at low RPM's, to flow at high RPM's. A cylinder head redesign could fix that, that's outside the budget of nearly everyone outside of the OEM's.

    When the LSX was designed its clear the port design emphasised flow velocity and maximizing the flow efficiency of the port so it would work well in a wider range of conditions. I believe the operating envelope was still set low so that it would yield good truck motors as well as the Corvette/F-bodies, but the port design they ended up with is still far more versatile than the previous designs. Thus, the LSX needs much less cam to make the power of previous SBC designs. Its all about the port design, and there is no reason that the number of cams, or their location, needs to affect what range the ports are designed to flow. IMO they sandbagged the LS1's output in the first few years so as not to tick off guys who paid big money for their LT5s...

    Solid lifters are not necessarily rough and unrefined--a great many OHC motors require lash adjustment and thus are effectively like solid lifter motors since they lack a hydraulic tappet, & they can run very smooth. By virtue of having more valvetrain parts, OHC motors have more valvetrain noise (some are pretty freakin noisy too, like the Audi AVK3.0 I used to have, though it was smooth), so the job of minimizing NVH with OHV would be easier than OHC. But, most mftrs put more effort into NVH with OHC designs vs. GM with their pushrod designs for some reason (GM half-as sing something--shocker).

    I think the perceptions that OHV are less refined low RPM truck motors stem from 70's, when they were more or less true. The state of the art back then led overseas mftrs that were subject to displacement restrictions to use OHC layout to wring out more power of small enginers by spinning them faster (plus OHC makes more sense for inline engines). Meanwhile, the big three were wallowing around cutting corners. But, the state of the art has moved on quite a bit since then.

    Anyways I'm not anti-OHC or a OHV true believer, & I'm not advocating OHV go in everything or that its the answer to everything, its just that IMO the OHV design doesn't get a fair shake and is more versatile than many give it credit for.
    2019 Ford F-150 XLT Supercrew 3.3L 4WD
    2007 Volvo XC90 V8
    2005 Volvo V70R M66
    2006 BMW 750Li

  15. #13
    6.2 Liter LS9 Supercharged V8 Michael_S's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    8,971
    Thanks
    480
    Thanked 111 Times in 67 Posts

    Re: InsideLine: 2012 Audi A6 vs. 2011 BMW 535i Comparison Test

    Wasn't the previous generation Buick LaCrosse and the Buick Lucerne both extremely quiet inside, despite the 3.8 pushrod motor? Clearly GM could engineer around their pushrod engine NVH problems, they just chose not to do it.

    In terms of output, both vehicles in this comparison used forced induction and direct injection, and the A6 3.0 supercharged V6 makes peak output at 5100 RPM, and the 535 3.0 turbocharged I6 makes peak output at 5800 RPM. GM clearly already makes pushrod V8 and V6 motors that breathe very freely at that RPM range. The pushrod motor in the 2011 Impala LS is the first production form of GM's pushrod V6s with variable valve timing, and it made peak horsepower at 5800 RPM.

    GM has no intention to switch back to pushrod V6s for any purpose, at least not from anything I've read. But if they were still mass producing pushrod engines I suspect it would be no more work to update a pushrod V6 design with the better valves of the LS engines, improvements to the variable valve timing technology already in place, the addition of direct injection and a supercharger or turbocharger, and NVH tuning. Viola, an engine that you could swap with the Audi supercharged 3.0 or BMW turbocharged 3.0 and the driver would never know the difference.
    Last edited by Michael_S; 08-02-2011 at 12:57 PM.

  16. #14
    3.0 Liter SIDI V6
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    539
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 58 Times in 36 Posts

    Re: InsideLine: 2012 Audi A6 vs. 2011 BMW 535i Comparison Test

    Quote Originally Posted by 377Z View Post
    All there is to power, is 1. how large is your displacement, 2. how well can you fill the cylinders, and 3. how fast can you spin it.

    Where the cam is, and how many there are has no effect on the first two, and the third is debatable with modern tech—heck (turn your head and spit) NASCAR engines have reached 10,000RPM reliably with 50 year old tech.
    OHV heads are smaller which would impact how much displacement one can have within an engine bay.

  17. Remove Advertisements
    GM Inside News
    Advertisements
     

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v4.1.2