Fast diesels are a dying breed, or we thought. Sure, the industry is moving in a more eco-friendly direction but for some reason we’ve had a crop of high-powered performance diesel machines pop up over the past year or so. Hell, in Europe, Audi switched most of its ‘S’ cars over to diesel power. So these seem to be confusing times. However, Audi isn’t the only one. Some of its other competitors have done the same thing. In this new comparison test from Autocar, we take a look a three of the best; the Audi S7 Sportback, ALPINA D5S and the Mercedes-Benz CLS 400d.
Each of these cars has a turbocharged six-cylinder diesel engine under its hoot. In the case of the Audi S7, it gets a single-turbo 3.0 liter V6 with 344 bhp and 516 lb-ft of torque. As for the Mercedes-Benz CLS 400d, it gets a 3.0 liter single-turbo straight-six with 335 bhp and 516 lb-ft. Lastly, the ALPINA D5S sort of bucks the trend a bit with a twin-turbo straight-six that pumps out 322 bhp and 516 lb-ft. Is there some sort of German agreement on torque figures?
The ALPINA, a completely revamped BMW 5 Series essentially, is the quickest. It gets from 0-62 mph in 4.9 seconds, while the Mercedes-Benz takes second place with 5.0 seconds flat, leaving the Audi S7 behind at 5.1 seconds. Those are all pretty good numbers for six-cylinder diesel luxury cars. Especially considering each is as heavy as a barge.
Which one is the best, though? Well, the Audi S7 is the sharpest to drive, surprisingly. It has the sportiest front end and the best capability. However, it’s not as comfortable as special feeling as the ALPINA nor is its engine as good as the Mercedes’. The best blend of all things, according to Autocar, seems to be the ALPINA. Having driven an ALPINA before, I can completely understand that decision, as they’re cars that just have the it factor about them.
So the ALPINA D5S is the winner of this test but the Audi S7 is a surprisingly fun car to drive and we can’t wait to test it.