Awhile back, Carwow’s Matt Watson had an Audi RS4 Avant as his long-term test car. As far as long-term loaners go, the RS4 Avant is pretty hard to beat. Except he then had to give it back to Audi and pick up a BMW M850i Coupe. Somehow, we don’t feel bad for him. In this new video comparison, though, Watson gets to drag race both the Audi RS4 and the BMW M850i, his old and current long-termers (though, the RS4 isn’t the exact car he had).
Powering the Audi RS4 Avant is a 2.9 liter twin-turbocharged V6 makes 444 hp and 443 lb-ft of torque. All of that power is sent through and eight-speed ZF automatic to all four wheels. That’s a healthy amount of power, enough to get the RS4 from 0-60 mph in around 3.9 seconds. However, the BMW M850i is significantly more powerful. It packs a 4.4 liter twin-turbocharged V8 that makes 523 hp and 553 lb-ft. Its power is also sent through a ZF eight-speed to all four wheels and it nails 60 mph in about 3.5 seconds. So which is faster?
Well, the BMW M850i is faster. That much is obvious. What isn’t obvious is how well the Audi RS4 can hang onto the 8er. Being quite a bit lighter and having better traction management off the line (as all Audis do), the RS4 was actually able to get a jump on the M850i in the beginning and take a quick lead. However, the 8er’s monster V8 and far more power allowed it to take the lead about halfway through the race and win.
Following the standing drag race, Watson puts both cars through a couple more tests and it’s interesting how the two perform. What’s surprising is how close each test is, considering the Audi RS4 is significantly cheaper, has two extra doors, a practical wagon body style and two less cylinders. They’re such different performance machines and yet they’re so close in terms of actual performance.