2021 Audi RS7 vs BMW M850i drag race

It’s a brutally fast battle over the quarter mile, rolling race and brake comparison. So who wins?

Audi RS7 vs BMW M850i drag race

First up, let’s remove any confusion. You might think that a BMW M8 Competition Gran Coupe is the more logical rival for this drag race, given the Audi RS7 is a fully blown RS model and is the flagship of its model range.

I’ll admit I did. But actually, when it comes to price and performance for cars sold in Australia, the M850i is the closer competitor. If we’d chosen the M8, the BMW would have been a whopping $125,900 more expensive than the Audi.

As it is, the RS7 and M850i are evenly matched. Both are enormous bahn-stormers built to travel at very high speed in exceptional comfort. Both have twin-turbo V8s, both are all-wheel drive, both have 8-speed automatic gearboxes and crucially, their official 0-100km/h claims are within a tenth of one another: 3.6sec for the Audi and 3.7sec for the BMW.

There are differences, of course, but even here they tend to balance each other out. The Audi is the more powerful of the two, by 50kW/40Nm, despite only having 4.0 litres of capacity versus the BMW’s 4.4 litres. But the RS7 is 175kg heavier. As for price, even though it’s not the full-blooded M8, the BMW is still the more expensive of this pair, by $57,000. The Audi RS7’s sticker price is $224,000 compared with $280,900 for the BMW.

We didn’t just compare these two over the standing quarter using launch control. We also raced them in Comfort mode from a standstill and then had a rolling race from 50-200km/h in their different driving modes.

In cars as quick and as powerful as these, stopping performance is crucial, so we rounded out this Drag Battle with a brake comparison from 100-0km/h. In this exercise, the Audi does hold a distinct advantage as it is fitted with optional carbon-ceramic brakes, but it was interesting to see just how much distance they save.  

We’ll be shooting more Drag Battles this year so if you enjoyed the video, subscribe to the MOTOR YouTube channel. We’ll be uploading two new videos every week.


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