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I have to agree with a lot of comments, especially about the pathetic range and gearbox of the M5. It'd be interesting to see the RS6 up against the Alpina B5S touring.
 

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Interesting review. They definetly thought the M5 outhandled and may also outspeeded the RS6, but the RS6 power, usability (incl. auto gearbox) was more accessable in everyday driving. Could be. But for real inspiring driving, turn to the BMW M5 Touring. The RS6 seemed not to be made of the RS4 and R8 team after a test and "on paper".

But yes, the range should be larger and the learning curve of the SMG III is not over a weekend.
 

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Interesting review. They definetly thought the M5 outhandled and may also outspeeded the RS6, but the RS6 power, usability (incl. auto gearbox) was more accessable in everyday driving. Could be. But for real inspiring driving, turn to the BMW M5 Touring. The RS6 seemed not to be made of the RS4 and R8 team after a test and "on paper".

But yes, the range should be larger and the learning curve of the SMG III is not over a weekend.
Exactly. Harris already had it in his head he hated the SMG anyway. As for missing a shift- I've never managed that. Grrrrr
 

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I think Ashok's right - a great shame they didn't put the Alpina up against them! As proud owner of Hythe's B5 Touring, it answers many of the criticisms against the M5 re: torque, gearbox, and fuel economy / range from the tank. Given BMW and Alpina's reputation for handling I suspect it would handle better than the RS6 too.
I test-drove an M5 Touring before buying the B5, as well as a 535d, and felt the 535d was quicker on the uptake. The M5 Touring is great fun, but realistically too hardcore for a day-to-day family car, although the kid in me would still want one! To me the B5 is the perfect choice.
Also don't think the RS6 looks special enough.

PS Claiming the old RS6 is "damn near indestructable" shows a distinct lack of knowledge for the car - I think the latest survey on RS246 shows >70% of owners have had suspension problem!
 

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honestly, i stop reading reviews as soon as i hear the smg or Idrive .... i mean come on, this is what makes the car and if you can't take the time to understand and appreciate it, then....... i'm so damn tired of reading "loosing reviews" because of the idrive or smg. having lived with it for a year and being one that enjoys the "driving experience" there's no way you can complain.
 

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The headline and last para may have been against us but loads of the adjectives in the piece praise our M5s and put it ahead of the RS6.

70liter tank aside, there's nothing I'd change about our cars. Blame BMW for that, not Motorsport.
 

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I sold my previous 535d to a friend of mine. We did numerous autobahn runs side-by-side starting from 100km/h, 150 km/h, 200 km/h upwards and let me tell you the M5 Touring just left the 535d standing every time... Yeah there is torque on one side but the revs on the other side count much-much more...




I think Ashok's right - a great shame they didn't put the Alpina up against them! As proud owner of Hythe's B5 Touring, it answers many of the criticisms against the M5 re: torque, gearbox, and fuel economy / range from the tank. Given BMW and Alpina's reputation for handling I suspect it would handle better than the RS6 too.
I test-drove an M5 Touring before buying the B5, as well as a 535d, and felt the 535d was quicker on the uptake. The M5 Touring is great fun, but realistically too hardcore for a day-to-day family car, although the kid in me would still want one! To me the B5 is the perfect choice.
Also don't think the RS6 looks special enough.

PS Claiming the old RS6 is "damn near indestructable" shows a distinct lack of knowledge for the car - I think the latest survey on RS246 shows >70% of owners have had suspension problem!
 

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Given the constraints of having to write a short piece, I broadly agree with the tone and conclusions Harris has drawn in his comparison.

As an everyday prospect the extra torque, four wheel drive and auto box will make the RS6 a very easy 500hp car to live with and enjoy. I'm sure the majority of Autocar's audience; it's not a performance car magazine, will agree.

The problem with the M5 is that it requires more effort than it's competitors to tap it's full potential. Put it another way, you need to drive at eight tenths and above to get the best of what the car has to offer. It takes more effort to keep the M5 in the peak power band, more effort to balance the chassis with the throttle and just like a manual you do have to think about when and how you will change gear in order to match the gearing with maximum available power.

Many people will not want or necessarily have the ability to drive an M5 at eight, nine or ten tenths. Eighty five per cent of the time I don't want to or am unable to do so. With the amount of congestion and the sheer volume of speed cameras, neither of these cars is at all suited to British roads. With more of the performance accessible lower down the range the RS6 is a more logical choice in the UK.

BMW, Audi and MB produce cars with the same headline, 500hp plus, luxury, performance wagon/estate. I'm very excited that there is a real choice. I'm very excited that the differences are more varied and subtle than Harris is able to convey in his short review. Right now I'm very happy with BMW's approach to this segment: high revving, RWD, and lower mass. In time that may change.

My only reservation relates to SMG. BMW's deliberate policy of restricting long-term tests does it no favors with journalists. As Gustav indicated proficiency doesn't come as soon as the start button is pushed. I've had a couple of SMG equipped BMW's - I and III. Whilst effective, SMG requires some effort and thought to shift both quickly and smoothly. I've been lucky. I recognise SMG is not the most reliable technology BMW has implemented but it's not always given a fair crack of the whip in reviews. The dual clutch system coming with the M3 is an exciting prospect. Having driven a number of DSG equiped Audi's I'll reserve judgement until I get my hands on one. DSG has it's own set of issues.

I'll be driving the RS6 next week so I'll be in a much better position to comment on Audi's approach to a 500hp luxury, performance car.
 
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