High-performance cars share similar impressive specs when compared side-by-side, but there’s more to them than numbers. And when it comes to the 2021 Audi RS6 Avant and Porsche Panamera Turbo S Sport Turismo, their test results are comparable. Still, the ride experience is completely different, according to test drivers at MotorTrend.
Though the Panamera beats the RS6 in just about every way, there is one area where the Audi excels: price. Here’s everything you need to know about what it’s like behind the wheel of these impressive vehicles.
How the Porsche Panamera Turbo S beats the Audi RS6 Avant
The Porsche Panamera Turbo S Turismo and the Audi RS6 Avant are similar in build. They also feature a turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 engine. But the Panamera makes 29 hp more than the RS6. The Porsche is also 39 pounds lighter. Though the two vehicles seem fairly similar on paper, MotorTrend asserts that “the Porsche dominates the Audi in every metric.”
The Panamera can roar from 0 to 60 mph in a stunning 2.7 seconds, four-tenths of a second faster than the RS6. The Panamera also dominates in the quarter-mile, going 3.4 mph faster in 11 seconds than the RS6. On the figure-eight course, the Porsche was again faster than the RS6, by 0.6 seconds.
Test drivers also praised the Panamera’s ride experience. They noted they felt as if they were at the center of gravity in the driver’s seat. The Panamera provides drivers with a powerful feeling of control, and it handles corners perfectly.
The one area where the Panamera isn’t as impressive for its segment is its brakes. To come to a full stop from 60 mph, it needs 102 feet. Ideally, a supercar can stop in less than 100 feet. However, the Panamera still beats the RS6, which needs 113 feet to stop.
Where the RS6 Avant falls short
Unlike the Porsche Panamera, the Audi RS6 doesn’t provide the best driving experience. MotorTrend notes that the driver’s seat feels a little too high, with an excess of vertical movement while driving. The RS6 is also less responsive with its suspension.
Although the Audi doesn’t weigh significantly more, test drivers observed that the RS6 feels unpleasantly front-heavy. This is largely due to a weight imbalance: The RS6’s engine is over its front wheels, resulting in a nose approximately 166 pounds heavier than the Panamera’s.
MotorTrend also notes the RS6 has an overly sensitive brake pedal, particularly noticeable when tackling corners. While the RS6 can handle tight curves fine, test drivers found that it didn’t feel great and that the tires created a fair amount of noise when turning at high speeds.
The Audi RS6 Avant’s strengths
With all that said, the RS6 Avant has one significant advantage over the Panamera Turbo S Turismo: price. The Porsche starts at $181,700. And the Audi starts at $109,000. That’s a nearly $73,000 difference. And it likely makes the RS6 Avant a more viable option for most consumers.
While reviewers assert that the Panamera justifies its enormous price tag, there’s no denying the fact that the RS6 is still an impressive car. Unlike previous performance Audi models, the RS6 doesn’t understeer. And although the Panamera beats the RS6 on the track, it’s a pretty minimal difference in numbers. Both vehicles can hit incredible speeds.
If you have six figures to spend on a performance vehicle, you might as well take the leap and get the Porsche. However, the Audi RS6 is a real bargain in comparison and an excellent alternative. It’s attractive, staggeringly fast, and overall spectacular.