Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2012 BMW 7 SERIES VS 2012 Audi A8 Near Scottsdale, AZ

Responsive image

2012 BMW 7 SERIES

Responsive image
VS

2012 Audi A8

Safety Comparison

When descending a steep, off-road slope, the 7 Series xDrive’s standard Hill Descent Control allows you to creep down safely. The A8 doesn’t offer Hill Descent Control.

The 7 Series offers an optional Side and Top View Cameras to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The A8 only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

The 7 Series has standard BMW Assist, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in, help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The A8 doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the 7 Series and the A8 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, plastic fuel tanks, four wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding and available all wheel drive.

Warranty Comparison

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the 7 Series for 3 years and 45000 miles longer than Audi pays for maintenance for the A8 (4/50,000 vs. 1/5000).

There are over 33 percent more BMW dealers than there are Audi dealers, which makes it easier to get service under the 7 Series’ warranty.

Engine Comparison

The 7 Series has more powerful engines than the A8:

Horsepower

740 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

315 HP

750 4.4 turbo V8

400 HP

Active Hybrid 750i 4.4 turbo V8

455 HP

Alpina B7 4.4 turbo V8

500 HP

760Li 6.0 turbo V12

535 HP

A8 4.2 DOHC V8

372 HP

A8 L W12 6.3 DOHC 12 cyl.

500 HP

As tested in Motor Trend the 750 is faster than the A8 4.2:

7 Series

A8

Zero to 60 MPH

4.9 sec

5.5 sec

Quarter Mile

13.4 sec

13.9 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

105.7 MPH

103.1 MPH

As tested in Car and Driver the Alpina B7 is faster than the A8 4.2:

7 Series

A8

Zero to 60 MPH

4.3 sec

5.1 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

10.1 sec

12.6 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

4.7 sec

6 sec

Quarter Mile

12.8 sec

13.7 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

113 MPH

104 MPH

Top Speed

177 MPH

177 MPH

For more instantaneous acceleration and better engine flexibility in any gear, the 7 Series’ engines produce their peak torque and horsepower at lower RPM’s than the A8:

Horsepower

Torque

740 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

5800 RPM

1600 RPM

750 4.4 turbo V8

5500 RPM

1750 RPM

Active Hybrid 750i 4.4 turbo V8

5500 RPM

2000 RPM

Alpina B7 4.4 turbo V8

5500 RPM

3000 RPM

760Li 6.0 turbo V12

5250 RPM

1500 RPM

A8 4.2 DOHC V8

6800 RPM

3500 RPM

A8 L W12 6.3 DOHC 12 cyl.

6200 RPM

4750 RPM

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the 7 Series ActiveHybrid’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The A8 doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

Tires and Wheels Comparison

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the 7 Series can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The A8 doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The 7 Series offers active sway bars, which help keep it flat and controlled during cornering, but disconnect at lower speeds to smooth the ride and offer greater off-road suspension articulation. This helps keep the tires glued to the road on-road and off. The A8 doesn’t offer an active sway bar system.

The 750i offers an available adjustable active suspension system, which counteracts cornering forces actively, limiting body roll and improving handling and stability. Audi doesn’t offer an active suspension on the A8.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the 7 Series’ wheelbase is longer than on the A8:

7 Series

A8

SWB Sedan

120.9 inches

117.8 inches

LWB Sedan

126.4 inches

122.9 inches

The 7 Series’ front to rear weight distribution is more even (49.8% to 50.2%) than the A8’s (54.9% to 45.1%). This gives the 7 Series more stable handling and braking.

The 750i handles at .89 G’s, while the A8 pulls only .88 G’s of cornering force in a Road & Track skidpad test.

The 750Li goes through Road & Track’s slalom faster than the A8 L 4.2 (68.7 vs. 67.9 MPH).

The 750Li performs Car and Driver’s emergency lane change maneuver 7.6 MPH faster than the A8 L (68.3 vs. 60.7 MPH).

The 740i executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the A8 (25.8 seconds @ .73 average G’s vs. 26.2 seconds @ .69 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the 7 Series’ turning circle is tighter than the A8’s:

7 Series

A8

SWB Sedan

40 feet

n/a

LWB Sedan

41.7 feet

n/a

AWDSWB Sedan

40 feet

41 feet

AWD LWB Sedan

41 feet

41.7 feet

Chassis Comparison

The 7 Series is shorter than the A8, making the 7 Series easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces:

7 Series

A8

SWB Sedan

199.8 inches

202.2 inches

LWB Sedan

205.3 inches

207.4 inches

As tested by Road & Track, the interior of the 750Li is quieter than the A8 L 4.2:

7 Series

A8

Full-Throttle

67 dB

78 dB

50 MPH Cruising

61 dB

61 dB

70 MPH Cruising

64 dB

73 dB

Passenger Space Comparison

The 7 Series SWB has 3.4 inches more front headroom, .1 inches more front shoulder room and .4 inches more rear headroom than the A8.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The 7 Series SWB has a larger trunk than the A8 (14 vs. 13.2 cubic feet).

Ergonomics Comparison

The 7 Series offers an optional heads-up display which projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts onto the windshield, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The A8 doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

If the windows are left down on the 7 Series the driver can raise them all using the key in the outside lock cylinder. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from outside the vehicle using the key in the outside lock cylinder or the keyless remote. The driver of the A8 can’t use the remote to operate the windows.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the 7 Series to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The A8 doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the 7 Series detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The A8 doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

When the 7 Series is put in reverse, the passenger rearview mirror tilts from its original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirror into its original position. The A8’s mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.

Optional BMW Apps for the 7 Series allows the driver and passengers access to select programs on their smartphones, including reading text messages aloud, playing internet radio stations, tagging songs to buy them later, following twitter accounts and other online activities without taking their eyes off the road or their hands from the wheel. The A8 doesn’t offer factory integrated smartphone program access.

Economic Advantages Comparison

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the 7 Series is less expensive to operate than the A8 because it costs $851 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the 7 Series than the A8, including $403 less for a water pump, $390 less for a starter and $1113 less for front struts.

© 1991-2016 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. Who We Are
Click here to view the disclaimers, limitations and notices about EPA fuel mileage, crash tests, coprights, trademarks, and other issues.