If you’re of the mindset that diesel doesn’t have to be boring when you have the right type of car, an excellent transmission, all-wheel drive and plenty of grunt, then sit back and enjoy this 1/4 mile duel between a Mercedes, BMW and an Audi.
Even though only two of these models are somewhat comparable, all three feature 3.0-liter six-cylinder diesel engines. The Bimmer and Merc have a straight-six configuration, while the Audi’s unit is a V6 TDI.
We’ll admit that the A8 50 TDI saloon feels a lot like an outsider here, and is underpowered compared to the E400d or the 840d. The Audi’s V6 diesel engine produces “just” 286 PS (282 HP) and 600 Nm (442 lb-ft) of torque and can accelerate you to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 5.9 seconds with the aid of a quattro all-wheel drive system
The BMW 840d xDrive Coupe will put down 320 PS (315 HP) and 680 Nm (501 lb-ft) of torque, accelerating to 100 km/h from a standstill in 4.9 seconds, on paper at least. As for the Mercedes E400d 4Matic Coupe, it has 340 PS (335 HP) and 700 Nm (516 lb-ft) of torque, and a sprint time of 5.1 seconds – it also weighs just 35 kg (77 lbs) more than the BMW.
Without telling you who won, can you guess which car crossed the finish line first? The winner needed 13.1 seconds to cover a standing 1/4 mile, while the runner up was only 0.1 seconds behind. Not quite a photo finish, but nearly. The Audi was of course last, no big spoiler there.