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Audi S7 Sportback, Panamera GTS: V8 turbo versus V8 vacuum cleaner in a comparison test

Rossen Gargolov
Audi S7 Sportback versus Porsche Panamera GTS
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K one question, we have the turbo virus huge underrated. At the beginning we thought it was cute, celebrated it as an effective antidepressant against dreary basic petrol and - if we're being honest - occasionally let our senses cloud our senses with its boost pressure. Only now, when it is gradually invading our sanctuaries, is the extent of the epidemic really clear.

Porsche Panamera GTS with 4.8-liter V8

is Porsche a particularly tragic case. For decades, loaders were bred there in quarantine, isolated in high-performance top models - and now they watch idly as they gradually spread across the model family, camouflaged as a panacea. With devastating consequences.

The two SUV series are already fully turbo-infected; The Boxster, Cayman, Carrera and GT3 will probably only be able to fight back until the model change; and with the Porsche Panamera, all naturally aspirated engines got rid of all naturally aspirated engines for the facelift a year and a half ago - all except for the 4.8-liter GTS, which miraculously survived the massacre without breathing not to explain. Perhaps because you want to gently teach customers the inevitable turnaround? Or maybe because in the Porsche executive suite you not only rule according to the VW manual, but also with heart? Either way, the spark of hope will probably be short-lived: The Porsche Panamera GTS still has two, maybe three years, then they will put it in the museum - with new tires, full body anointing, red cord all around and an enamel plaque as a tombstone.

Audi S7 Sportback has 450 hp

And the scope of the Porsche Panamera GTS is greater than you might think. At Porsche he may be just one of fewer and fewer suckers at the moment, but he is the last one in his league. Just go through it in your mind: Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Jaguar - nothing. In the end: Between the old-school V6 of some Infiniti and the V12 high nobility à la Aston Martin Rapide S and Ferrari FF, there is no one like him anymore.

But not always parting hurts. Or do you still remember the V10 of the faded Audi S6? That 5.2 liter chunk that could hide its Lamborghini ancestry just as well as the alleged 435 hp. Around three years ago, after only one term in office, he was thrown outright and replaced bya biturbo that would have dried the tears in no time if they had flowed - despite the lower output, mind you.

Since then, the four-liter has taken care of everything that is high-performance in the group. It mimes the 560 hp beast in RS models as well as the Zartschmelz V8 in the A8 and has even made it into the kingdom in various Bentley Continental. In the Audi S7 Sportback, which is better suited to the Porsche Panamera GTS due to its flowing rear end than the structurally identical S6, it initially produces 420 hp.

Big difference in Hockenheim

For the facelift, the Audi S7 Sportback has now been expanded by a further 30 hp, the but are just as irrelevant for the general perception as the 10 PS that Porsche recently credited the Panamera GTS with. In other words: Although both the promised blink of an eye have actually become faster, owners of past generations do not have to fear that they are technically outdated - or even worse: being outdated.

Much more remarkable than the question of how much the two differ from their predecessors is anyway how two cars can differ so much that are nominally so similar. Audi S7 Sportback and Porsche Panamera GTS separate 10 hp, 30 Nm and less than 40 kilograms, six tenths to 200 km /h - but in the end an enormous 3.1 seconds in Hockenheim.

The Porsche Panamera GTS works in the Comparative test focused right away: tachometer in the middle, steep Alcantara steering wheel with indicated center markings and seat ergonomics that literally suck you into the action. When the V8 of the Porsche Panamera GTS is started, it sniffs through the sports exhaust system before it either gently hugs one of its two clutches or hits the drivetrain with almost 6,000 revs using Launch Control. 17.2 seconds go to 200, 288 maximum, but the goal is actually the way.

Audi S7 with violent torque peak

You mill up to 4,000 rpm - well, let's say - single-mindedly ahead, but the Kurzhuber furiously fires up the speedometer, turns, pushes, trumpets and kicks not only because the PDK kicks you in the butt when you shift up. You can clearly see that almost two tons are hanging on the speed bands; of course you are constantly changing gears if you really want to move forward; and of course that you experience the torque peak in the Audi S7 Sportback not only earlier, but also more intensely. Still, there is no other four-door model that - with its obese anatomy hidden - conveys the illusion of a sports car so deceptively real.

In the Audi S7 Sportback, however, it only unfolds - if at all - subliminally. Taken in isolation, the S7 may be an athlete, but in relation to the Porsche Panamera GTS it feels like a jacuzzi bubbling after a workout. That has itsThere is no question about it, but it's not really captivating. Also because of the biturbo concept.

Let's explain it like this: Instead of getting up gear by gear like the Porsche, kicking, biting and sacrificing itself to the limit, the Audi V8 only makes a short run-up, hops up a few hundred revolutions to let yourself be carried away by the boost. For 43.00 tours, he theoretically blows ahead at full speed. Long-stroke, playful, accompanied by a stormy exhaust rumble, but - compliment - subtle enough to still feel the work cycles of the combustion from the turbo hurricane.

Porsche Panamera GTS outsmarts the physics

In general, the Audi S7 Sportback and Porsche Panamera GTS find the right amount in terms of engines: because, unlike their next-strongest model siblings, they can also be enjoyed in civil life. On the autobahn anyway, but also on your personal favorite route: around the back, over the Käffer. With the RS7 or Panamera Turbo you can tile there in no time with two hundred-plus between corn fields, while the Audi S7 Sportback and Porsche Panamera GTS can be driven to the limit without having to stand with one leg in jail.

Limitation: Even if the engines conceal the size of the body quite well, almost two meters in width remain in the end two meters wide; Tractor on the left, boundary post on the right, three-digit on the clock - you know.

On the racetrack, however, such externals are reduced to their importance for physics. And we like to write about them that they cannot be tricked. Well, with the Panamera GTS, Porsche made it. Total nonsense, the scientists will say now. Answer: come here, come along, believe!

Audi S7 Sportback goes with its head held high

Even when strolling around, it is permanently in wait in the comparison test, immediately pulls in small gears as soon as you brake a little harder and always provides information with steering and chassis true to detail about what is going on under the Michelins. It may still be fun on the country road, but in Hockenheim it's bitterly serious. How he turns in, throws himself into corners, spreads the body horizontally, supports himself on his radical Michelins and drifts super neutrally out of the curve on the four-wheel drive - sorry, but that's out of this world.

Or to put it another way: The performance of a Porsche Panamera GTS cannot be understood, but it can be explained. On the one hand, with the general Porsche philosophy of building cars according to sports car standards, which are not per se. And on the other hand, of course, with elaborate technical gimmicks such as active stabilizers, intelligent air springs and torque vectors on the rear axle, their interaction at cornering speeds beyond (exclamation mark) onecurrent 911 GT3 (three exclamation marks). In plain language: As a GTS, the Panamera is closer to any 911 than the Audi S7 Sportback, which can only console itself with being executed with its head held high.

The completely decoupled dynamic steering with its muddy central position and the wobbly Build-up movements in the slalom initially gave rise to fears. On the lap, however, his air suspension suddenly pulls together, slips him into the corner without understeering and carves - thanks to the transversely locked rear axle and rear-biased four-wheel drive - even into full-blown drifts at the beginning. There are many reasons why the Audi S7 Sportback does not even get to the Porsche: the more conservative tire mix, the lack of roll cancellation or the tamer gearbox, for example; there is only one thing that he also loses the secret sympathy rating: the indomitable sucker in the Porsche, which - as absurd as it may be in the midst of the turbos - is still the most normal thing about the whole car.

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