Porsche Panamera Diesel, Audi A7 Sportback 3.0 TDI test

Hans-Dieter Seufert
Porsche Panamera Diesel vs. Audi A7 3.0 TDI
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D it was back when Porsche only built sports cars. One evening at the bar, Wendelin Wiedeking answered the question which car his wife was driving with incomprehension: 'Of course a 911 too.' The journalist's questioning: which car would you take if you wanted to leave with the kids? Jovial smile, pull on the big cigar: 'Two 911s.'

Okay, third-party trick question confidently avoided. It is not known whether the situation at Wiedeking, which was suboptimal for vacation trips, triggered the development of the Cayenne and Panamera. But the four-door models certainly not only solved the problem in this Porsche-dominated family of what comes into the house as a family car with a bite.

Porsche Panamera Diesel makes 300 hp

To precisely this role In addition to the Porsche Panamera, the Audi A7 Sportback is also very successful, whereby in both cases it is the garage space of a high-income family. Porsche AG, whose business figures regularly plunge other companies into depression, is asking 85,300 euros for the Panamera Diesel, the cheapest model in the series after the entry-level petrol engine (83,277 euros).

Audi appears a little more modest, the The diesel world of the A7 starts at 55,500 euros for the 3.0 TDI Ultra with 218 hp. In view of the 300 PS of the Porsche Panamera, it is of course not satisfactory, so that the top model 3.0 TDI Quattro competes for this comparison. As a special edition Competition for 73,100 euros, this is supposed to be reminiscent of the first Audi TDI from 1989 and differs from the normal three-liter all-wheel drive for 65,000 euros in terms of more features and more power.

Instead of 320, it is 326 hp that the Top TDI takes from the 83 millimeter bore and 91.4 millimeter stroke that the engine of the Porsche Panamera also has. The basic data of the 90-degree V6 are in fact identical. But the group brands, which are pretty much the best enemies in the endurance world championship, go different ways: Porsche compresses at 16.8: 1 and leaves it at just one charger, Audi is content with a compression of 15.5 and lets two turbos work. In the 3.0 TDI Competition, an overboost function also provides a maximum of 346 hp for a short time, the torque is very generous in both.

Porsche Panamera Diesel in 6.0 seconds to 100 km /h

650 Newton meters in bothPorsche Panamera, as well as in the A7 Sportback - truly enough to easily cope with the almost two tons of curb weight and characterize these diesels as quite elitist sources of power. There is simply always enough pressure slumbering under the right foot to elegantly refill it once or even twice.

With Tacho 130, for example, the A7 is content with 1,600 revolutions in eight gear of its creamy automatic converter (Porsche Panamera: 1,800 /min). A slight tap on the accelerator and the seventh wave is already clamped in. Gentle pressure on the back, the landscape sweeps faster behind the well-insulating acoustic glass (1,190 euros) and so do the overtaken cars on the motorway incline.

Somewhere at 180, when the gas is lifted, the eighth slides in again, and off you go without any hustle and bustle, just go on and on with gentle pressure. The fact that the Audi clearly misses the factory specification of 5.1 seconds to 100 km /h with 5.7 seconds in the acceleration measurements is just as irrelevant as the fact that the Porsche Panamera keeps its word with 6.0 seconds.

Lively A7 convinces

Beyond all figures, the Porsche Panamera, which reaches its maximum torque a little later, is no less confident. He also copes with all everyday situations with a looseness that borders on arrogance. It glides through traffic within sight of idling speed, and it hardly ever needs more than 3,000 crankshaft revolutions. Even powerful petrol engines have to shift gears and turn up more often to keep the connection.

However, the Porsche Panamera is not quite as easy to turn as Audi's diesel cousin: If the Audi rips through at full throttle, even beyond 5,000 mark, the Porsche shifts into higher gear at 4,200 tours. Anyone who does not operate it in Sport mode (Sport Chrono Package, 797 euros) also has to live with a somewhat tougher throttle response than in the Audi. The Panamera diesel doesn’t look foolish at all, but the Audi gets down to business more lively and runs a nuance smoother.

On request, it can even be converted into a handcart: in the A7's multi-customizable set-up you can also choose a fat V8 beat that sounds more like a classic big block bang than a high-end diesel. There is also a lot to set and personalize in the Porsche Panamera, which with its flood of buttons in the center console and the buttons located in the overhead console does not offer the user-friendly features of the A7, which clearly benefits from its well-thought-out MMI controller including letter recognition.

Porsche Panamera Diesel offers more lateral support

The instruments of the A7 are also easier to read because they are larger and more clearly scaled. And the fact that the Audi projects important information such as speed, navigation instructions and speed limits onto the windshield (head-up display, 1,380 euros) increases thisEveryday skills continue. In any case, it scores with the larger trunk without annoying loading sill, the significantly better all-round view and the more convenient entry.

Especially the backbenchers can find their places better thanks to larger doors, but where they live with less leg and head space must than in the Porsche Panamera. Its individual seats, separated by a wide console, offer more lateral support than the less shaped bench of the Audi.

This is not unimportant if you let yourself be seduced by the massive power delivery. Because both enable more than just smooth cornering despite almost two tons of curb weight. The Porsche Panamera even encourages you to do so. Like the Audi sharpened with dynamic steering (Panamera 262 euros, A7 1,150 euros), the Panamera seems to be shrinking in width and offers its slightly raised fenders as a locating aid when it comes to free country roads.

Sports car feeling in the Panamera

Hanging even more finely on the steering wheel, the Porsche Panamera grabs curves, it seems highly precise and right up to the limit to be measured neutrally. The sports car-like seating position in the adaptive sports seats (3,154 euros) also plays a role here. The driver is much better integrated into the car than in the Audi, where he is positioned higher, sitting behind the steering wheel more like a sedan. This requires less operator effort, but reports back less sensitively and reacts less precisely after a deliberately jagged response from the central position.

Here, the Audi is more like a touring coupé with a very respectable sportsman's talent, which is after the last A little bit of lateral dynamics doesn't really matter. It also wobbles more in the limit area, where its rear end tends to hang out a bit during load changes without ESP monitoring - perhaps a consequence of the permanent all-wheel drive, which incidentally proves its advantages not only in snow or wet.

Because where the Audi driver can give full throttle without hesitation and reaps impressive thrust, the Porsche Panamera noticeably suffers from a lack of traction even in dry conditions in the smaller gears. The traction control works very discreetly, but 650 Newton meters clearly show the limits of rear-wheel drive.

Two personalities for the big wallet

Regardless of this, the golden sports badge goes to Zuffenhausen. Because the Porsche Panamera, which brakes more vigorously, does exactly what is expected in a neutral and reliable manner - and it does it a little faster, as the slalom and lane change tests show. The speed differences are not worth mentioning, just as there is no doubt about the driving safety of both coupes. If the driver drives too wild or if he needs a guardian angel in tricky situations, the stabilization systems take effect late andNevertheless, it comes in so gently that there can be no question of a malfunction.

A7 Sportback and Porsche Panamera, both of which are harmoniously springy despite lush tires with optional air suspension for 1,950 (Audi) and 1,547 euros (Porsche), ensnare the Customers with individual strengths and each with a strong personality. Anyone who is addicted to the Porsche (and there are some good reasons for that) should only have an even thicker padded wallet than the Audi prospect.

Because with a few normal extras, the Porsche Panamera Diesel easily cracks the 100,000 -Euro mark. This is of course also possible with the much cheaper A7, but thanks to the better standard equipment with a little sense of proportion when ordering is unnecessary. But what do those who want to drive a Porsche with four people care? Taking two 911s is only a particularly elitist option for very few.

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