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"car" assessment of a6 2.8 30 valve

as someone else mentioned the other day, there is a comprehensive group test of the audi a6 30 valve 2.8 litre against the new bmw 528i, the lexus gs300 sport and the volvo 850t

in summary:

prices: (un uk pounds - ukp)
all with dual air bags, alloys, alarm/immobilser, anti-lock brakes, electric windows, stereo

lexus:	36,390	(auto, leather, electric seats, CD, cruise control)
volvo:	32,000	(with leather, electric seats, CD, cruise control)
audi:	29,950	(with quattro, leather, no aircon)
bmw	29,320	(with aircon, traction control, stereo, security)

turbo volvo better than the others, lexus last, audi/bmw very close

	0-30	0-60	0-100
audi	2.7	8.4	22.0
bmw	2.3	8.1	20.2
lexus	4.4	11.6	28.9
volvo	2.9	7.3	18.1

	size	bore/stroke	compres	power		torque
audi	2771	82.5/86.4	10.6	193/6000		207/3200
bmw	2793	84.0/84.0	10.2	193/5300		206/3950
lexus	2997	86.0/86.0	10.0	209/5800		203/4800
volvo	2319	81.0/90.0	8.5	250/5400		258/2400-5000

	weight	w/base	length	width	height
audi	1550kg	2692mm	4797	1783	1430
bmw	1515kg	2830mm	4775	1800	1435
lexus	1720kg	2780mm	4965	1795	1425
volvo	1500kg	2660mm	4670	1760	1390

audi over the bmw, lexus and volvo.
quote: "here's a result we didn't predict: it's the audi that's the most fun to hustle down an intricate back road.  Though cornering grip is no higher than without quattro, this a6 turns in crisply, and can make small but satisfying adjustments to it's line in response to throttle changes".

bmw over the audi, lexus and volvo.

accomodation, comfort:
bmw over the audi, lexus and volvo.
audi has wind nosie and some road noise which is absent in the bmw.

driver apeal:
bmw over lexus, audi and volvo.
audi has some driveline shunt at low speeds.  good shifters on the bmw and audi.  audi seat adjusters are a "real pain".  style of the audi cabin was rated best.  cheap upholstery on the bmw. the lexus was opulent but "too much like an 80's sheraton foyer".  audi rates poor for ventilation.  lexus hifi  lesson to the world".

4) lexus:  "too expensive for it's performance or refinement".

3) volvo: good for it's practicality, safety and performance, poor ride and interior.

2) audi: "the audi is undoubtedly in it's best form here; even the s6 never handled this well.  It's swift and highly involving to drive.  But the dynamic rejuvenation can't cover it's slight lack of refinement, a quality the bmw has in spades".

1) bmw: "We might not be convinced by it's looks, but in it's ride/handling compromise and it's overall quietness, it has leapfrogged the competition convincingly, and we find it's weight saving measures admirable.  Now it has the rear sapce the last model lacked, it's hard to justify putting ukp 30,000 into any other saloon.