Test drive Lexus LS, BMW 7 and Audi A8. MercenariesMay 2, 2020
In this test, we deliberately dispensed with the Mercedes S-Class. It’s hard to believe, but the 222nd made it so that there is only him and the rest. However, among the rest it’s more difficult to choose
There is a serious struggle in the most prestigious market segment, and manufacturers barely keep up with each other in the race for comfort, power and saturation with modern electronics. The driver’s BMW, the strict-cabin Audi and the Asian Lexus – it’s time to forget these stamps, because in the modern world, executive sedans are the absolute embodiment of comfort and technology, but still have their own character.
Actually, I am terribly shy of executive sedans: it seems that everyone around thinks that I am a hired driver. The old Georgians spoiled everything on the S-Class in the 221st body. At the beginning of 2014, when the new S-Class just appeared and made a splash, I heard a slightly offensive and very insistent question: “Who brought it?”
Since then, I have carefully watched so that the front passenger seat is in a natural position, and not piled forward, and it is better when the body is slightly dusty – there are less suspicions that someone will see me as a driver. With the Lexus LS500, all these manipulations are superfluous: the largest and most technologically advanced Japanese one looks so bold and fresh that no one will think that I make money from it.
It’s all about the F Sport body kit: it is more aggressive than the AMG in Mercedes and the S-line in Audi. The thick spoiler on the trunk lid, immodest door sills and 20-inch wheels with an intricate pattern clearly hint that there is no passenger behind. Yes, and what should he do here? No screens, no massage, no ottoman. All this LS, of course, offers, but in other versions.
In general, the interior may seem too concise and even gloomy in general, especially for the demanding audience, accustomed to neon lights, monitors with a high pixel density and natural veneer. However, you should not focus on the test copy: Lexus offers velor and leather in several colors, including cognac and cream.
How cool it is to ride a huge sedan, which is not overloaded with options for an important passenger on the rear right. After all, no one canceled extremely comfortable air suspension, as well as a 3.5-liter supercharged engine with a 10-speed automatic. In the urban rhythm, LS500 is the embodiment of grace. The sedan is elegantly rebuilt from row to row, lulling to a smooth ride. But there is a problem: between the “Eco” and “Sport +” modes there is no such abyss, which offers, for example, BMW. In each of the modes, Lexus is too comfortable and courteous, it follows only the right manners, and the driver’s frenzy does not accept.
And in vain: here is a cool supercharged “six” with 421 power and 600 N · m of torque, which promises 4.9 s to 100 km / h. At first, you don’t believe in these numbers: Lexus is gaining speed too texturedly and accurately even in gas-to-floor mode. Awareness of the dynamics comes only when you change to the LS500 from a faster and more evil sedan like the BMW M5 or Mercedes E63 AMG. Believe me, Lexus is even good against their background.
There is a hypothesis that this bold design with blades and strokes will quickly go out of fashion, but when did it bother Japanese car buyers? Right now, the Lexus LS500 is a furor and a gap in the classroom templates, where for some reason it is customary to puff out your cheeks and be too serious. LS is not like that: they turn around and point at it with a finger. Is this not the main thing in the 2020s, when cars and gadgets began to look the same?
In my opinion, by far the bravest man in the automotive industry is Jaguar chief designer Julian Thompson. In an era of universal tolerance and correctness, he is still able to express himself publicly and call a spade a spade.
Most recently, he walked in a new fashion for large radiator grilles. And despite the fact that among car designers it is not particularly customary to discuss the work of colleagues. Of course, Thompson didn’t give specific names, brands of cars or models, but only the blind would not realize that the first thing was about the massive Audi grills and huge BMW nostrils.
The new 7 Series second after the flagship crossover X7 tried on the huge nostrils of the radiator lining, but for some reason a flurry of criticism fell upon her. Perhaps because on a huge SUV such a solution is much more harmoniously fit into the look. And perhaps because the audience, which prefers executive sedans, is much more conservative and reluctant to accept such radical changes. In any case, the abundance of chromium on the face of the Seven caused a lot of discussion immediately after the debut.
And now I am standing in this car in line for a car wash, a huge number of people are wandering around, but not one of them is turning back to the car. All just pass by the most magnificent BMW.
Of course, it must be borne in mind that this car wash is located in expensive Khamovniki, and you can hardly surprise locals with such a car. Here, even a heavy suite like the Bentley Flying Spur or Rolls Royce Ghost is not interesting. But the matter is not only in the sophisticated public of the fashionable metropolitan area. Just alive, the new “nostrils” are perceived so naturally on this machine that they do not hurt the eyes at all.
On the other hand, if the owner does not manage to surprise others with his car, then maybe he can do it with someone who sits on the back row to him? Unfortunately no. “Seven” is luxurious, like any car in this class. But no more than that. Neither in the decoration, nor in the set of equipment there is nothing that can splurge. And some digital solutions like the Samsung tablet integrated into the center armrest now even seem archaic.
A few years ago, the very fact that you can control all the salon equipment from the tablet, and then just take it home, shocked by itself. And now, in an era when you can set the robot paths in your apartment with the usual Chinese smartphone, this solution, and the gadget itself with a fairly wide frame around the screen, seems somewhat outdated.
But do not think that I am embittered by the “seven” and try to imagine her the weakest in our three. On the contrary. If my account had a sufficient amount with six zeros to buy such a car, then I would prefer the Bavarian. Firstly, because there is an excellent balanced chassis. It is not only comfortable to move behind, but also interesting to sit behind the wheel. And secondly, the diesel under the hood of the BMW is a real work of engineering.
Yes, this is not an innovative four-turbine engine version 750d, but also a six, with three superchargers. With a maximum return of 320 liters. with. it has an impressive peak torque of 680 N · m, which is already available from 1750 rpm. Based on these figures, there’s no point in explaining how it feels to accelerate to 100 km/h in 5 seconds on a sedan weighing over 2 tons. Of course, this is impressive.
However, what’s most surprising about the Seven engine is not the power ratio, but the appetite. It is clear that passport performance is unattainable, but if you click on the accelerator without fanaticism, then even in Moscow traffic you can keep within 8-9 liters per “hundred”. Impressive, right?
Firstly, I believe that in terms of ride comfort, the A8 is the unequivocal leader among the three cars presented in the material. Well, in terms of acceleration … Yes, Audi is the slowest of the three in numbers: 5.7 s versus 4.9 s in the Japanese sedan and 4.6 s in the BMW. But in the dispute of seconds, road cameras have long won, and if you just press the pedal a little harder, you have to pay another fine. And I would no doubt have traded a second acceleration (especially when we are talking about cars that manage to get out at 100 km / h in less than 6 s) for the comfort, which I already mentioned above.
A8L turned out to be a universal car for me. I had never thought before that I could say so about a representative sedan, but it was equally convenient to drive along a poor-quality road to the country house to pick up some things that had been forgotten in the fall, and rush along an empty highway, and stand in traffic jams . Special thanks for this air suspension, which can raise the body by 12 cm if necessary and, of course, more than once sung by the all-wheel drive Audi – quattro.
This Audi also has incredibly comfortable seats. And specifically now I’m talking about a driver’s seat. I tuned it once, when I was just picking up the car, and never again touched the numerous adjustments. By the way (more about this will be in one of the following texts), on the A6, which I rode after, I still could not find the most comfortable driving position.
Someone may call the interior of Audi too strict. One of my comrades, for example, is sure that this is what a classic German mobile office should look like. I recall how the world once admired the interior design of the new BMW 7-Series, and in comparing these two cars, for me personally, the interior of the A8 seems more interesting.
I don’t have children, but it seems that two tablets fixed in the backs of the front seats (they can be removed and, for example, taken with you), and a control panel stylized as a smartphone can fully capture their attention even on the longest trip, and this, of course, is a big plus. The ability to interact with two large screens on the center console is quite capable of captivating adults as well.
Well, and the last: you can break millions of copies in a dispute about aesthetic preferences, but to me personally the A8 seems to be the most beautiful of this trinity. So, for me, this car is not just universal, but also as harmonious as possible. It’s nice to look at it, it’s nice to ride on it. And even if someone thinks I’m a driver here, this is a negligible price for all of the above.
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