Audi RS7 vs Mercedes GL63 AMG: Comparison Review

It's the go-faster four door coupe vs the go-faster full sized seven seat SUV. Did you say the comparison doesn't make sense? Wait till you read the similarities...



Adui RS7 vs Mercedes GL63 AMG




Mercedes on the GL63 AMG: It is a luxury SUV with sportscar performance.


Audi on the RS7: It is a four door luxury coupe with sportscar performance.


But that's not all. Both the GL63 and the RS7 are powered by turbocharged V8 petrol engines. Both produce over 550PS of max power, and both are all wheel drive. And there's more... the GL63 AMG and the RS7 are targeted at well to do 50 somethings who are looking for some excitement in life; not our words, theirs. Yes, I know how that sounds, but the excitement bit is focused on driving and little else, I presume. And to top it all, both cost around 1.7 crore rupees; at least in the spec that you see here, they do.



Audi RS7 vs Mercedes GL63 AMG tracking




But, to judge them on practicality, seating comfort, boot space, equipment and value for money is silly. Because for that there's always the A7 3.0TDI and the GL 350 CDI. What we want to do here, is to see how happy each of these vehicles make us; how much excitement do these really add to our lives; and how much of a sportscar experience do these really deliver. First up then, the larger, heavier and (pardon me for saying this) but the more practical, GL63 AMG.



Audi RS7 vs Mercedes GL63 AMG rear tracking




The ballerina

It's large. There's no other way to put it. It's over 5 metres long and should be classified as a truck. But, it can't be. No one would want to call such an expensive and well finished and well appointed vehicle a truck. Not even the Americans. But it is large. And it is heavy. It isn't the recipe you'd consider for a car meant to please a driving enthusiast.


That's of course, till you put in a twin turbo V8 with over 550PS of max power in the GL's long and high bonnet. Not to mention, give it some seriously large wheels, fat tyres and brake discs the size of satellite dish. Then you add quick steering, fast acting all wheel drive system and a nicely judged but adjustable suspension to the mix. And finally, head out to a winding road to see if the recipe has really worked wonders.



Mercedes GL63 AMG engine shot




And I must say, it has! The throttle response is alert and potent, and the driving experience, surprisingly delightful. The GL 63 AMG is almost like a ballerina; light on the feet, effortless in its movement, and very engaging. Plus, if you keep that throttle mashed, you can hit some serious speeds in no time. Now, if you were in a low slung sportscar these high speeds would seem natural. But, when you are seated as high as you are in the GL, the sensation is something else altogether. It's a mix of trepidation, boyish excitement and machismo, all bubbling over.



Mercedes GL63 AMG dashboard




It's not just the GL 63 AMG's straight line performance that pleasantly surprises you; its handling is impressive too. Of course, there's nothing you can do about its weight and high centre of gravity, so it rolls and trends to understeer a bit especially around tighter corners. But, don't go berserk at corner entries and the GL turns in well. The moment you have its nose pointing in the right direction, you can literally mash the throttle to the floor without a care in the world and watch it fly out of corners with shock inducing ferocity. What an SUV!



Audi RS7 engine shot




The superstar

The Audi RS7, what a car! When something reads 550PS and Rs 1.75 crore, one must treat it with respect. It is something similarly powerful, rear wheel drive sports cars have taught me. Because, no matter how high you rate yourself as a driver, when 550PS comes and bites you in the back, there's no time to even let out a scream.


Not the Audi RS7. It feels plush and comfortable. It doesn't reek of hardcore, mad power. And because we have driven a number of Audis in the past, it feels familiar; a bit too familiar. Familiarity though, some say, breeds contempt. So, the moment I strap myself in, I pull the RS7's gear shifter all the way back, and then some more, so that I am in Sports mode. I floor the throttle, watch the orange sliding car sign light up on the dash and keep my right foot buried till the head-up display shows a three digit figure starting with 2 and the road runs out.



Audi RS7 dashboard




This is silly. This is a four door, four seater Audi. Sure, it has a sloping roof line like a coupe, but so does the Volkswagen Passat CC, and that isn't something one considers racy. So, nothing about the RS7 - not its matte paint job, nor the super low profile tyres or even the extended body work, really conveys the madness that's in store every time you flex your right foot.


Even if a were to leave its straight line performance of 0-100kmph of 3.9 seconds aside, or its ferociously powerful brakes which haul it down from three digit speeds as if it were trundling along at barely 60kmph, and only concentrate on how it corners, I'd just sound vague out of excitement quoting similes that don't even make sense.


But, I must tell you, with its all wheel drive system, its sharp and communicative steering, its high on caffeine chassis, and the ever forgiving suspension setup, it goes around a bend like a toy plane tied to a thread; never leaving its prescribed arc. Like I said. But, the bottom line is - it makes a hero out of you. It rearranges your benchmarks of corner entry and exit, and how aggressive you can be with the car, and no matter what you do, till the ESP is on, you'd come out looking like a superstar. It's tremendous.



Audi RS7 vs Mercedes GL63 AMG rear static




So finally then, which of the two should you settle for given both cost the same, deliver on the promised sportcars performance, and in fact, do add plentiful excitement? Honestly, I couldn't care less. But, if someone up there is listening, I'd certainly take both, thank you.

Recommended Variant : RS7 Sportback Performance

Audi RS7 Alternatives