In this discipline AutoBild was ungrudging and praised the comfortable character of the Seven's chassis and ams confirms that the conventional suspension of the Bimmer keeps up easily with the air spring technology of Audi and Mercedes. Admittedly, or should we say unfortunately, BMW requires plenty of extra equipment for this and offers it as an extra to an outrageous charge, as not only ams but also CAR said. The whole package including switchable dampers, adjustable roll bars and self levelling rear suspension cost 4420€ - just for a chassis that keeps up in matters of driving manners. The appraisals regarding the Audi's road behaviour were also unanimous ones. It has the hardest chassis set up, even in Comfort mode, but it is by far the most dynamic car of the test. The BMW is between the Mercedes and the Audi. In AutoBild its driving manners are as good as those of the BMW, in ams the Seven pips the S-class at the post. Also interesting: The Merc and the Audi were fitted with four wheel drive which was deemed unnecessary. CAR said: ' it doesn't make the Merc a Quattro beater' and ams editors said that they don't feel much of the Audi's Quattro drive.

The 3 contenders and their specifications regarding acceleration.

Numbers don't say much in terms of performance. Acceleration rates are decisively influenced by engine- and transmission layout and the car's weight. The rates of the A8 and the Seven, 335 and 333bhp respectively, are close together whereas the Merc lacks round 30bhp to its rivals. But, its displacement of 5 litre foreshadows that it is not as poor as the missing power of 10% lets assume. After all, it reaches the highest maximum torque of the trio at the lowest revolution and spreads more torque than the others over a wider rev range. Seen from that perspective, it surprisingly does not win the flexibility comparison. But it also doesn't lose it. A tenth second more than the Bavarian competitors, says 4.5sec, from 80 to 120 km/h in the AutoBild test is no shame. From 0-100km/h, the differences between the three cars are as trivial as those of the flexibility test. The Auto Motor Und Sport measuring data turns out that the Audi is faster to 120km/h whilst the BMW comes to the fore from 130 km/h. In contrast, the Audi reaches 200km/h three tenth seconds before the Bimmer reaches this mark in AutoBild.

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