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    Thread: Target engines.... Lexus/Mercedes vs. BMW/Audi

    1. 03-23-2004 01:38 PM #1
      I have always wondered why BMW and Audi engines seem to offer more horespower per liter than Mercedes and Lexus engines. The only thing I can think is that the Mercedes and Lexus engines produce more torque and a flatter torque curve for effortless, smooth power delivery.

      I want to know if anyone has driven rivals back to back to compare the power delivery. Is my assumption correct? Are the BMW/Audi engines more peaky? Here are some examples:

      BMW 545i: 4.4l V8, 325hp and 330 ft-lbs. torque
      Mercedes E500: 5.0l V8, 302hp and 339 ft-lbs. torque

      The Mercedes has far more displacement, but produces less power.

      Audi A8L: 4.2l V8, 330hp and 317 ft-lbs. torque
      BMW 745i: 4.4l V8, 325hp and 330 ft-lbs. torque
      Lexus LS430: 4.3l V8, 290hp and 320 ft-lbs. torque
      Mercedes S430: 4.3l V8, 275hp and 295 ft-lbs. torque



      BMW X5 4.4i: 4.4l V8, 315hp and 324 ft-lbs. torque
      VW Touareg V8: 4.2l V8, 310hp and 302 ft-lbs. torque
      Lexus GX470/LX470: 4.7l V8, 235hp and 320 ft-lbs. torque
      Mercedes ML500: 5.0l V8, 288hp and 325 ft-lbs. torque

      Would you say Mercedes and Lexus are behind the game? Or do they willingly choose to have lower hp for a broader, flatter torque curve?


    2. 03-23-2004 01:47 PM #2
      I agree with you on the torque curve...

      I don't know... Mercedes-Benz may not be as fast as BMW or Audi, but I just love the way MBs drive... so smooth, so comfortable...


    3. 03-23-2004 02:01 PM #3
      we'd have to see dyno plots for each to support the initial assertion...alot of BMW engines strive for a very flat torque...alot of Audi/VWs peak earlier(2000-3000 rpm) and gradually decline from there...

    4. 03-23-2004 02:05 PM #4
      Quote, originally posted by cembasar »
      I agree with you on the torque curve...

      I don't know... Mercedes-Benz may not be as fast as BMW or Audi, but I just love the way MBs drive... so smooth, so comfortable...

      .... so boring..... so spongy.... makes me so sleepy.....


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      03-23-2004 02:06 PM #5
      one simple statement...

      "you buy HORSEPOWER, but DRIVE TORQUE!"

      That's why....


    6. 03-23-2004 02:18 PM #6
      MB/Licksass engines are tuned to work with an automatic tranny and be mindless to drive. Even the BMW 540 is not particularly fun with a 6 speed manual because the engine was tuned to be used with an automatic. But BMW/Audi's for the most part are tuned for a sportier drive and/or a manual tranny.

    7. 03-23-2004 02:21 PM #7
      Did I see the Audi RS6? Well anyhow, I loved this excerpt from Motortrend:
      "The RS6's epicenter is a twin-turbocharged and intercooled 4.2L all-alloy V-8 that belts out the aforementioned 450 hp in U.S. trim. The torque curve is Texas-wide and flat: 415 lb-ft, constant from 1950 to 5600 revs. The only trans offered is a five-speed Tiptronic automatic, programmed for quicker, firmer shifts, and managed via steering-wheel-mounted shift paddles."

      Besides drooling over the RS6, I wanted to point out that it has a FLAT torque curve.




      Modified by TouaregW12 at 7:23 PM 3-23-2004


    8. 03-23-2004 06:38 PM #8
      Wow, that is a pretty wide torque curve! I really want to drive one of those one day

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      03-23-2004 06:42 PM #9
      Quote, originally posted by B12Teuton »
      MB/Licksass engines are tuned to work with an automatic tranny and be mindless to drive. Even the BMW 540 is not particularly fun with a 6 speed manual because the engine was tuned to be used with an automatic. But BMW/Audi's for the most part are tuned for a sportier drive and/or a manual tranny.

      bummer...I guess your wrong, since the RS6 is available with ONLY an AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION....

      Again I say it...Buy HP, drive Tq!


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      03-23-2004 11:30 PM #10
      BMW engines are nothing special:

      BMW 325i: 184hp, 175lb-ft, 20/29mpg manual, 19/27mpg automatic (premium gasoline)
      Chevrolet Malibu LS/LT: 200hp, 220lb-ft, 23/32mpg automatic (regular gasoline)

      BMW M3: 333hp, 262lb-ft, 16/24mpg manual, 16/23mpg SMG (premium gasoline)
      Chevrolet Corvette base: 350hp, 360lb-ft, 19/28mpg manual, 18/25mpg automatic (premium gasoline)
      Chevrolet Corvette Z06: 405hp, 400lb-ft, 19/28mpg manual (premium gasoline)


    11. 03-23-2004 11:38 PM #11
      Quote, originally posted by tjl »
      BMW engines are nothing special:

      BMW 325i: 184hp, 175lb-ft, 20/29mpg manual, 19/27mpg automatic (premium gasoline)
      Chevrolet Malibu LS/LT: 200hp, 220lb-ft, 23/32mpg automatic (regular gasoline)

      BMW M3: 333hp, 262lb-ft, 16/24mpg manual, 16/23mpg SMG (premium gasoline)
      Chevrolet Corvette base: 350hp, 360lb-ft, 19/28mpg manual, 18/25mpg automatic (premium gasoline)
      Chevrolet Corvette Z06: 405hp, 400lb-ft, 19/28mpg manual (premium gasoline)

      What? Comparing BMW engines to those show just how awesome BMW engines are. That Malibu engine is 3.5l! 1 full liter bigger than the 325i!

      And, both the Corvette engines are 5.7l vs the M3's 3.2l engine.

      You can't compare engines that are COMPLETELY different. The engines I compared above were used in the same class of car with similar displacements


    12. Member LuckyDogg's Avatar
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      03-23-2004 11:39 PM #12
      Quote, originally posted by tjl »
      BMW engines are nothing special:

      BMW 325i: 184hp, 175lb-ft, 20/29mpg manual, 19/27mpg automatic (premium gasoline)
      Chevrolet Malibu LS/LT: 200hp, 220lb-ft, 23/32mpg automatic (regular gasoline)

      BMW M3: 333hp, 262lb-ft, 16/24mpg manual, 16/23mpg SMG (premium gasoline)
      Chevrolet Corvette base: 350hp, 360lb-ft, 19/28mpg manual, 18/25mpg automatic (premium gasoline)
      Chevrolet Corvette Z06: 405hp, 400lb-ft, 19/28mpg manual (premium gasoline)

      Except the Malibu has a whole extra liter of displacement over the 325i, and the M3's engine is only 56% of the displacement of the Corvette.

      (I realize displacement is not the end-all of engines... I'm just trying to figure out why this comparison was even made)


      Modified by LuckyDogg at 11:41 PM 3-23-2004


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      03-23-2004 11:39 PM #13
      Quote, originally posted by tjl »
      BMW engines are nothing special:

      Ya know what? Uhm, it's late. I'm not gonna touch that with a 10 foot pole, but I sincerely hope you have some sort of fact, or opinion based on reality before you go and post up the 3.5 lump of coal in the Malibu.

      Put your flame suit on boy


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      03-24-2004 12:03 AM #14
      Quote, originally posted by brent0226 »
      What? Comparing BMW engines to those show just how awesome BMW engines are. That Malibu engine is 3.5l! 1 full liter bigger than the 325i!

      And, both the Corvette engines are 5.7l vs the M3's 3.2l engine.

      You can't compare engines that are COMPLETELY different. The engines I compared above were used in the same class of car with similar displacements

      Who really cares about displacement?

      What really matters is (1) how much power and torque the engine makes, and (2) how much fuel it uses. The Chevrolet engine, despite being bigger in displacement, produce more power and torque using less fuel than the BMW engine.

      Sure the Malibu's V6 is quite large at 3.5L. But when it provides power and torque competitive with other V6 engines, with fuel economy competitive with many significantly less powerful 4-cylinder engines, why worry about that?


    15. 03-24-2004 12:05 AM #15
      Quote, originally posted by lsinlv »
      one simple statement...

      "you buy HORSEPOWER, but DRIVE TORQUE!"

      That's why....

      i love torque, but that's not true. lots of torqueless engines can rev really high and are therefore powerful and fun. so u really do "drive" hp too.


    16. 03-24-2004 12:14 AM #16
      Quote, originally posted by tjl »

      Who really cares about displacement?

      What really matters is (1) how much power and torque the engine makes, and (2) how much fuel it uses. The Chevrolet engine, despite being bigger in displacement, produce more power and torque using less fuel than the BMW engine.

      Sure the Malibu's V6 is quite large at 3.5L. But when it provides power and torque competitive with other V6 engines, with fuel economy competitive with many significantly less powerful 4-cylinder engines, why worry about that?

      Who really cares about displacement?

      Hmmm... why don't you try sticking a 5.7l V8 in the engine bay of a 3 series or an A4. Then, if you fit it in, make it still crash well. You also have the issue of weight.

      Producing good power out of a smaller displacement engine also says something about a company's engineering.


    17. 03-24-2004 12:20 AM #17
      Quote, originally posted by brent0226 »

      Who really cares about displacement?

      Hmmm... why don't you try sticking a 5.7l V8 in the engine bay of a 3 series or an A4. Then, if you fit it in, make it still crash well. You also have the issue of weight.

      Producing good power out of a smaller displacement engine also says something about a company's engineering.

      well said


    18. Member SpeedRicer's Avatar
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      03-24-2004 12:54 AM #18
      As far as Lexus is concerned, the 4.7L is different because it was designed as a truck engine from the get-go (the Mercedes 5.0L, VAG 4.2L and BMW 4.4L are used in passenger cars). As a result, it has a huge bias towards torque rather than horsepower (as evidenced by the low 230 hp figure to begin with, but the high torque figure).

      With the 4.3L, the old Lexus 4.0L was already putting out similar power a long time ago, so it's more of a matter of Lexus resting on their laurels in the output department than anything else. I figure that we'll see a modest bump sometime in the near future to keep it competitive with the Audi and BMW engines (similar to the upgrade the ES330 recently got).


    19. 03-24-2004 01:09 AM #19
      Quote, originally posted by SpeedRicer »
      As far as Lexus is concerned, the 4.7L is different because it was designed as a truck engine from the get-go (the Mercedes 5.0L, VAG 4.2L and BMW 4.4L are used in passenger cars). As a result, it has a huge bias towards torque rather than horsepower (as evidenced by the low 230 hp figure to begin with, but the high torque figure).

      With the 4.3L, the old Lexus 4.0L was already putting out similar power a long time ago, so it's more of a matter of Lexus resting on their laurels in the output department than anything else. I figure that we'll see a modest bump sometime in the near future to keep it competitive with the Audi and BMW engines (similar to the upgrade the ES330 recently got).

      I guess you're right about the 4.7l V8. It is only in the trucks; Land Cruiser, 4runner, Sequoia, Tundra, GX470, and LX470. And the GX470/LX470 really are real trucks with rigid rear axles too.

      I also think it's funny how the LS430, despite its lower horsepower, scoots to 60 faster than the A8L, XJ8, Phaeton, and LS430; it doesn't even weigh very much less. I think it's kind of strange.

      I wonder what the new 7 speed auto is going to do for Mercedes. What do you guys think?


    20. Member DrewSXR's Avatar
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      03-24-2004 01:33 AM #20
      Don't forget Infiniti's V8's:

      Q45/M45 (VK45DE) - 4.5L V8, 340HP and 333 ft-lbs Torque

      FX45 (VK45DE) - 4.5L V8, 315 HP and 329 ft-lbs Torque

      QX56 (VK56DE) - 5.6L V8, 315HP and 390 ft-lbs Torque


    21. 03-24-2004 01:42 AM #21
      Quote, originally posted by DrewSRX »
      Don't forget Infiniti's V8's:

      Q45/M45 (VK45DE) - 4.5L V8, 340HP and 333 ft-lbs Torque

      FX45 (VK45DE) - 4.5L V8, 315 HP and 329 ft-lbs Torque

      QX56 (VK56DE) - 5.6L V8, 315HP and 390 ft-lbs Torque

      The Q45's V8 pushes out some healthy numbers. You can tell those bottom two are tuned more for torque. I wonder if those first two are the same engine, just tuned differently (like the Treg's 4.2l 310hp V8 and the Phaeton's 4.2l 335hp V8).

      It really is amazing how a little bit of tuning can cause the same engine to behave so differently. Audi's 4.2l V8 comes in SO many flavors; Allroad, S4 (slightly modified, like timing chain placement?), A6, RS6 (biturbo), A8L, old S8, Touareg, and Phaeton.


    22. Member Amdek's Avatar
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      03-24-2004 02:08 AM #22
      it is all about fine tuning

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