It’s drag race time, and Rory Reid takes us to Top Gear’s playground for a three-way battle featuring vehicles that, if we’re honest, aren’t well suited to such things. Granted, anything can be fun to drag race, but the Lotus Exige Cup 430 is far more at home holding speed through endless corners. The same can be said for the Porsche 718 Cayman GTS, which has us scratching our heads as to why these two cars were chosen to face off against a much larger Audi RS5 Coupe, which actually is rather at home blasting down a long straight.

To kick off the video, Reid identifies the Audi as “sport,” with the Porsche being “sporty” and the Lotus trumping them all as “sportiest.” That’s about the only tie-in we can see between these three very different performance vehicles – the Cayman GTS and RS5 have a similar price point at around £60,000 but the athletic Exige Cup 430 is double that. Similarly, the Lotus and Audi are close in power with just 14 bhp separating them, but the bigger Audi with its all-wheel-drive system is considerably heavier, and the Porsche gives up approximately 70 bhp to both of them. It’s simply mad.

Gallery: Audi RS5 drag races Porsche Cayman GTS and Lotus Exige

But, straight-line contests of speed aren’t about how cars match up at the starting line – it’s about how they get along at the finish line. Reid holds station in the Audi and reckons he will get a starting line advantage, and he’s not wrong. When the flag drops the poor Cayman instantly loses ground and the Audi leaps forward. The RS5 is a bit more powerful than the Lotus, but there’s considerably less mass for the winged wonder to carry – 1,665 kg in the Audi compared to just 1,093 kg for the Exige.

It’s probably no surprise that the Cayman GTS comes in a distant third, but what about the Audi/Lotus battle? It actually ends up being quite the nail-biter, so we’ll let the video do the talking with the dramatic finish.