It's a duel between a twin-turbo V8 and a naturally aspirated V10 with identical horsepower.
One is a dying breed while the other is all the rage. We’re talking about one of the last naturally aspirated sports cars out there pitted against Audi’s most powerful and fastest SUV to date. The folks over at carwow lined up a current-generation R8 in the pre-facelift specification and the RS Q8 to find out which of the two is quicker in a quarter-mile test.
It’s worth pointing out that while the R8 is the base version and therefore not the hotter Plus trim, it’s been tuned to deliver a healthy 600 bhp from its glorious 5.2 FSI engine. In the other corner, the RS Q8 hasn’t been fiddled with, meaning it utilises the same twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8 with an identical 600 bhp. The forced induction obviously helps the SUV deliver more torque, but the high-riding Audi is also considerably heavier than the mid-engined coupe.
While Carwow’s Mat Watson is quite skilled when it comes to drag races, it was a first-time experience for the owner of the blacked-out R8. Unsurprisingly, his reaction off the line in the first drag race was not ideal, allowing the RS Q8 to take the lead and never let it go even though the high-performance coupe was catching up towards the end.
It was a different story in the second drag race as the R8 driver had a considerably better response, and even though the RS Q8 was still quicker at the start, that still wasn’t enough. The extra weight reared its ugly head and the SUV had to settle for second place. After all, an additional 665 kilograms (1,466 pounds) compared to the supercar is a major disadvantage in a drag race. The SUV partially compensated that by generating an extra 220 Nm (162 lb-ft), but ultimately, it was no match for the far more athletic R8.
Audi’s endangered supercar also triumphed without breaking a sweat in the subsequent rolling races, while the winner of the brake test was a bit trickier to determine.