A new drag racing video pits an unlikely pair against each other – the BMW M5 Competition and the Audi R8 RWD. The two couldn’t be more different, but do those differences reveal themselves on the track? A new video from the Carwow YouTube channel finds out. 

There’s a big difference between how the two produce their power. The BMW packs the brand’s twin-turbocharged 4.4-litre V8, which pumps out 625 bhp (466 kilowatts) and 553 pound-feet (750 Newton-metres) of torque. The engine in the M5 pairs with an eight-speed automatic transmission with launch control, sending power to all four wheels.

Gallery: 2021 BMW M5 Competition: Review

The Audi uses the naturally aspirated 5.2-litre V10 engine that makes 570 bhp (425 kW) and 405 lb-ft (550 Nm) of torque, exclusively sending power to the rear wheels through a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox with launch control. Another difference is their weight, with the four-door BMW weighing 1,895 kilograms (4,177 pounds) compared to the R8’s 1,590 kg (3,505 lb) curb weight.

The first race reveals that while the Audi is lighter, the BMW’s all-wheel drive and the extra power make it a formidable opponent. The BMW jumps from the starting line, getting a sizeable lead over the Audi that the R8 can’t overcome before the finish line. However, things are different for the next two as the Audi gets a much better start, keeping up with the BMW and passing it just before the finish line, beating it twice by about half a car length even though both returned an 11.3-second quarter-mile time.

The pair split the two rolling races, with the Audi winning the first one with both cars in their comfiest setting. The second race set both in their sportiest tune, and the BMW won. The final brake test is a big surprise, with the heavier BMW performing better, stopping at a shorter distance than the Audi.

The two German cars in the video show the many ways to make a performance vehicle. They serve wildly different customers, and there’s a big price difference between them, but those differences disappear in a drag race.