The Audi R8 isn’t the first car to come to mind when considering a winter vehicle. It has a lot of power and a low ride height, which aren’t great attributes for navigating snow-covered roads, especially with summer tyres. That calculus changes with winter tyres, and a new video from Carwow shows what a difference the right tyres can make.
The channel pits the Audi R8 V10 RWD against the Audi R8 V10 Spyder with Quattro all-wheel drive. The Spyder has a big advantage by powering all four wheels, which is able to help push and pull the car in the slippery snow.
Gallery: 2023 Audi R8 V10 GT RWD
Both Audis pack the naturally aspirated 5.2-litre V10 engine. However, they have different outputs. In the heavier Spyder with Quattro all-wheel drive, the engine produces 620 bhp and 427 lb-ft of torque. It weighs 1,695 kilograms.
The V10 RWD Coupe has an engine that makes 570 bhp and 405 lb-ft of torque. It is lighter at 1,590 kg, but it won’t matter much in this race.
The first few races go about as well as one would expect. Neither R8 can get that far up the slope, wearing summer tyres in a situation that calls for the best winters money can buy. Turning the stability control off does little to help, with neither two-door Audi getting much further than before, with the summer tyres incapable of finding traction in the snow.
Things change when the cars switch to winter tyres. Both are far more capable than before, easily reaching the top of the first summit. The all-wheel-drive Spyder is quicker at getting up the slope, but the coupe wasn’t left behind. The first race between the two with winters installed saw the RWD Audi get a better start than the AWD Spyder, but the Quattro system dug in, allowing the AWD Audi to pull ahead and win.
The video shows once again that winter tyres do make a difference in the real world. They are designed to grip in the cold, and the results compared to summer tyres are stark.