Ah, the Vector W8. Designed in the 1970s and finally built in the late 1980s, the mighty wedge still looks like something from the future over 30 years later. With 625 bhp burbling behind the driver, it's right there with any number of modern-day supercars in terms of power. And yet, it can't beat a first-generation Dodge Viper in a drag race. Not in a quarter-mile, or a half-mile, or even a rolling race.

This could be the first time we've ever seen a Vector racing in any sort of venue, straight-line or otherwise. Mat Watson of Carwow fame had an opportunity to pit the exceedingly rare W8 in a drag race with a 1992 Dodge Viper thanks to a bit of help from the Petersen Automotive Museum, where both vehicles spend their time. If you're a Vector fan who's familiar with the phrase never drive your heroes, this video might be a bit hard to take.

The W8 went into production in 1989 with a twin-turbocharged 6.0-litre V8. The car was supremely powerful for its day, but it sent that power through a three-speed automatic transmission with roots to the front-wheel-drive Oldsmobile Toronado from the 1960s. We won't comment on the reasoning behind that particular powertrain decision, but as the video demonstrates, it's not ideal for getting things moving in a timely manner.

That's not to say the Vector is slow. It runs the quarter-mile in 13.7 seconds in this video, and back in the day, that's what you could expect from a Corvette. But the Viper does the same sprint in 12.2 seconds, and it clearly gets off the line quicker. Switching to a rolling start helps the Vector some, but three widely spaced gears just aren't as favourable for acceleration as six. The only saving grace for the W8 comes with a half-mile run, where it finally has a chance to stretch its legs. The Wiegert-designed wedge claws back some lost ground, but it's still not enough to beat the Viper.

Viper Vs Vector Drag Race

Hey, at least it looks cool. And with only 22 built, it will always be one of the world's rarest supercars. We reckon it might fit best as an around-town cruiser rather than a track star.