The second-generation R8 has been around since late 2015, making it the oldest high-performance Audi in the range. Nearly seven years ago, it was the fastest Audi model available. However, performance goalposts have moved since then.
The question now is this: how does the R8 fare against the current Audi RS models in a drag race? And what are the cars it needs to beat? Arranged according to size, it will race the RS 3 Sportback, RS 5 Sportback, RS 6 Avant, RS e-Tron GT, and the RS Q8.
Before we look at the competition, let’s see the R8’s package for this race. The model chosen for this test was the V10 Performance model, so there’s more kick from its 5.2-liter engine. The mid-engined sports car doles out 612 horsepower (456 kilowatts), along with 428 pound-feet (580 Newton-meters) of torque. It puts out all that power without any help from a turbocharger. With that, let’s move on to its challengers.
The RS 3 Sportback is the least powerful here, but calling it slow is unfair to the hot hatch. After all, its 2.5-liter, turbocharged straight-five engine packs a strong punch. The boosted five-pot is good for 400 horsepower (398 kilowatts) and 369 pound-feet (500 Newton-meters) of torque. It’s also the lightest in this group.
Up next is the RS 5 Sportback with its 2.9-liter, twin-turbo V6. The engine packs 450 horsepower (331 kilowatts) and 443 pound-feet (600 Newton-meters) of torque. If those specs look familiar, that’s because it is similar to the one used in the Porsche Panamera 4S.
Moving to the heavyweights, the Audi RS 6 Avant wages into battle with a 4.0-liter, twin-turbo V8. The RS Q8 also shares the same engine as its station wagon stablemate. That means both these cars put out 600 horsepower (441 kilowatts) and 590 pound-feet (800 Newton-meters) of torque.
But the R8’s toughest challenger might be the electric RS e-Tron GT. Its dual-motor arrangement has a combined output of 590 horsepower (440 kilowatts) that can be boosted up to 637 horsepower (475 kilowatts). The advantage of the electric motor is its available torque from rest. In this case, the RS e-Tron GT can unleash 612 pound-feet (830 Newton-meters) in boost mode.
We won’t tell you which car won the race, but what we will say is that it was a close finish. The six cars crossed the line less than a second away from first to last. There were also some shocking performers and even an upset. To see which one had the most impressive performance, you need to watch the whole video.