The rivalry between Audi, BMW, and Mercedes is as old as the hills, with the three premium brands currently competing across virtually all segments of the luxury market. Their top-of-the-line convertibles were put through their paces by Auto Bild at the Lausitzring track in Germany. The R8 V10 Spyder Convertible – Audi’s most expensive car – was pitted against the BMW M8 Competition Cabriolet and the Mercedes-AMG GT R Roadster in a three-way cabriolet fight.
Some might argue one car is significantly different than the other two considering the R8 has a mid-engined layout and a larger naturally aspirated V10 engine. The other two are both front-engined V8s with a pair of turbochargers thrown in for good measure. Side note, the GT R Roadster is technically front mid-engine. The Bimmer is the most powerful of the lot, offering 625 horsepower from its 4.4-liter engine or five ponies more than Audi’s sweet-sounding FSI engine. At the same time, it also has 40 hp more than AMG’s 4.0-liter unit.
While the M8 Competition Cabriolet has the advantage in terms of horsepower, it’s also the heaviest of the three by a significant margin. The additional fat it has to carry around represents an important factor in a track battle, but it’s partially compensated by the extra torque generated by the engine. The gearbox also plays a major role in these tests on a circuit, and while the Audi and AMG have dual-clutch seven-speed autos, the BMW features a torque-converter eight-speed automatic. Let’s also keep in mind the GT R Roadster is rear-wheel drive, unlike its AWD-equipped rivals.
Auto Bild has included onboard footage with all three contenders of the cabriolet fight, and we can already name a winner in the soundtrack category – the Audi R8’s V10. Despite having substantially less torque due to the lack of forced induction, Ingolstadt’s flagship sports car held its own against the twin-turbo machines. It ended up in second place, behind the track-focused AMG GT R Roadster but ahead of the luxury-oriented M8 Competition droptops.
All three were within roughly two seconds, so there wasn’t much between them. Not that you’ll actually ever see any o