They’re both naturally aspirated V10 supercars, but that’s where the similarities pretty much end. We’re talking about the Audi R8 and the Dodge Viper, with the former featuring all-wheel drive, a mid-mounted V10, and an automatic gearbox while the latter is RWD with a front-mounted V10 and a stick shift. The cars we’re dealing with in these rolling races courtesy of Track Day are not stock, with both getting a healthy power bump.
Gone but not forgotten, the Viper featured here is the Time Attack 2.0 representing a step above the standard model but not as hardcore as the ACR. Its massive 8.4-liter engine produces 645 horsepower. However, this isn’t a stock variant as it has been tuned to roughly 700 hp.
Representing Europe, the Audi R8 is a second-generation, pre-facelift model in the non-Plus guise and a questionable body wrap. Its glorious 5.2 FSI no longer produces 532 hp as it has been massaged to deliver somewhere in the region of 670 hp. While it’s slightly down compared to its North American rival, it does have the advantage of a quicker seven-speed, dual-clutch automatic and the grippy Quattro system. This allows it to put the power to the wheels in a more efficient way compared to the tail-happy American brute.
The first head-to-head test was a rolling race from 40 mph (64 km/h) on an airport strip, which the Audi R8 won thanks to the significant advantage it gained at the start. You can see the Viper closing in during the second half of the race, but it wasn’t fast enough to regain what it lost in the beginning.
In the second duel, this time around from 30 mph, the excellent gear shifts of the Viper driver didn’t allow the R8 to obtain an advantage at the start. The two were neck and neck throughout the first half of the race, but the V10 beast ultimately managed to edge ahead.
The folks over at Track Day wanted to settle the dispute with a third race to announce an overall winner, but they ran into some technical difficulties and the showdown never happened. It would seem the Viper is faster in the hands of a skilled driver who knows when it’s the best time to go through the seven gears of the manual transmission. I guess there’s no replacement for displacement after all.