Drag racing back in the day used to be almost exclusively about purpose-built cars going up against each other at the drag strip. These days, people will race just about anything you can think of, including heavy SUVs. Case in point, the good folks over at carwow are pitting the new kid on the Audi Sport SUV block, the RS Q3, against the Porsche Macan Turbo and the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio.
Before we forget, it’s worth mentioning the hot SUV carrying the Four Rings is actually the swoopy RS Q3 Sportback version. Out of the three, it has the advantage of being the lightest, but it’s also the least powerful. It’s considerably down on both horsepower and torque due to its smaller engine, so these advantages and disadvantages make for an interesting drag race.
Some would say the RS Q3 is the underdog in this drag race, and they’d be right judging by the outcome. In both races, the Macan Turbo’s launch control gave the Porsche SUV a major advantage off the line, but the Stelvio Quadrifoglio’s Ferrari-derived engine helped the Alfa SUV recover the lost ground. It perfectly tied the Porsche in the second race at 12 seconds flat for the quarter mile, losing in the first duel by a narrow margin.
Carwow then moved on to a roll race from 50 mph (80 km/h) where the Porsche’s excellent launch control was no longer relevant. Having considerably more power than the Macan Turbo, the Stelvio Q won that duel with ease. The roll race was repeated with the vehicles in Sport mode and in third gear, but it was ultimately another win for the Alfa. Interestingly, the RS Q3 Sportback was able to keep up the pace with the Porsche throughout the whole race.
While in a brake test the vehicle with the highest weight has a disadvantage, the Macan Turbo took the win despite being a porker, at 2,020 kilograms (4,453 pounds). To be fair, the Porsche had the optional carbon ceramic brakes, and that obviously gave it a significant edge over its two opponents.
Overall, the RS Q3 Sportback was dead last, which isn’t all that surprising. We’re giving it a bonus point for the sound delivered by its inline-five engine, although the Stelvio’s V6 with its Maranello origins doesn’t sound half bad either.