Audi S8 duels Maserati Quattroporte in a drag race with a clear winner

Much like BMW has refrained from doing a full-fat M version of the 7 Series, Audi has also stopped short of developing an RS8. Many would argue these higher-performance versions are unnecessary since the 7er can be had in a sportier Alpina specification while the S8 is plenty fast already. These people may be on to something since the more athletic version of Audi’s flagship sedan proved its worth in a drag race.

The folks over at CAR Magazine pitted Ingolstadt’s speedy luxobarge against a Maserati Quattroporte, but there’s one major problem. Rather than choosing a V8-powered, all-wheel-drive version of the elegant Italian sports sedan to even the odds, they decided to go with an older S version featuring a smaller V6 and only RWD. It’s not a fair fight, is it?

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Nevertheless, it’s still interesting to discover the performance gap between the S8 and the Quattroporte. Audi’s brawny twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8 sends 563 horsepower and 590 pound-feet (800 Newton-meters) to both axles through a Quattro all-wheel-drive system whereas the six-cylinder in the Quattroporte has to make do with only 404 hp and 406 lb-ft (550 Nm).

Having a massive power advantage, Audi’s luxury bruiser made the Maserati look as if it was standing still. The S8 rocketed off the line and never looked back as the Quattroporte didn’t even stand a chance. Even if Italy’s performance sedan theoretically matched the S8 at the start of the drag race, it’s easy to see the Audi is pulling away, making Modena’s saloon smaller and smaller in its rearview mirror.

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Spy shots have revealed Audi is already preparing a mid-cycle facelift for the S8 while Maserati’s parent company Stellantis has vowed to make the next-generation Quattroporte an EV that will ride on a dedicated electric car platform. An all-new model can’t come soon enough considering the current car has been around since the beginning of 2013. It’s been mildly updated over the years, but it doesn’t take too long to figure out it’s an aging car.

Source: CAR Magazine / YouTube

Adrian Padeanu

Long-time fan of the fabled Four Rings.