VIDEO: Audi Q7 2.0T vs Acura MDX vs Volkswagen Atlas R-Line VR6

An Audi takes on an Acura for the second day in a row. Yesterday, we showed you a comparison test between an Audi A4 and Acura TLX, done by Business Insider. Today, we’re showing you a video drag race test between the Audi Q7 and Acura MDX, except this test has a third competitor in the Volkswagen Atlas. The Fast Lane Car decided to test all three against each other in a drag race because, well, isn’t that just what you do with three seven-passenger SUVs?

This test is interesting, though, because of their engines. The Acura MDX has a 3.5 liter naturally-aspirated V6 that makes 290 hp and 267 lb-ft of torque. That free-breathing V6 is mated to a nine-speed automatic and powers all four wheels, via Acura’s absurdly-named Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive system. The Volkswagen Atlas R-Line VR6 also has a naturally-aspirated V6 engine but it’s 3.6 liters and makes¬†276 hp and 266 lb-ft. That engine is paired with an eight-speed automatic and sends power to all four wheels, via VW’s 4Motion system.

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This specific Audi Q7 is the outlier, though. It doesn’t use a V6, despite Audi offering a brilliant 3.0 liter supercharged V6 in the Q7. Instead of that punchy V6, it gets a 2.0 liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that makes 252 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque. That little turbo-four sends power through an eight-speed automatic to Quattro all-wheel drive. So the Q7 has the least amount of horsepower of the bunch and it’s also the heaviest. So things aren’t looking good for Ingolstadt, here.

But they start out the drag race with the Acura MDX taking on the Volkswagen Atlas. The Atlas not only has less power but it’s also heavier. Off the line, the Atlas is able to jump the MDX but then starts to lose the lead. The MDX then takes over and wins the race by a pretty decent margin, it just needed a bit of time to get going.

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The guys at TFLS decided that the loser of the race had to drive the Audi Q7 in the next race. So the MDX must now take on the Q7, which has much less power and more weight. However, the Audi Q7 has more torque and its Quattro all-wheel drive system is very good at getting it off the line. The Q7 also has another trick up its sleeve — elevation. This test was done in Colorado, which is a mile above sea level. At that high of elevation, air density is around 17-percent less than at sea level and naturally-aspirated engines lose a decent amount of power from that. While turbocharged engines, thanks to forced air induction, are far less affected.

So when the race starts, the Q7 immediately jumps ahead to a lead and it never lets up. While the MDX does eventually start to get going quickly, it’s not enough to even start catching the Audi. So the Q7, with the smallest engine and lowest horsepower, by far, wins the drag race. Pretty surprising.

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Nico DeMattia

I've been in love with cars since I was a kid, specifically German cars. Now I get to drive them talk about them on the internet.