There are many car enthusiasts that feel as if convertibles are unworthy of their time. Nonsense. Convertibles can be just as thrilling, if not more so, than their coupe counterparts. What they lose in torsional rigidity and the weight that they gain they make up for with extra noise and drama. Especially in a supercar, where the mid-engine layout puts the sound of the exotic engine directly behind the driver’s head. That idea is exemplified by these two cars — the Audi R8 V10 Plus Spyder and the McLaren 570S Spider.
In this new video from Auto Express, we take a look at a drag race between these two cars, some of the best convertible supercars on the planet. The drag race is interesting, though, as both cars are quite different.
The Audi R8 V10 Plus Spyder uses a 5.2 liter naturally-aspirated V10 engine that makes 602 hp and 413 lb-ft of torque. That screaming, 8,250 rpm V10 is mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox and sends power to its Quattro all-wheel drive system.
In the other corner, the McLaren 570S Spider uses a 3.8 liter twin-turbocharged V8 engine that makes 562 hp and 443 lb-ft of torque. That engine is also paired to a seven-speed dual-clutch unit that sends power to only its rear wheels.
So the Audi R8 V10 Plus Spyder has a horsepower and traction advantage but is down on torque. However, the McLaren not only has more torque but, because its twin-turbocharged, makes that torque at a much lower rpm. So it can fire off the line quicker. The McLaren is also lighter, weighing 1,486 kg (3,276 lbs), compared to the relatively portly 1,695 kg (3,736 lb) Audi R8.
Off the line, the McLaren 570S gets off to a better start, thanks to its twin-turbocharged engine making peak torque much earlier. However, the Audi R8 has better numbers, getting to 30 mph and 60 mph faster than the McLaren, despite the latter car being ahead the entire time. Through the quarter-mile, though, the McLaren hits 11 seconds flat, while the Audi R8 does it in 11.2. At the end of the race, the McLaren wins by about a car length, which is pretty impressive considering how fast the Audi R8 is. The McLaren starts off with a lead it never relinquishes and it proves how fast modern McLarens are.