For awhile, if you wanted a fast, mid-engine, all-wheel drive everyday-supercar, the Audi R8 was the only place to turn. Especially the current Audi R8 V10 Plus, which is monstrously fast and exciting while also being comfortable, packed with technology and easy to use. It’s a stunningly good all-around supercar and was probably the best overall supercar package on the market. Until the Acura NSX came along. Carfection recently put these two cars up against each other to see which is best.
The new, second-gen Acura NSX follows a similar recipe — mid-engine, all-wheel drive and everyday usability. However, Acura uses electric motors and two turbochargers to make it very fast. With a mid-mounted twin-turbo 3.5 liter V6 paired with a small electric motor, the NSX powers the rear wheels through a nine-speed dual-clutch automatic. That electric motor acts as both the starter motor and a torque-filler, which means it adds power while the turbochargers are spooling. Then, there are two more electric motors, one at each front wheel, which gives the NSX real-time torque-vectoring all-wheel drive. Combined, the NSX makes 573 hp.
On the flip-side, the Audi R8 V10 Plus, packs a conventional and naturally-aspirated 5.2 liter V10 engine that makes 602 hp. It sends all of that power through a brilliant seven-speed S-Tronic dual-clutch gearbox to all four wheels, via Quattro all-wheel drive. That’s it. So which is better, the brand-new, high-tech, futuristic Acura NSX or the seemingly old-school, naturally-aspirated Audi R8 V10 Plus?
Both cars are ridiculously fast, with the Acura NSX capable of 0-60 mph in 3.1 seconds and the Audi R8 V10 Pus doing the same sprint in 3.0 seconds flat (although Motor Trend once got 2.8 seconds out of the R8). But in a drag race, the Audi R8 takes it, as its bigger engine, higher-revs and more power simply have the legs that the Acura does not. But which one is better to drive?
Alex Goy of Carfection drives both around a track for quite some time and comes to a quick conclusion that the Acura NSX is the better car. It’s more high-tech and a bit easier to drive everyday. But then he spent more time in the Audi R8 and started to fall for its devilish charm. Its engine is magnificent, makes an incredible noise and revs way higher than the Acura’s V6. It also has the much better interior, is more exciting to drive and just the overall more engaging car of the two. So when it’s all said and done, Goy prefers the old-school Audi R8 V10 Plus.