Racing fast supercars against fast superbikes is always a fun exercise. While the bike almost always wins, due to far superior power-to-weight ratios, supercars are getting closer and closer, thanks to all-wheel drive grip and ferocious launch control systems. In this new video from Autocar, we see the Audi R8 V10 (non-Plus version) take on the Ducati Panigale V4, two of the fastest machines within the VW Group.
To start things off, let’s take a look at both cars. The Audi R8 V10 is a mid-engine supercar with a 5.2 liter free-breathing V10 engine stuffed between its axles. It sends 540 hp and 398 lb-ft of torque through a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox to all four wheels, via Quattro all-wheel drive. According to Audi, it can get from 0-60 mph in about 3.2 seconds.
As for the Ducati Panigale V4, it sports a 1.1 liter V4 engine with 211 hp and 91 lb-ft of torque. That’s not a lot of power compared to the Audi R8 but the Ducati only weighs 198 kg (436 lbs), compared to the Audi R8’s rather portly 1,640 kg (3,615 lbs). So the Ducati’s power-to-weight ratio is better. Having said that, the Ducati only puts power to one wheel, while the R8 puts it to four. So getting off the line will be interesting.
Off the line, the Audi R8 actually gets the jump on the Ducati, getting ahead of it by quite a bit. However, after that, the little Italian bike surges ahead and simply dominates the R8 to the finish line. It just keeps pulling, well after it gains a comfortable lead on the big Audi. So all-wheel drive supercars are getting much better at keeping up with superbikes but they still can’t hang. They can launch harder, thanks to more driven wheels and clever launch control but, even with the better start, they can’t keep up with lightweight superbikes.