There aren’t many cars as capable as the Audi R8. Despite it being a few years old now, this generation of R8 is still among the best, most usable supercars on the road. However, newer sports cars are not only catching up but eclipsing the aging R8. So can the Audi R8 stave off two of the best new sports cars on sale, the Porsche 911 and C8 Corvette?
In this new video, these three battle on track at Hockenheim, with Sport Auto’s Christian Gebhardt at the wheel of each car.
The current Audi R8 V10 Performance is an astonishingly quick car in a straight line. It’s also seriously quick on a winding road, thanks to its Quattro all-wheel drive grip. On a track, though, it can lose out to even lesser-powered sports cars due to its understeer. In this video, you can see Gebhardt struggle with a bit of understeer through some corners. While its incredible engine; a 5.2 liter naturally-aspirated V10 with 602 horsepower; helps it power out of corners, it does struggle a bit mid-corner.
Surprisingly, the all-new C8 Corvette struggles from the same. The ‘Vette might only power its rear wheels but it certainly has a bit of understeer built in. It’s certainly fast, thanks to its 6.2 liter naturally-aspirated V8, the Corvette makes 495 horsepower and can hit 60 mph in about 2.8 seconds. So it dominates the straights but it understeers as much as the R8.
Of course, the Porsche 911 looks like the most fun. In this case, the 911 in question is a Carrera S, which is one of the least powerful 911s you can get. It uses a twin-turbocharged flat-six with just 443 horsepower. Still, the 911 seems like the best driver of the three. Its steering is the sharpest and it seems better balanced than the other two.
So which is quickest around the track? Surprisingly, it’s the Porsche 911. Despite being down on power, to the other two, it’s actually the fastest around Hockenheim. With a time of 1:53.5, the 911 was almost a full second faster than the Audi R8 (1:54.2) even with the Audi’s 159 horsepower/all-wheel drive advantage. The Corvette was the slowest (1:54.6) but wasn’t far behind the R8.
The Audi R8 was never the best track-oriented supercar, thanks to its safe understeer but we still expected it to be the fastest, thanks to its superior power advantage. The fact that the Porsche 911 is by far the least powerful of this bunch and still won is a testament to just how good of a driver’s car it is.