VIDEO: Audi RS6 Avant vs Ariel Atom 3.5 R — Drag Race

C7 Audi RS6 Avant

The Audi RS6 Avant is one of the absolute best performance cars on sale. Despite getting quite old now, and its competitors passing it by, in terms of performance, the RS6 Avant is a brutally fast performance machine that can carry the entire family while munching sports cars for breakfast. However, the one downfall of the RS6 is that it’s quite heavy, due to its massive V8 engine, all-wheel drive, tons of cargo space and impressive luxury. So what happens when it faces off against a much smaller, much lighter, albeit much less powerful, car like the Ariel Atom 3.5R? Carfection finds out.

In this new video Carfection does a completely irrelevant drag race between two completely opposite cars. Our favorite kind. The Audi RS6 Avant sports a 4.0 liter twin-turbocharged V8 that makes 560 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque. All of that power is sent through an eight-speed automatic gearbox to all four wheels, via proper Quattro all-wheel drive. According to Audi, the RS6 Avant can sprint to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds but we’ve seen in done a few tenths quicker.

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On the other hand, in a completely opposite fashion, the Ariel Atom is a two-seat race car that’s about the size of a shoe, has a tubular aluminum frame and no roof. As for an engine, it doesn’t get a twin-turbocharged V8, it gets a 2.0 liter four-cylinder engine from Honda. Except that engine is supercharged and makes 350 hp and 243 lb-ft of torque. That power is sent through a six-speed sequential racing manual gearbox to the rear wheels. To make up for its lack of power, the Atom weighs about an entire planet less than the RS6. So it’s claimed to hit 60 mph in 2.7 seconds.

At the start of this drag race, the Audi RS6 actually pulls ahead a bit off the line, thanks to Quattro all-wheel drive grip and, more importantly, Henry Catchpole botching the launch in the Atom a bit. So the RS6 leads for half of the race before the Atom catches up and wins by a narrow margin. However, they do the race over again and Catchpole nails the launch, getting it ahead of the Audi RS6 very quickly and continues to build a larger and larger lead. It wins by a mile in the second race.

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So it just goes to show, as much as having a million horsepower is cool, it’s all about power-to-weight.

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.