VIDEO: Can the Audi RS5 Sportback take down the Tesla Model 3 Performance?

At the moment, the Tesla Model 3 Performance is the drag race darling, dominating the drag strip against cars that are even more powerful than it. The reason for its straight-line dominance is its all-electric torque, which comes down like an anvil the moment you stomp the accelerator. So can and Audi RS5 Sportback, a car with less power, less torque and a pesky need to rev, take down the mighty Model 3? In this new test from Carwow, we find out.


In this new video, Carwow’s Mat Watson puts together a triple-car test between the aforementioned Tesla and Audi as well as a Mercedes-AMG GLC63 S. The three cars are very different; the Tesla Model 3 Performance is an electric sedan, the RS5 is a sleek four-door “coupe”  and the AMG is a powerful SUV. However, all three cars are fast daily drivers. But which is the fastest?

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Tesla Model 3
Tesla Model 3


The first test in the video is a standing quarter-mile drag race, something that the Model 3 is usually unbeatable in. However, the Audi RS5 Sportback leaps off the line even faster somehow and beats the mighty Tesla in the quarter-mile race. To be honest, I was genuinely shocked to see that. The RS5’s Quattro all-wheel drive system and launch control must brilliantly manage torque and traction for an instantaneous launch that was able to best a more powerful electric car. Even if there was some driver error on the part of the Tesla, it’s still massively impressive for the Audi.


Though, during two different rolling drag races — one in Comfort mode cruising at 50 mph and one starting from second gear at 30 mph — the Tesla Model 3 managed to beat both other cars. In fairness, the Audi RS5 Sportback actually ended up winning both before the cars ran out of runway but it was only able to do so at over 140 mph, which is not legal or realistic on 99-percent of public roads.

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The Audi RS5 Sportback won again in the 60-0 mph braking test, which isn’t surprising because it has bigger brakes than the Tesla and is lighter than both cars.


Because Watson gives the two rolling drag races to the Tesla (which is fair, considering it took absurd speed for the RS5 to catch up), that leaves both the Audi RS5 Sportback and Tesla Model 3 with two wins each and the AMG with none. However, we’re going to give a moral victory to the Audi. When I clicked on this video, I immediately assumed that the Tesla would win all races without much of a fight from the other two. It just always does. But the Audi RS5 gave it a real challenge and that fact alone is a moral tie-breaker in our books.

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.