Okay, so this may be the weirdest drag race of all time, and Mat Watson of Carwow even admits to it, but it’s certainly fun. He also has a good point. In real life, stoplight drag races are never between the same, or even similar, kinds of cars. It’s almost always a random assortment of performance cars. So that’s exactly what this test is: a drag race between random sports cars.
On one end is the monster Audi SQ7 TDI SUV. It may not be exactly a sports car, per se, but it packs sports car punch and performance. With 429 hp and 664 lb-ft of torque from its tri-turbo 4.0 liter diesel V8, the SQ7 gets from 0-60 mph in 4.9 seconds. That’s enough to hang with a VW Golf R, Audi S3 and maybe even the Ford Focus RS. So it’s got serious poke and shouldn’t be ignored in this test.
In the middle is the Honda Civic Type R. It may sound silly drag racing a Honda Civic, something your grandmother probably drives, but don’t sleep on the Type R. With a 2.0 liter turbocharged four-cylinder the Type R makes 306 hp and 295 lb-ft. That’s a lot in a car that only weighs as much as a medium-sized dog. It’s also fast, getting from 0-60 mph in 5.7 seconds. That’s not as fast as the Audi SQ7, but it’s a lot lighter, so it might be able to take the win in a 1/4 mile race.
Flanking the Honda is Watson’s own second-gen Mazda MX-5. While the MX-5 isn’t normally fast, Watson’s has a supercharger fitted to it. That means it makes around 200 hp. That may not sound like a lot, and it isn’t, but the MX-5 is feather-light and by far the lightest car in the test. I likely won’t beat the Audi, but it could take the Honda.
As the race starts, the Audi SQ7 tears off the line, immediately ahead of the other two. Watson, driving his own MX-5, actually gets ahead of the Honda and starts pulling away. Thank the supercharger’s instant thrust over the Civic’s turbo lag for that. However, the SQ7 just storms ahead, leaving the other two for dead. It’s actually impressive how such a heavy SUV launches so violently.
In the end, the SQ7 simply blows the doors off of the Honda and Mazda. But Watson, in his MX-5, has a photo finish with the Honda that’s almost too close to call. From our eyes, it looks like his MX-5 just edges out the Honda by fractions of a millimeter, but we can’t tell for certain.
It’s not the most scientific of drag races, but it’s fun. Plus is shows off the shear vicious brutality of the Audi SQ7 TDI.