Ever since the Audi R8’s inception, it’s naturally been compared with the Porsche 911, especially the 911 Turbo. The R8 is priced similarly to the 911 Turbo, both cars have all-wheel drive, both cars put out similar power figures and both cars have dual-clutch gearboxes. It’s been the ultimate showdown between two German heavyweights. Well, EVO Magazine has pit the two against each other yet again, but this time the Audi R8 is all new.
The second-generation Audi R8 uses a revised version of the 5.2 liter V10 engine from the previous car and the Lamborghini Huracan. With its mighty V10 engine, the R8 develops 602 hp and 413 lb-ft of torque as it revs all the way to its 9,000 rpm redline. It’s a magnificent thing, that V10. It’s mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic and sends power to all four wheels via Audi’s Quattro system. This should prove helpful in this latest test by EVO, as the track they test the cars on is soaking wet and extremely greasy.
The Porsche 911 Turbo S has always been the pinnacle of the everyday supercar, the kind of car with breathtaking performance that can be driven daily without issue. Its 3.8 liter twin-turbocharged flat-six engine develops 552 hp, which is down 50 to the R8, but also makes 553 lb-ft of torque, besting the R8 by quite a bit. All of that power is sent through Porsche’s seven-speed PDK dual clutch automatic to all-four wheels as well.
Both cars are capable of similar performance numbers; 0-60 mph comes in 3.2 seconds for the Audi R8 and 3.1 for the 911 Turbo. Though the R8 has a higher top speed of 205 mph, while the 911 Turbo can “only” muster 198 mph. So the two cars are within arms reach of each other in terms of power and performance, but they react very different on the track and it’s interesting to see how they both handle.
On track, the 911 Turbo is an extremely playful car. It’s able to hold lovely drifts with perfect control and really slide around, allowing it to be a very fun ride. It understeers a bit on corner entry, but if you can work around that, it will slide easily and controllably. It genuinely seems like a fun car to hook around a track, which might seem strange considering how soft and luxurious it can be on the road.
The Audi R8, on the other hand, is a sharper, edgier car. EVO actually claimed it to have a sharper front end and better front-end grip. Shocking, I know, to hear an Audi having a better front end than a Porsche. The Audi R8 is playful as well, but in a different way. Keep your foot in the throttle through the corner and the Quattro all-wheel drive system will shuffle the power around to put the car into a nice and controllable slide. So the R8 is fun as well, but in a different way. The R8 also has a better engine, having an incredibly linear powerband and instant throttle response.
On track, both cars are fun in their own ways, but it’s the Audi R8 that is faster around the track in the wet. Maybe in the dry, things might be different. But in the rain, the R8 is the faster car, which could make it the new king of the Everyday Supercar.