Audi RS5 Coupe is a quick car. Audi claims it can hit 60 mph from a dig in 3.7 seconds. It is also a beautiful car. Especially when it is covered in Sonoma Green Metallic paint. Which is almost the same color as money. And money is exactly what you will win if you drag race your RS5 against a Lexus IS500. The IS500 is no slouch. In fact, on paper it has even more power than the Audi. But the Audi makes more torque. They both weigh about the same and they both use an 8-speed automatic transmission. But the Audi is all-wheel-drive, and the Lexus sends all the power to the rear wheels. Does that fully explain the results we see here or is the Audi more powerful than we think?
Sam CarLegion recently posted a video to his YouTube channel. And in this video has races an Audi RS5 Coupe against a Lexus IS500 from both a dig and a roll. The cars may be evenly matched on paper but in the real world the Audi decimates the Lexus in every race. Is it all down to the AWD system in the Audi or is there something else going on here?
One presents power through electrons. The other boasts a V10-fueled roar. Both the RS e-tron GT and R8 represent Audi at its best.
Like more than a few manufacturers, Audi stands at the crossroads. Behind it, high-performance, gasoline-fueled wonders like the R8, RS 2 and the ur-Quattro. Ahead, an electric path forged by the e-tron family, including the new champion of the cause, the RS e-tron GT. Each path represents Ingolstadt at its best.
Thus, there’s but one question: which of those paths would take the gold in a series of drags, rolls and immediate stops? Carwow‘s Mat Watson sets about to find this out by pairing the best of the best against each other, in the forms of the RS e-tron GT and the R8.
“I’m sitting in the new Audi RS e-tron GT,” said Watson, “which is now the most powerful Audi you can buy. It’s even more powerful than an R8, believe it or not […] It’s got two electric motors; together, they provide 646 horsepower when you’re launching it. They also deliver [612 lb-ft] of torque. It’s got a two-stage automatic gearbox. It’s got a launch stage and a high-speed stage for the gearbox, so you can be quick off the line and do decent, sustained high speed.”
Alas, the RS e-tron GT also weighs more than the R8, coming in at 5,174 pounds versus the R8’s 3,616 pounds. However, the R8 is outgunned on power (620 horses and 384 lb-ft of torque) and price ($178,000 USD vs the electric Audi’s $157,000 USD). That said, the R8 still makes lovely noises through the 5.2-liter V10, while the RS e-tron GT must make due with random screaming noises from the editor.
“The big question here is this is the most powerful Audi now, but is it the quickest,” asks Watson. “This is gonna be so exciting.”
The answer is a resounding yes. On the first drag, Watson quickly pulls away to take the win. However, the R8 driver says that happened due to the R8 bogging down after a successful launch. The second and third drags are also won by Watson and the RS e-tron GT thanks to the R8 short-shifting. Yet, the third drag was the closest it got to the EV.
“Now, we have a rolling race from 50 miles an hour,” said Watson, “with the cars in their normal comfy setting. I’m actually going in Efficiency mode, and I’m gonna be very not very efficient, actually.”
Three rolling races, two driving modes, and one errant bunny later, the R8 beat the RS e-tron GT. Plus, it stopped from 70 mph a half-car before the EV. Those wins likely came from the weight advantage the R8 has over the new kid. Overall, the V10 still has it, though it’s only a matter of time before the e-tron fully surpasses its ancestors.
Cameron Aubernon’s path to automotive journalism began in the early New ’10s. Back then, a friend of hers thought she was an independent fashion blogger.
Aubernon wasn’t, so she became one, covering fashion in her own way for the next few years.
From there, she’s written for: Louisville.com/Louisville Magazine, Insider Louisville, The Voice-Tribune/The Voice, TOPS Louisville, Jeffersontown Magazine, Dispatches Europe, The Truth About Cars, Automotive News, Yahoo Autos, RideApart, Hagerty, and Street Trucks.
Aubernon also served as the editor-in-chief of a short-lived online society publication in Louisville, Kentucky, interned at the city’s NPR affiliate, WFPL-FM, and was the de facto publicist-in-residence for a communal art space near the University of Louisville.