Audi offers performance versions of every one of their sedans, even the electric ones, but it begs the question: of all these performance sedans, how does the largest one, the S8, compare to the smallest one, the RS3, in terms of speed? That’s the question Carwow attempts to answer as they drag race the two against each other.
The RS3 makes 401 hp (407 PS / 299 kW) and 369 lb-ft (500 Nm) of torque from a 2.5L turbocharged 5-cylinder, which it sends to all four wheels. And while it may be Audi’s smallest performance sedan, it still tips the scales at 3,472 lbs (1,575 kg). Moving on to the other contender, Audi doesn’t make an RS8, but they do make an S8, and it still pack plenty of power. Under the hood of the full-size sports sedan is a twin-turbo 4.0L V8 that makes 563 hp (571 PS / 420 kW) and 590 lb-ft (800 Nm) of torque, which is also sent to all four wheels.
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That being said, as much of a power advantage as the S8 has, it also has just as much of a weight disadvantage. Coming in at 5,302 lbs (2,405 kg) it weighs almost a full ton more than the RS3. In the first drag race, the two cars were neck and neck from start to finish, but the RS3 just had the tiniest extra advantage, allowing it to cross the line first by a hair. After a botched start for the second race, the third one was even closer than the first, with neither car really gaining a lasting advantage until the very end, and the one with that advantage was actually the S8. In the final, tiebreaking race, roughly the same result ensued, with the S8 once again taking victory by a relatively small margin.
As it turns out, these two cars were more evenly matched than we would’ve imagined, and to see them in action for yourself, as well as how they fare in a roll race, you can check them out in the video below.