Home / Social media / News / A 3-way with some wet topless Germans is quite entertaining.


Usually testing cars on a quarter mile in typical UK weather isn’t advised. The point of comparing cars over a predetermined distance is to test their straight-line speed, and a massive part of that comes down to traction. When the test road/airstrip/drag strip is wet, it kind of defeats the object because putting down decent horsepower simply can’t happen. It is, of course, an amazing way to test drivetrains and the associated electronics that control them. Even with the best modern electronics, a wet test of a front-wheel drive car or a rear-wheel drive car is pretty pointless, but for an all-wheel drive system, it’s perfect. As it happens, the three Germans in this fight are all available with an all-wheel drive system in play, and seeing as they’re all range-toppers it's quite a fair fight. Sure, they’re not technically all in the same segment and the Audi entrant recently stopped production, but it does make for some great entertainment. Being thoroughbred VAG fanatics (mind outta gutter there, it stands for Volkswagen Automotive Group) our whole SXdrv betting kitty was bet on the Audi R8, so you’ll have to watch the associated video to see if we would lose everything or triple our kitty. This 3-way drag race stars the aforementioned Audi R8 in Spyder trim, the long and stylish BMW M8 cabriolet and the latest Mercedes-AMG SL63. While we love the Audi, it’s a choice that runs with our allegiance, but that new open-top SL 63 has to be one of the best-looking cars of its kind - ever.

When it comes to the specs of these three cars, they’re all properly impressive. The Audi R8 Spyder is powered by a normally aspirated 5.2-litre V10 that’s rated to produce 462 kW and 580 Nm of torque. It’s that good because it’s basically borrowed from another VAG car, the Lamborghini Huracán. It sends that power to all four wheels via a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission. This German tips the scales at 1,695 kg making it the lightest dog in the fight. The BMW M8 is quite a looker, and it’s powered by a twin-turbocharged 4.4-litre V8 under that long bonnet with 466 kW and 750 Nm of torque and it’s mated to an 8-speed M-Steptronic transmission that also directs the power to all four wheels. It’s a heavy bugger that tips the scales at 2,100 kg. The sexiest car of the bunch is most definitely the Mercedes-AMG SL63, and it has the bite to match the bark. This one gets its horses from a twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 that was hand-assembled by an Affalterbach master technician and pushes out a rather healthy 436 kW and a massive 800 Nm of torque. This German has a 9-speed automatic transmission and it makes sure all those horses get to all four wheels. When it comes to weight, it’s the middle contender with a weight of 2,048 kg. The specs are all quite similar, and so we were thinking that the results in a wet race would come down to the driver, but mostly the all-wheel-drive system and the software that controls it. In our minds, Audi’s Quattro system is the boss.

Take a look at the YouTube video from a typically cold and wet UK runway where Mat Watson and the Carwow crew pit some open-top range-topping German sportscars against each other. Normally a wet drag race isn't an ideal setting, but in this case it's an even playing field for all the cars and it also perfectly shows how good the underpinnings of the cars are and how good the electronics and traction control systems are: New AMG SL 63 v BMW M8 v Audi R8: DRAG RACE | CarWow

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