• Here’s What Happens When an Audi R8 V10 Challenges An Acura NSX

Is the naturally aspirated Audi R8 quicker than an Acura NSX in a straight line?

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Road car drag racing has been a thing ever since the early days of the automobile. It’s not exactly the best way to find out if one car is better than the other, but it’s a fun way to establish which is faster in a straight line.

Supercar drag racing is even more exciting, especially when the contenders are significantly different. Like an Audi R8, a gas-only car, and the Acura NSX, a hybrid that incorporates three electric motors. Which one is quicker? Let’s find out.

Here's What Happens When an Audi R8 V10 Challenges An Acura NSX
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The idea to put these cars into a drag race belongs to Track Day, who lined up the rare Acura NSX against the Audi R8 V10 Plus. The NSX is a state-of-the-art hybrid that pairs a twin-turbo, 3.5-liter V-6 to three electric motors for a combined output of 573 horsepower and 476 pound-feet of torque.

The Audi R8 V10 Plus, on the other hand, is a more old-school supercar powered by a naturally aspirated engine. The 5.2-liter V-10 borrowed from Lamborghini is no slouch, generating a solid 602 horsepower and 413 pound-feet of twist.

Here's What Happens When an Audi R8 V10 Challenges An Acura NSX
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Track Day runs two tests, a sprint to 145 mph from a standing start and a rolling sprint from 30 to 145 mph. The R8 Plus wins the 0-to-145 mph run, moving quicker off the line and accelerating faster toward the targeted speed. The rolling race also goes to the R8. The German supercar started to accelerate a split second sooner, but it would have one with a fair start as well. The drivers do a rerun of the 0-145 mph sprint and the NSX launches better, nudging ahead for a couple of seconds. But the R8 Plus catches up and goes on to win the race by a significant margin.

Although the NSX lost all three races, Track Day argues that the Japanese supercar might be the better option because it blends hybrid tech into a supercar at an attractive price, while also looking hotter on the outside. No argument there if you don’t really fancy a Lamborghini V-10 engine.

Here's What Happens When an Audi R8 V10 Challenges An Acura NSX
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But while it wasn't quicker than the R8 Plus in long sprints, the NSX posted an impressively fast 0-to-60 mph sprint of 3.29 seconds.

That was enough to make it the quickest vehicle tested by Track Day, outgunning the Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S, the Tesla Model X P100D, and the Lamborghini Aventador SVJ, all of which have more power.

Although it’s not a traditional and fair race, I still need to ask which car would you get? Would you prefer the raw power of the R8 Plus or the high-tech hybrid drivetrain of the NSX?

Ciprian Florea
Ciprian Florea
Senior Editor and Supercar Expert - ciprian@topspeed.com
Ciprian's passion for everything with four wheels (and more) started back when he was just a little boy, and the Lamborghini Countach was still the coolest car poster you could hang on your wall. Ciprian's career as a journalist began long before earning a Bachelor's degree, but it was only after graduating that his love for cars became a profession.  Read full bio
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