Watch This 3,900-Horsepower Drag Race Between a Nissan GT-R, Audi R8, And a McLaren 720S - story fullscreen Fullscreen

Watch This 3,900-Horsepower Drag Race Between a Nissan GT-R, Audi R8, And a McLaren 720S

Can the Audi R8 and the McLaren 720S dethrone the mighty Godzilla?

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High-horsepower drag races are always a thrill to watch. Even more so to participate in, but instead, I am sitting here writing about it. In any case, it’s always interesting to see which drivetrain layout is best at a certain power level, and once again, Carwow happily obliges. In this case, we have three cars with over 1,000 horsepower that differ in the way they deliver power to the ground – a Nissan GT-R, Audi R8, and a McLaren 720S.

Watch This 3,900-Horsepower Drag Race Between a Nissan GT-R, Audi R8, And a McLaren 720S
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That said, for the standing start races, the GT-R has been de-tuned, so it "only" makes 1,400 hp

Mat is in the GT-R, which is the most powerful and the heaviest car of the trio. It’s a 2015 model, so it would have had 545 horsepower from the factory. This is no longer the case, however, as the 3.8-liter twin-turbo, V-6 has been fully built and stretched to 4.1 liters.

Then, you get the massive turbos, which results in 1,600 horsepower and (1,193 kilowatts) and 1,106 pound-feet (1,500 Nm).

The gearbox has also been built, to handle the massive power output. The GT-R also weighs 3,858 pounds (1,750 kg).

Watch This 3,900-Horsepower Drag Race Between a Nissan GT-R, Audi R8, And a McLaren 720S
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The Audi R8 has been modified by Auto Torque and is actually a familiar car on TopSpeed

Next is the Audi R8, which we talked about not long ago when it went up against a modified 911 Turbo and a turbocharged bike.

Its 5.2-liter V-10 has two turbos slapped onto it, along with other supporting mods, so it now makes 1,200 horsepower (895 kilowatts) and 686 pound-feet (930 Nm).

These numbers are way less than what the GT-R makes, but the Audi has the weight advantage at 3,637 pounds (1,650 kg). It also has a quicker gearbox and, like the GT-R, sends power to all four wheels.

Watch This 3,900-Horsepower Drag Race Between a Nissan GT-R, Audi R8, And a McLaren 720S
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The McLaren 720S is the lightest, at 3,086 lbs. However, it also has fewer driven wheels

The McLaren 720S is an interesting case.

It’s the lightest of the three, at 3,086 pounds (1,400 kg), but it also has the least “go-power” – 1,100 horsepower (820 kilowatts) and 700 pound-feet (950 Nm).

The 720S also has a very quick seven-speed dual-clutch automatic, but it only sends power to the rear wheels.

Watch This 3,900-Horsepower Drag Race Between a Nissan GT-R, Audi R8, And a McLaren 720S
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Two races are done from a dig and, to no one’s surprise, the GT-R won both, despite having its power reduced to “only” 1,400 horsepower. The Audi made a good start, but Godzilla’s sheer power meant the German supercar could only achieve second place. As expected, the 720s just couldn’t put the power down as well and finished last.

Watch This 3,900-Horsepower Drag Race Between a Nissan GT-R, Audi R8, And a McLaren 720S
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Swipe up to see what exactly happened. Which one would you rather drive home?

The GT-R is the only 8-second car here, managing an 8.9-second quarter-mile time. The R8 managed a 9.4-second time, while the McLaren managed a still respectable 9.7 seconds. Fun fact: when the GT-R was set up, the owners put a marker on the wheels and tires. After a couple of launches, none of the markers aligned, which means that the wheels rotated inside the tires, because of the sheer power.

Watch This 3,900-Horsepower Drag Race Between a Nissan GT-R, Audi R8, And a McLaren 720S
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Godzilla is mighty, but old. The newer, mid-engined competitors are out for blood

The GT-R switches to “full-destruction” mode for the rolling race, which gives it all 1,600 horsepower. However, Godzilla’s gearbox takes too long to kick down and the GT-R fails to grab the win. Even McLaren almost gets it this time. That said, Godzilla was gaining on the R8 very quickly towards the finish line.

Watch This 3,900-Horsepower Drag Race Between a Nissan GT-R, Audi R8, And a McLaren 720S
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In terms of stopping distance, the heaviest car took the longest to stop, while the lightest took the shortest

There weren’t any surprises on the braking test, as the heaviest car – the GT-R – had the longest stopping distance. The Audi was second, while the lightweight McLaren stopped the quickest. That said, all three cars stopped within one car length of each other.

Regardless of the result, all three cars prove why they are the go-to platforms for high-horsepower builds. Swipe up for the full drag race.

Dim Angelov
Dim Angelov
Born in 1992, I come from a family of motoring enthusiasts. My passion for cars was awoken at the age of six, when I saw a Lamborghini Diablo SV in a magazine. After high school I earned a master’s degree in marketing and a Master of Arts in Media and Communications. Over the years, I’ve practiced and become skilled in precision driving and to date have test driven more than 250 cars across the globe. Over the years, I’ve picked up basic mechanical knowledge and have even taken part in the restoration of a 1964 Jaguar E-Type and an Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint. Lately, I’ve taken a fancy to automotive photography, and while modern cars are my primary passion, I also have a love for Asian Martial Arts, swimming, war history, craft beer, historical weapons, and car restoration. In time, I plan my own classic car restoration and hope to earn my racing certificate, after which I expect to establish my own racing team.  Read full bio
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