2WD Audi A1 With Winter Tires Races AWD SQ7 With Summer Tires on a Snowy Slope

Audi A1 vs. Audi SQ7 on a snowy slope 8 photos
Photo: YouTube Screenshot/ carwow
Audi A1 vs. Audi SQ7 on a snowy slopeAudi A1 vs. Audi SQ7 on a snowy slopeAudi A1 vs. Audi SQ7 on a snowy slopeAudi A1 vs. Audi SQ7 on a snowy slopeAudi A1 vs. Audi SQ7 on a snowy slopeAudi A1 vs. Audi SQ7 on a snowy slopeAudi A1 vs. Audi SQ7 on a snowy slope
With winter just around the corner, we must equip our cars with the appropriate tires. To showcase how winter tires impact a vehicle’s traction and performance, the carwow Youtube channel prepared a special drag race. They took two Audi cars, an A1 and an SQ7, into an indoor ski venue to see how they handle going up a snowy slope. The results would be pretty obvious; however, there’s a twist. 
Some of us have been in a situation where we forget to change the tires, and we find ourselves driving in cold or even snowy weather with summer tires. Well, it’s more dangerous than you’d think. A simple solution to this problem would be to get all-season tires, so you won’t have to worry about changing them according to the weather. Of course, since the climate around the world differs so much, this specific solution might not work for everybody - you’ll have to adapt depending on which area you live in.

Here’s the catch of carwow’s drag race – the A1 is equipped with winter tires, whereas the SQ7 has summer tires. Which one do you expect to perform better? Will the winter tires be enough to pull the A1 into the lead, or will the extra power and four-wheel drive of the SQ7 be enough to counter the additional weight and the fact that it rides on inappropriate rubber?

The A1 boasts a 1.0-liter, 3-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine, which outputs 100 ps (74 kW) and 200 Nm (148 foot-pounds). It’s only available with front-wheel drive. It has a decent base price tag, just under £21,000 ($25,000), which can increase to around £30,000 ($35,730) if you add options. The car tips the scale to about 1,130 kg (2,490 lbs.). The A1 is driven by carwow’s host, Mat Watson.

Audi A1 vs\. Audi SQ7 on a snowy slope
Photo: YouTube Screenshot/ carwow
Its adversary is an SQ7 with a 4.0-liter bi-turbo V8 engine. It delivers 507 ps (373 kW) and 770 Nm (569 foot-pounds) of torque. However, the car boasts almost double the weight of the A1. Moreover, it costs £82,000 ($97,660), more than triple the price of its opponent. Behind the wheel is Daniel, a presenter of the German version of carwow.

The first challenge is a launch control race – well, launch control might be too strong of a term; they’re basically accelerating hard from a standstill while they have traction control systems off. The A1 manages to get some traction and climb up the slope, while the SQ7 barely manages to move.

The second try consists of a gentler acceleration – this time, the SQ7 does manage to go up half the slope, only to lose grip and be sent back down toward the wall. Fortunately, some soft barriers were there to soften the impact. So, there was enough traction to drive up, but when it came to braking, it was just as though the car was riding on ice. The A1 with the winter tires is still in the lead.

Audi A1 vs\. Audi SQ7 on a snowy slope
Photo: YouTube Screenshot/ carwow
It was time to make things fairer – the SQ7 was equipped with winter tires. It launched aggressively, and after a bit of wheel spin, it quickly overtook the A1. The A1 can’t get any grip when starting from a sloped portion, whereas the SQ7 does it with no issues.

The snow drag race shows that no matter how much power you have under the hood, you still need winter tires to distribute it efficiently. As expected, when both vehicles were equipped with winter tires, the AWD and extra power clearly made a difference. Folks, make sure to stay safe out there and always use the appropriate tires!

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About the author: Mircea Mazuru
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Starting out with a motorcycle permit just because he could get one two years earlier than a driver's license, Mircea keeps his passion for bikes (motor or no motor) alive to this day. His lifelong dream is to build his own custom camper van.
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