Audi RS Q8 Drag Races AMG GLE 63 S in Battle of Sloped Back Sporty Rhinos

Audi RS Q8 Vs Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S Coupe drag race 7 photos
Photo: YouTube screenshot
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These two SUVs are part of a segment created by the BMW X6, continued by Mercedes with the GLE Coupe, and recently revolutionized by Audi's Q8.
What the Ingolstadt-based carmaker did was to make the slopier back of the SUV look less like an afterthought and more like it was a decision they actually lingered on for more than one minute. Unlike the other two, the Q8 doesn't necessarily look like a coupe version of the Q7, but rather a standalone model with a character of its own.

Obviously, the RS version of the Q8 could only enhance its features, which is all the better because it's this more potent iteration of the SUV we have to deal with in the clip below. However, in the lane next to it is the Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S Coupe, one of the two models the RS Q8 was built to compete against, and one whose performance figures it fails to match.

They are both powered by 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 engines, but while the AMG model develops 603 hp (611 PS) and 627 lb-ft (850 Nm) of torque, the Audi stops at 592 hp (600 PS) and 590 lb-ft (800 Nm). Given the amount of power we're talking about, the difference is negligible, but it still leaves the Merc the bragging rights. At least until they both hit the track, that is.

Without spoiling any of the fun, we will say this: it's a very close race, as close as the figures above would have you believe. In fact, it's so close that picking a winner is all but irrelevant.

The first race is made redundant because the Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S Coupe lacks a launch control mode—or more like Alex, its driver, couldn't find it. The second is what they call a "street race," which is essentially a standing race with no launch control and the vehicles in their standard comfort modes. Here, the result is so tight that even the slightest delay in one driver's reaction could have made the difference, and if you watch the start in slow motion, you'll notice the GLE's brake lights go out before the RS Q8's. With the two cars separated by four feet at the finish, that fraction of a second might have been the deciding factor.

It's the same with the rolling race, except here you can clearly see Dan, the Audi driver, anticipate the "Go" and step on the accelerator moments sooner than he should have. Alex says he had a better response, but the reality is he simply jumped the start. However, that's what you get with this type of organic race where there is no possibility for precision timing with pinpoint accuracy.

The brake test is the only one where the result can't be influenced by human error as much. Or so you'd think but hit the brakes two feet earlier, and it'll translate into plenty of inches down the other end. However, since the result is in line with the expectations—the lighter car with the bigger brakes won—we'll just assume everything went smoothly. And regardless of who won, they both performed remarkably well given their size and weight.

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About the author: Vlad Mitrache
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"Boy meets car, boy loves car, boy gets journalism degree and starts job writing and editing at a car magazine" - 5/5. (Vlad Mitrache if he was a movie)
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