Audi Q8 Drag Races BMW X5, Beatdown Ensues


Priced from $70,300 excluding taxes and options, the Q8 is Audi’s flagship utility vehicle. The base model in the featured video is flexing 3.0 liters of TFSI V6 goodness, 335 horsepower, as well as 369 pound-feet (500 Nm). Coupled with an eight-speed automatic transmission produced by ZF Friedrichshafen, the coupe-styled SUV hits 60 miles per hour (97 kilometers per hour) in 5.6 seconds and tops 130 miles per hour (209 kph). But the question is, can the Q8 keep the X5 at bay over the quarter-mile? BMW quotes 335 horsepower, 330 pound-feet (447 Nm) of torque, as well as 5.3 seconds from naught to 60 mph. The Bimmer is hiding a 3.0-liter turbocharged engine under the hood, a very smooth straight-six lump rather than a V configuration. Mated to the same transmission as the Q8 55 TFSI, the X5 xDrive40i also happens to be lighter by 97 pounds (44 kilograms). Now let’s recap. The Bavarian challenger is slightly lighter on its feet, the fancier SUV packs more torque, they’re both all-wheel drive, and their automatic boxes come from the same company. Given these circumstances, the Q8 and X5 should cross the quarter-mile line neck and neck, right? Well, that’s not actually the case. From a standstill, the Bimmer digs in much better and keeps accelerating like nobody’s business in sport mode. As for the rolling start race, the X5 hands out a proper beatdown once again. There are a few reasons for the BMW’s results, starting with the broader torque curve of that straight-six engine. More specifically, peak oomph is delivered between 1,500 and 5,200 revolutions per minute, while the Audi settles for 1,370 through 4,500 revolutions per minute. The peeps at BMW also have a knack for very good sport mode and launch control software. What’s more, the Bavarians are widely known for underrating their powerplants. Take, for instance, the G80 M3 sedan we’ve covered a while back. Fitted with a six-speed manual, the non-Competition model belted out 496 horsepower and 448 pound-feet (607 Nm) of torque at the crankshaft as opposed to the advertised figures of 473 ponies and 406 lb-ft (550 Nm).