It’s a roadster shootout when an Audi R8, McLaren 570S, BMW i8, and Mercedes-AMG GT C all line up at an airstrip with their tops down.
There’s no denying the popularity of a sweet supercar convertible, but which one is the fastest? To find out, Carwow took four modern roadsters and put them through their paces in drag and rolling races.
First up, the Audi R8 V10 Spyder. Powered by the same naturally aspirated V10 as the Lamborghini Huracan, the R8 gets 533 hp and 398 lb-ft. It also has a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission and AWD, which gives will be crucial in the drag race for a quick start.
The R8 is also the heaviest car of the bunch at 3,792 lbs.
Next, we have the Mercedes-AMG GT C. Not quite as powerful as the GT R, it still gets 557 hp and 502 lb-ft from its big 4.0-L twin-turbo V8 and can go from zero to sixty in just 3.7 seconds. Top speed is 196 mph but is likely a little slower with the top down.
Next up, the McLaren 570S Spider. As usual, McLarens are clear favorites in any competitive race, with the 570S being no exception. It has the most power at 562 hp and 443 lb-ft and is the lightest at 2,996 lbs. It’s also the fastest, being able to reach 60 mph in just 3.1 seconds.
Finally, the odd man out seems to be the BMW i8. It has a tiny 1.5-L turbo 3-cylinder from a Mini paired with an electric motor. Combined it has 375 hp and 420 lb-ft, and even though that torque comes fast thanks to an electrified powertrain, it still takes 4 seconds for the i8 to reach 60 mph.
On paper, the McLaren takes this, but there’s a catch: the first race isn’t just a drag race.
The first race actually requires each roadster to drop their tops and then shoot a quarter-mile. For the GT C and the R8, this might give them the advantage thanks to their soft-top roofs, but the McLaren and i8 both have folding hardtops that might take longer to stow.
As it turns out, the R8 was actually the slowest to get its roof down, while the GT C was the fastest. Next came the R8 which still managed to outrun the i8 even though the i8 got its roof down first.
The McLaren took the real drag race fairly handily, but you’ll be surprised who won the rolling race.