Check out the Aston Martin DBS Superleggera take on the Mercedes-AMG GT R in a drag race.
Numbers are a big deal with supercars. The bigger the engine, the more horses it can muster, the greater the top speed--bigger is almost always better. But there’s a certain point where numbers stop having any real meaning. The difference between 700 and 800 horsepower is largely something that’s seen on paper and not something you experience while driving. It either has “a lot” of power or it doesn’t.
The best way to compare supercars is not by taking spreadsheets and seeing which car’s numbers are higher, but to get them both on a racetrack to see which one wins in a race.
Here we have an Aston Martin DBS Superleggera, Aston’s latest flagship supercar, versus its German rival, the Mercedes-AMG GT R.
On paper, the Superleggera should be a shoe-in. It has a massive 5.2-L twin-turbo V12 engine that puts down 715 hp and 663 lb-ft of torque, nearly 150 more horses than the GT can produce. Zero to sixty is done in just 3.4 seconds on its way to a top speed of 211 mph.
On the other hand, we have the GT R, which has a 4.0-L twin-turbo V8 that puts down 577 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque. Zero to sixty is just a tenth of a second slower than Superleggera at 3.5 seconds, with a top speed of 198 mph.
The Superleggera is roughly 140 pounds heavier than the GT R, and it has an 8-speed automatic instead of the shorter-shifting 7-speed dual-clutch in the Mercedes. But it seems hard to believe that those factors would overcome the massive power advantage of the Superleggera.
And yet this latest video from Top Gear proves that power isn’t everything. The Superleggera seems to get a great start off the line but is quickly overtaken by the GT R. The Mercedes then gets a lead of several car lengths before reaching the finish line.
It does seem that had the race continued for a full mile the Superleggera’s greater top speed would come into play, but in the short distance of a quarter-mile drag race the GT R proved to be superior.
Of course, the driver is also a factor, but with a good start and an automatic shifting gears, it seems like the driver could hardly do any better. It’s just the car itself that let him down.
So maybe your next supercar should be a Mercedes instead of Aston Martin?