In our latest quarter-mile drag race, a Lotus Exige Cup 430 takes on a Porsche Cayman GTS and an Audi RS5.
Let’s just get this out of the way: the Porsche Cayman GTS is a fine car, but it has no place in this race. Frankly, we’re not even sure why Top Gear bothered to bring it to the line considering its 2.5-L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine produces about 80 less horsepower than either of the two opposing vehicles.
So let’s talks about the real competitors in this race. The Lotus Exige Cup 430 is the fastest of the British carmaker’s lineup thanks to a Toyota-sourced 3.5-L V6 that has been supercharged to produce 430 hp and 325 lb-ft of torque. Zero to sixty is advertised as low as 3.2 seconds on its way to a top speed of 180 mph. Power goes to the rear wheels thanks to a 6-speed manual transmission and the whole thing clocks in at just 2,372 lbs without any fluids.
The other competitor is an Audi RS5. It has more power than the Exige thanks to a 2.9-L twin-turbo V6 producing 444 hp, but it is slower at just 3.7 seconds from zero to sixty. It also weighs more (by about 1,000 lbs) and has a lower top speed.
But the Audi has all-wheel drive. On a damp track with cold tires, traction off the line will really matter.
And it does. As you can see in the video, the Audi is able to eke out the early lead even though the Lotus Exige had a far better start than we were expecting. The Porsche, unsurprisingly, is left in the collective dust of the Lotus and Audi.
It’s basically a neck-and-neck race between the RS5 and the Exige for the entire quarter-mile distance, which the Audi taking the early lead while the Exige fights to crawl back into first. Check out the photo finish in the video above to see who’s the winner.