The Audi has some wonky launch control.
Racer Daniel Abt has a new drag racing series on YouTube, and for the first installment, he's running an Audi S8 against a Porsche Panamera 4S E-Hybrid. The result is a fantastic example of the power of electrification.
On paper, these two vehicles are evenly matched. The S8 has a V8 making 563 horsepower (420 kilowatts) and 590 pound-feet (800 Newton-meters) of torque. The sedan weighs 5,082 pounds (2,305 kilograms). This one rides on Abt wheels, which makes sense because Daniel's family runs the famous tuner.
The Panamera 4S E-Hybrid has a V6 and electric motor making a total of 552 hp (412 kW) and 553 lb-ft (750 Nm). It weighs 5,071 pounds (2,300 kilograms), which is a bit less than the Audi.
Gallery: 2020 Audi S8 by ABT
Both of these models are on winter tires and have all-wheel drive.
The first race reveals something interesting about the Audi. If you leave the launch control activated for too long, it turns off. In this race, the Porsche flies away, and there's nothing the S8 can do to compete.
Things go off properly in the second race, and it's much more competitive. However, the Porsche still wins. According to the numbers at the end of the video, the Porsche Panamera 4S E-Hybrid does the quarter-mile in 11.44 seconds. The S8 requires 11.74 seconds to cover that distance.
There's also a test from a roll, and it highlights the advantages of an electric motor's instant torque. Despite having less power, the Porsche rockets ahead when the driver puts the throttle to the floor. It makes the Audi look so slow.
Audi currently has a refresh for the S8 (and the rest of the A8 lineup) under development. The exterior design is only getting slight changes. The powertrain reportedly isn't changing either. However, occupants can enjoy an updated infotainment system. The revised models should be on sale for the 2022 model year. There will also be a Maybach-fighting Horch model.