Can Five Cylinders Beat Two Electric Motors?


When Kia unveiled the EV6 GT last year, it pitted electric crossovers against full-fledged cars in a drag race to demonstrate its EV performance credentials. He managed to beat the Mercedes-AMG GT Coupe, Porsche 911 Targa 4, Ferrari California T, and Lamborghini Urus, only losing to the McLaren 570S. A new drag race – this time hosted by an independent party – pits the EV6 GT against a much simpler performance engine.

British journalist at What car? host a drag race with the new Audi RS3 Sportback. Quite possibly the last five-cylinder car to ever come from Ingolstadt, the compact hatchback is a force to be reckoned with thanks to its 2.5 TFSI engine producing 400 horsepower and 500 Newton-meters (369 pound-feet) of torque. However, those numbers pale in comparison to the pair of Kia EV6 GT electric motors that make a combined 577 hp and 740 Nm (546 lb-ft) of power.

While the Kia’s maximum torque arrives almost instantly, the inline-five starts at 2,250 rpm. The RS3 does 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) in 3.8 seconds while the EV6 GT does it in 3.5 seconds. However, earlier this week, this electric crossover recorded a speed of 3.27 seconds for the sprint.

The only real advantage the RS3 Sportback has over the EV6 GT is the significantly lower weight of 1,570 kilograms (3,461 pounds), which means it carries around 600+ kg (1,322 lbs) less. Is that big difference enough to help the compact Audi make up for the power deficit? The short answer is “no” because the South Korean electric crossover is faster in both drag races, although it’s still in prototype form.

In the second drag race, the Kia EV6 GT took 3.5 seconds to reach a speed of 60 mph (96 km/h) while the Audi RS3 Sportback took an extra half second to get the job done. The winner completed the quarter mile run in 11.9 seconds or 0.9 seconds faster than the model carrying the Four Rings. The Kia also has a much higher trap speed of 118.9 mph (191.3 km/h) while the Audi reaches 109.6 mph (176.3 km/h) when crossing the finish line.

Of course, its performance is more than just accelerating in a straight line. A fun car isn’t necessarily a quick fix – just ask a Mazda MX-5 Miata owner. The driving dynamics of the RS3 is hard to match when you pack more than 600 kg of fat in a hot hatch.


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