When Kia unveiled the EV6 GT last year, it lined up the electric crossover against fully fledged performance cars in a drag race to show the EV’s performance credentials. It managed to beat a Mercedes-AMG GT Coupe, Porsche 911 Targa 4, Ferrari California T, and a Lamborghini Urus, losing only to a McLaren 570S. A new drag race – this time organized by an independent party – pits the EV6 GT against a far more humble performance machine.
The British journalists at What Car? hosted a drag race with the latest Audi RS3 Sportback. Quite likely 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 making 400 horsepower and 500 Newton-meters (369 pound-feet) of torque. However, those numbers pale in comparison to the Kia EV6 GT’s pair of electric motors pushing out a combined 577 hp and 740 Nm (546 lb-ft).
While the Kia’s maximum torque arrives virtually instantly, the inline-five’s kicks in from 2,250 rpm. The RS3 does 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) in 3.8 seconds whereas the EV6 GT does it in 3.5 seconds. However, earlier this week, the electric crossover was clocked in at a supercar-matching 3.27 seconds for the sprint.
The only real advantage the RS3 Sportback has over the EV6 GT is the much lower curb weight of 1,570 kilograms (3,461 pounds), meaning it carries around 600+ kg (1,322 lbs) less. Is that massive difference enough to help the compact Audi compensate for the power deficit? The short answer would have to be “no” as the South Korean electric crossover was quicker in both drag races, despite still being a prototype.
In the second drag race, the Kia EV6 GT needed 3.5 seconds to 60 mph (96 km/h) whereas the Audi RS3 Sportback took an extra half a second to get the job done. The winner completed the quarter mile run in 11.9 seconds or 0.9s quicker than the model carrying the Four Rings. The Kia also had a much higher trap speed of 118.9 mph (191.3 km/h) while the Audi was doing 109.6 mph (176.3 km/h) when it crossed the finish line.
Of course, there’s more to performance than accelerating in a straight line. A fun car isn’t necessarily quick from a standstill – just ask Mazda MX-5 Miata owners. The driving dynamics of an RS3 are hard to match when you’re packing more than 600 kg of fat over the hot hatch.