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Audi R8 V10 vs. Honda Civic Type R Mugen – Click above to watch the video

There are certain debates that will rage on until the end of time: Coke or Pepsi, Zeppelin or the Stones, real or fake. But few take the cake in our little corner of the writing world quite like the infamous "fast cars slow or slow cars fast" dispute. On the one hand, what's the point of having a gazillion dollar supercar capable of cracking off triple-digit speeds at the drop of an eyelash if you're stuck on public roads? On the flip side, fans of mighty metal will politely ask you, why waste your life behind the wheel of anything with less than 400 horsepower?

Autocar has recently taken it upon itself to try to answer the unanswerable by pitting an Audi R8 5.2 FSI with 518 horsepower against the more common 239 horse Honda Civic Type R Mugen over a typical European country road. There are no solid performance figures or dyno pulls, just whether the pint-size hatch can keep up with the big mid-engine monster through the twists and down the straights. What do they find? Well, we won't spoil it for you. You'll just have to hop the jump to find out for yourself.




Audi R8 photos by Drew Phillips / Copyright ©2009 Weblogs, Inc.

[Source: Autocar]




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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 71 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      Is it REALLY a surprise to anyone that if driven rather conservatively, a small "hot-hatch" can keep up with a supercar? This would only a revelation to an idiot IMO.
      Also, IMO, no matter how much you mod a FWD, it's still never going to overcome the way off-balance feel when driving aggressively. But then, this "test" wasn't about driving aggressively so...
      Personally, I think a better comparo would have been the R8 and an Evo or an STi.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Cars are a bit different, but in motorcycles a slow bike driven at 110% is MUCH more fun than a liter bike putting around. Hell, a S2000 would be a better Honda to put against the R8 for fun twisty stuff.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Did they just compare two cars going at the same speed to see if one would pull away from another?
        • 4 Years Ago
        yes... yes they did
      • 4 Years Ago
      The point is, as impressive and blindingly quick as supercars are, most times they are actually frustrating in the real world because you can rarely exploit their limits without getting in a heap of trouble. I've borrowed an M5 many a times and it becomes annoying how often and how quickly you run out of room or road. As the old saying goes, better to drive a slow car fast than a fast car slow.

      Also, $55k for a Civic?????!!!!. Jesus, I love England but I'll never complain about cars being too pricey her in the US.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Most people who say that it's better to drive a slow car fast, own relatively slow cars.
        Having much more HP and torque than can be usable on public roads isn't usually a real problem for the most part, unless you are stuck in a stop and go commute, or if you have modified the car into a narrow-use racecar which reduces regular drivability.
        Otherwise, the most all of the same advantages in handling, acceleration, and braking that a high performance car can utilize on a racetrack at 10/10ths also translates well getting on or off a freeway, or driving at 6/10s on a winding road. A high performance car is still very confidence inspiring when driven slower, and you don't have to be in the right gear or driving the car "like you stole it" to feel the car's balanced performance. It's like an olympic runner jogging. Everything feels effortless and fun.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @ Snake.
        I've driven fast and slow cars, on open roads and closed roads, and I disagree somewhat. This is of course simply a matter of opinion, but on open roads with traffic, even on winding roads, I find it much more _fun_ to drive a slow car at its limits than to drive a fast car well under its limits. Yes, it's very _enjoyable_ to drive the fast car in the same situation, but the added _challenge_ of driving the slow car at its limits heightens my senses making me feel that much more in tune with the moment.

        Also, less capable cars require more planning ahead, because it's a whole lot harder to correct a poor line in the middle of a turn in a merely sporty car at its limits than it is to correct a poor line in a phenomenal car well under its limits. I think that planning ahead makes for a much more entertaining experience.

        On a closed course it's entirely different, and simply a matter of which car out of a hundred thousand available is best suited to that particular style of course.

        But again, matter of opinion.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Don't forget that many buy Supercars for the image or brand, rather than performance.
      • 4 Years Ago
      This is like the Mini vs Porsche deal...interesting but not really practical comparison because we all know R8 and Porsche will blow Mini and Civic off the track in a GT track.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Gti, race track??? Passing exotics??? As a Gti owner myself, I would appreciate some tips on what to do to mine. Or at least where to start.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @ Chase

        Another point is that to make most of the "supercar" potential, even on a normal road, one needs to be a good driver and most of owners of those cars are not.

        But more importantly, any Honda is better than any corresponding Audi/VW, let's just leave at that.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Agreed. Stupid comparison, completely useless in every way.
        • 4 Years Ago
        well first of all please excuse my criticism! i don`t know who this guy is but the comment about these 2 cars are completely senseless, how can he say that in "the really sharp corners the audi is not quicker at all", first of all the audi is not leaving his lane in the corners at all...and the civic can barely be held on his side of the road...and now the funny part! he says " you can have as much! if not more fun in a hard hatch then in a mid engined super car", so my question is, where is the "more fun" you can have?? does he mean that it feels good feeling that the back of your type R is breaking out 80% from all the corners you are getting into? well...i don`t understand...if all the other auto shows agree that the audi r8 is good, more then good, not the best! but good, why does this guy have to make a video about a type R that can`t even match the audi...and saying that it`s much more fun and whatever!?!?!?! :-??
        • 4 Years Ago
        Um... it's a good comparison. It shed lights into light cars' dominance in down hill racing like touge racing. Any down hill racing with twists and turns would give the lighter cars the advantage in the race. The heavier the car is the sooner it'll lose traction due to heavy braking at the twists and turns.
        • 4 Years Ago
        About the "more fun" on a regular road comment from the video ... I think that's about right on. In an well sorted car like an R8, 911, Gallardo, etc., even driving double the speed limit on a regular road you are still so far away from the limits of the car that you feel like you're driving in a very pedestrian way.

        Driving an RSX, S2000, Miata, etc., fast on a regular road you really feel that visceral element that makes driving a joy. You are keyed into the machine because you're closer to the limits, and that's where I get the sense of fun in driving and every other aspect of life: broaching the limits and expanding upon them.

        Sure it would be barrels of fun driving a GTR on a race track, because you get to explore those limits ... and less fun driving a Sentra SE-R on the same race track because you feel like you're going so much slower. But go out on the open road where you have to pay attention to the laws of the land as well as the laws of physics, and the GTR feels boring because you can't push it, whereas you can push the SE-R and feel rewarded for doing so while staying under the speed of handcuffs and not endangering other people's lives nearly as much.

        I've played on the streets with much more "capable" cars than the one I drive, but being a good driver makes the driving of a less capable car against more capable cars with lesser drivers all the more enjoyable. This video was about having fun on a daily basis, not about which car is "better". I agree that I could have more fun in, say, an S2000 on a daily basis than in a 599 on a daily basis.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Civic Type R Mugens are more common?
        • 4 Years Ago
        Heh, that's what I thought. I wager Audi have sold more than 20 V10s this year already.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I'm sorry I fell asleep half way through the video. The guys voice is I dunno just makes you want to yawn and take a nap.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Meh, I'll stick to my Miata and my gay pride
      • 4 Years Ago
      lol 38,000 pound civic

      are they for real
      • 4 Years Ago
      I want to see if the race is the same with the Civic staying in the same lane, like the R8 was, and not taking the whole road.
      • 4 Years Ago
      i would never pay 40k pounds for a hatch.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Panamera? 16M? Hell, even the STi.
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