I am fairly certain that a few of you clicked on the above link purely intrigued as to how the Audi S8 and the Porsche 911 GT3, two cars, seemingly contradictory in every respect are being put head-to-head. At first glance it is like comparing Margaret Thatcher to Lindsay Lohan but that is not why we got onto this topic. The interesting fact that catalyzed us to pit these cars up against each other is that the Audi S8, all 2105 kg’s of it, on a sprint of 0-100km/h almost matches the 0-100km/h statistics of the oh-so-mighty Porsche 911 GT3 both clocking in at a blistering time of 3.8 and 3.5 seconds respectively. So it begs the question, “Does every man hitting his midlife crisis still need to buy a Porsche?”
The guys at Ingolstadt clearly have some impressive tricks up their cuff-linked sleeves. The 2013 S8 comes with a twin turbo 4.0-litre V8, amalgamating its sheer performance with Audi’s flagship Quatttro four-wheel drive system as well as an effortless 8-speed transmission. All this composed within an unsuspecting body of an Audi S8 whilst refined at cruising speeds is manic when provoked. The Iron Lady, as I like to refer to it can be unforgiving. The 530 horses up front are ferocious in catapulting the car. The power is effortless, the engine having more than enough to work with. The formula is simple – Dynamic mode; all systems sport, DSC off, and the evidence will tangibly be displayed on your rev counter and speedometer. However, do you need all of this power in an executive limo? The S8’s basis is to ferry those privileged within its urban surrounds, occasionally crossing the Autobahn. Audi haven’t exclusively built this car for Jason Statham’esque folk of this world. While the car is a fitting “Transporter”- its appeal will mostly be held by those who require the luxury, sophistication and extra seats that the GT3 does not offer. School runs in this must be sheer, unadulterated bliss. The S8 runs on a new cylinder deactivation system, it can run on four cylinders alone, promoting fuel efficiency, but which four cylinder out there sounds good? So Audi remedies this by introducing an active, mechatronically-controlled engine mount system in its 2013 S8 model. This active mount system allows the fuel-saving cylinder management system of the car to deactivate four of the V8 engine’s cylinders across a broader, advanced engine speed and load range, whilst buffering the sound for the benefit of its well-heeled occupants. Think wearing noise cancellation headphones. The interior is swathed in carbon fibre, chrome and leather. Whereas you can have your back heated and massaged whilst sprinting around the Nurburgring, listening to classical opera on its Bowers & Wilkins sound system – the GT3 offers you roll bars and just the bare essentials to work with. The list of standard equipment on the S8 can fill a leather-bound book. This is where the Audi has the upper hand on the GT3. This is what the avid buyer will regard when considering the battle between needs and wants. And the S8 seeks to quell this problem to an extent by offering the best of both worlds.
The GT3 on the contrary is loud and brash – totally out of control (and who doesn’t love that). That IS its selling point. The 911 on steroids, the GT3 is the product for the purist. The petrol heads car. A car that has a rich lineage and legacy, the 911 GT3 is not for the faint-hearted. This is the 50th anniversary of 911, and in an era where performance cars are restraining the reigns, and refining and diluting the essence of raw power, the GT3 fails to disappoint. With a paltry fuel consumption of 12,4l /100 km to sweeten the package, the new generation model now features dry sump and titanium connecting rods, which is technical jargon meaning that its rather unassuming 3.8-litre engine develops a hefty 475 hp, with the very exciting capability of revving to 9000 rpm. It seems that Porsche have realized that in order to thrash the enormity of power the car beholds, its faultless 7-speed PDK gearbox is a more suitable alternative to its manual variant. However, Porsche being the pedantic perfectionists they are, had their Leipzig wizards to specially adapt the PDK transmission for the GT3. The chrome paddles on the steering wheel entice you to make the most of what the car has to offer. While the Audi may boast features such as its active engine mount, the Porsche utilises “4 wheel” electric steering and PTVP, (Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus) an electronically controlled fully variable rear differential lock. Now this all sounds very complicated, but what it means is that it significantly improves driving stability, increases the dynamics and braking of the car – drastically enhancing its handling and allows it to triumph in the battle of the bends. 2014 Porsche 911 GT3 is a car now easier to drive for the supercar enthusiast, executive, trophy wife, and lets hope Lindsay Lohan as well (although she is prone to crash).
On paper the figures on both vehicles are exceptional. From every angle the S8 is undeniably sleek and understated, its stance ready to pounce, its interior futuristic and immaculately tailored, this S8 has paved a new road of technical benchmarks for Audi. At R 1 262 000 this car seems like a steal. Audi is renowned for its revolutionary cars. From the original Audi Quattro, the 2000 Audi TT, and the R8 – it poses the question as to whether they’re onto something radical, a supercar in limo guise next? The Porsche is a phenomenal car- physically beautiful. Technically adept, the 911 GT3 is proficient in all respects. At R 2 040 000, the Porsche badge does not come cheap. However, it is certain to turn heads and make your spine tingle.