It’s one of America’s best two-door super coupes vs Germany’s beefed up grand tourer
There are many different ways to design a wildly powerful two-door sports coupe and the Shelby GT500 and BMW M8 Competition prove that. Now, the two are going against each other in a U-drag race to find out which is the better performer.
If you’ve never seen a U-drag race before, here’s a quick explainer. These cars do a traditional quarter-mile drag race but then have to slow down, turn around, and make it back to the start line as fast as they can. In essence, this race tests acceleration, braking, cornering, and exit speeds all in very little time.
These two cars are both full of horsepower. The BMW features a 617 hp (460 kW) twin-turbo V8 with all-wheel drive while the Shelby offers 760 ponies (566 kW) but rear-wheel drive only. The weight difference between the two is less than 150 pounds, so on paper it looks like the Shelby has a distinct power-to-weight advantage. On the tarmac, that’s not the way things go though.
Read: Mustang Shelby GT500 Takes On Corvette Z06 In Latest U-Drag Race
The BMW’s launch control takes full advantage of its all-wheel drive system to provide optimal thrust and grip. As such it manages a 0-60 mph (0-96 km/h) time of 3.1 seconds in the first race and 3.0 seconds in the second race. Both of those times put the Shelby in a hole early as it can only manage 4.1 seconds during the first run and 3.8 seconds in the second race.
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Once the American coupe gets a grip the race starts to tighten up. The Shelby manages to finish the quarter-mile drag race within half of a second on both runs. Each car withstands over 1.0 Gs of cornering force and the GT500 manages to make it back to the line at a much higher speed than the BMW in each race.
Despite that, the M8 Competition pulls out the victory both times, though not by much. That mostly comes down to the huge headstart it gets from that AWD launch. If the track were a little longer, the GT500 would likely come around the M8 Competition. The truth is, we’re all winners to have two great performance cars like these in the world.