Launching an Audi R8 V10 is pretty simple. With launch control active, hold the brake with your left foot, pin the throttle with your right, and when you're ready to go, release the brake. At that point, 540 horses are sent to all four wheels with ruthless efficiency thanks to all sorts of computer controls as upshifts are fired off automatically by the dual-clutch gearbox.
And it still gets beaten by a bike.
Autocar brought together an R8 V10 and a Ducati Panigale V4 for a VW Group drag race, showing us both the effectiveness of Audi's launch control and the absurd speed of the bike.
The Ducati , which holds the engine at 10,000 rpm (!) and uses traction control to help prevent wheelies. Despite this, the rider of this bike still has to feather the clutch on launch to keep the front wheel on the ground. It's not as idiot-proof as the Audi system.
And yet, the bike still beats the car to 60 mph, hitting the magic number in 3.28 seconds to the car's 3.43. Pretty close race, but beyond that, things get absurd.
The Ducati hits 100 mph in 6.30 seconds while the Audi does it in 7.72 seconds, showing just how mighty the bike's power-to-weight advantage is once you're past the initial launch. It takes just 10.84 seconds for the Duck to pass the quarter-mile to the Audi's 11.55, and the two cross the half-mile mark in 16.46 and 18.30 seconds, respectively. A decisive victory for the Panigale.
And beyond the half-mile, the Ducati continues to dominate. It runs to 186 mph in this video, but beyond that, the speedometer goes blank. That's thanks to to limit their motorcycles to a top speed of 186 mph. But as Autocar notes, the Ducati is still accelerating at 186 mph, with 1200 rpm left before it tops out sixth gear.
The Audi is a damn quick car, and a great display of the brilliance of modern supercar launch-contr0l systems. But it can't beat the sheer performance of the Panigale V4.