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Prizefight: Prizefight: Porsche 911 vs. Audi R8
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Prizefight: Prizefight: Porsche 911 vs. Audi R8

6:00 /

Buckle up for the biggest Prizefight ever: a legendary Porsche faces off against the latest vehicle from Audi.

^M00:00:01 [ Music ] ^M00:00:05 >> Hey what's up guys? It's time once again for another Prizefight. I'm Brian Tong and today we're going to be talking the two of the oh [sound effects]. >> I'm Brian Cooley and it's the biggest Prizefight ever. Nearly a quarter million dollars worth of cars going head to head; The Porsche 911 versus the Audi R8. [Sound effects] You okay? >> Round 1. Powertrain. The 911 has that classic Flat 6 with 3.8 liters of displacement; 355 horsepower, 295 ft. pounds of torque, 0-60 happens in 4.7 seconds. The R8 has a 4.2 liter V8 under glass putting out 420 horsepower and 317 foot pounds of torque. Bigger and burlier on both counts. 0 to 60 in 4 seconds flat. The Porsche generates 93 horsepower per liter, and the Audi a full 100. But the 911's torque to horsepower ratio is 83% while the R8's is only 75%. Now Porsche has the best manual gearbox and clutch I've ever tested for CNET Car Tech. Our R8 like the majority of all those made features the bulky, dorky, iTronic Servo manual. Great when you're flat out but it'll make you think about taking the bus when you're just commuting. And the R8 has a 2100 dollar gas guzzler tax; the 911 doesn't. So the 911 scores a 5. The R8 a 4 because drivability matters. Round 2. Handling. Both cars are all wheel drive. Audi invented the category with Quattro, but Porsche's 4-series car all send power to the front wheels as well as the rear. The 911 has Porsche active suspension management. The R8 has Audi's magnetic ride system. Both get real serious when you put them into sport mode. And if you lose either of these cars on the road, you bought too much car. The 911 is, of course, a rear engine car while the Audi is mid-engine. 911's long ago tamed their scary propensity to come around on you, but you feel like the laws of physics are stacked in your favor in the mid-engined R8. So the 911 scores a 4 in handling, the R8's mid-engine layout wins at a 5. So now the score is Porsche 9, Audi 9. Round 3. Cabin Tech. First off, realize both these cars have bigger fish to fry than integrating your iPod or helping you make phone calls. Porsche's interface has a maddening round the rosy spin knob that will give you carpal tunnel in about an hour. The R8 has the same basic MMI rig we've seen in all of Audi's cars. It's no head unit hero either and both suffer from rather sketchy looking map graphics. The 911 handles phone calls with a QUERTY GSM chip tray; the R8 has Blue Chip. Both offer outstanding optional audio systems but neither gives you an iPod dock. The R8 offers a rearview camera; the 911 just bumper sensors. The Porsche offers a dash top chronometer you'll seldom use; the Audi Twin SD card slots you'll seldom use. Largely on the strength of its Blue Tooth phone system, the R8 wins here, getting a 4 to Porsche's 3. So far the score is Porsche 12, Audi 13. Round 4. Styling. The 911 is a classic Iconic shape, but it's kind of little big car these days with macho cues layered on the life frame of its past. That said, the 911 shape is still magic. Our cabriolet adds fair weather fun to the mix but does nothing for the car's looks. The R8 has true super car looks but with a restrained touch keeping it just shy of obnoxious; the engine under glass that's a crowd pleaser, and the rear end details probably couldn't be any cleaner. And Audi has a way with wheels. Porsche gets a 4 with the cabrio but the Audi's clean sheet design gets it a 5. The score now, 911 has 16, the R8 pulls ahead with 18. Round 5. The [sound effect] factor. Both these cars look right at home in front of a trendy restaurant or a charity wine auction and that bothers us. Buy either of these vehicles and prepare to meet all the wrong women and get keyed by all the wrong guys. Our 911's ragtop configuration and white paint say poser. Also, the excessive interior customizing offered by Porsche now helps you make a fool of yourself real quick. Now a nice 911 does beg attention but it's not flavor of the month. The R8 is clean and exciting but it congers the kind of obnoxo cars, the Giardo [phonetic]. Its image suffers from being the latest thing, though you can't actually fault anything about its look. This one's gonna be close. The 911's ragtop says you're not serious but the car's a decades of cred. The R8 shows good taste; but anything in the supercar category has a little too much baggage. I give this one to the Porsche 5 to 4. So the final score the 911 Carrera Cabrio is a 21, but nosed out by the Audi R8 with 22. [Sound effects] These cars would be about that close on the road as well and either one is just about the best 100 grand you'll ever or never spend. ^M00:06:02 [ Music ] ^M00:06:05

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