This week’s Drag Battle pitches two hugely powerful super saloons against each other. It’s the 577bhp Mercedes E63 AMG S, against the new 576bhp Vauxhall VXR8 GTS measured over 1km at the runway at Bruntingthorpe.
Powered by the hugely powerful twin-turbo V8 5.5-litre V8 engine, the E63 S not only produces a huge amount of power, but also a rather muscular 590 lb ft of torque. Unlike the left-hand drive E-Class, the UK model is not available with the 4Matic four-wheel drive system, meaning it is channeling all of its power through the rear wheels. It is fitted with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox, and launch control to help it off the line.
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The Vauxhall is somewhat more basic, with a good old-fashioned Tremec six-speed manual gearbox. Based on the Australian-built Holden GTS, the VXR8 features a larger 6.2-litre V8 engine from General Motors, which thanks to a supercharger produces an almost identical 576bhp. Compared to the Merc, it’s down on torque with 545bhp, and is also rear-wheel drive. The Vauxhall also weighs in at 1881kg, a grand total of 11kg more than the AMG – so this should be close.
Coming with plenty of kit as standard, the Vauxhall costs £54,995 on the road. Although both cars offer similar levels of performance, the Mercedes costs significantly more at £84,110, and that’s before you get carried away with the options. It is easy to push the AMG to more than £100,000, making the Vauxhall seem like a true performance bargain. For an extra £1725, you can spec the Vauxhall with a six-speed automatic gearbox
With two big bruising super saloons, and an empty runway, it’s time to find out which one is quicker!