2 May 2019
Feature

Summer is on the way, meaning it’s finally warm enough to drive with the roof down or your crash helmet on. As good an excuse as any for finding out which is fastest in a drag race: a folding-top supercar, an open cockpit track toy or a super bike?

We’ve already put the McLaren 720S through its paces, where it managed to best McLaren’s Senna track special to 60mph, but this open-top Spider is 49kg heavier. Still, with a twin-turbo V8 engine producing more than 700bhp, it’s the one to beat.

The Ariel Atom 4 produces a much lower 320bhp from its Honda Civic Type R-sourced engine - but then it only tips the scales at a little over 500kg.

Lighter still is the superbike, the 2019 BMW S1000RR. It produces 207bhp from a four-cylinder inline engine, and revs to a stratospheric 14,600rpm. Importantly for this race, it also has launch control.

Which is fastest to 60mph and 100mph, and over the quarter mile and half mile distances? You’ll have to watch to find out.

READ MORE

McLaren 720S Spider review

New McLaren GT: New spyshots show bespoke design

Ariel Atom 4 review

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Comments
13

2 May 2019

All are awesome but the BMW S1000RR will cost you around £15K new and can overtake easily on the roads.  The 720S is £208K without any options..... (and will still get stuck in traffic and it doesn't lean!)

I'll take all 3 please

 

 

 

3 May 2019

...but I take the bike, at least I can filter. 

3 May 2019

Is the spider slower than the coupe?   I've seen videos of the 720s in the US doing under 10s quarter mile runs from being fairly stock.

 

Unless there's an advantage being at a drag strip, but no special tyres.

3 May 2019

As I explained to biker friends I'll beat them to any destination of their choice with my car.

 

Why?

 

Because it always takes them 10 minutes to get in to their leathers....

jer

3 May 2019

and an almost rolling start I understand that is why the same cars are faster in the US. Also a drag track has a lot more sticky rubbler on the tarmac to get traction from.

3 May 2019

Jer, very true what you say but they can't warm the tyres on the 720s because they can't do burnouts.   So they use tyre warmers to get some heat in, but it's not the same apparently.

 

What I've seen of them they're impressively fast!   But McLaren are also getting a reputation for being unreliable.   Too many have gearbox issues, and there's one chap on YouTube that had one for 7 months that spent 6 of those in the garage getting repairs.   McLaren bought it back from him, but he still lost money on it.   Which I think is rather unfair given he only had a month and a whole load of hassle with the car!

4 May 2019

The 720S is THE drag king.  Do they understate the power output?  Nothing comes even close!

6 May 2019

It's always fun to see these drag races, although IMHO track time is even more revealing of real speed. The S1000RR is an amazing track weapon, but if straight line speed is what you want then the Kawasaki Ninja H2 would have been a better choice, as its supercarger provides it with more low and mid-range torque.The result is a quarter well below 10", beating the 720s.

7 May 2019

Others mentioning drag videos in the US. The 720S has hugely impressive acceleration, not to say traction also considering it's 2WD. Even a tuned 911 GT2 RS gets soundly beaten, I'd be interested to see if a tuned 911 Turbo S would be quicker with AWD.

But that the 720S does all this from stock is just amazing.


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