The Porsche Cayman GTS and all-wheel drive Audi RS5 essentially need no explanation when it comes to performance—their lineage and proven street cred have that taken care of. But what happens when you throw a featherweight, hardcore Lotus Exige Cup 430 into the mix to see which is fastest?
Well, Top Gear set off to find out, however, the metric of measurement isn’t how fast they can get around a curvaceous race track, where the Lotus and Porsche would clearly have the advantage. Rather, the competition is to see which is fastest in a straight line down a quarter-mile dragstrip.
With a turbocharged 2.5-liter flat-four packing 365 horsepower and 317 pound-feet of twist propelling 3,100 pounds, the Porsche is undoubtedly quick all around. It’ll hit 60 miles per hour from a standstill in just 4.4 seconds with a traditional manual and a competent driver, or just 4.1 seconds with Porsche’s PDK automatic. Then, being a GTS model, it’s about as hardcore as Caymans get (for now).
As for the Lotus Exige Cup 430, it's the latest and greatest of its kind. With a 3.5-liter supercharged V6 lifted straight from a Toyota Camry—though obviously modified—it utilizes the same powertrain as the Evora GT430. That means 424 hp and 325 pound-feet of torque, mated strictly to a six-speed manual. It'll hit 60 mph in just 3.2 seconds as the Exige weighs far less than the Porsche at 2,328 pounds.
Lastly, the Audi RS5 is certainly the most powerful with 444 hp, but it's also the heaviest. Its twin-turbocharged 2.9-liter V6 also churns out a whopping 443 pound-feet of torque through a quick-shifting eight-speed automatic. Because it’s the biggest car and it has Audi’s signature Quattro all-wheel drive, it weighs a porky 4,057 pounds. But it can still blast to 60 mph in just 3.8 seconds.
But those are all just numbers, right? Comparing them on paper only achieves so much, so check out the video and see what happens next.