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Watch: The Old R8 Spyder was the Fastest Cabrio to Drive One-Handed


Fifth Gear was never the ratings success that Top Gear was, but the Protestant BBC car show had some pretty cool ideas. Ideas like this one-armed race between the Tiff Needell and Jason Plato.

The two actual race car drivers take an Audi R8 V10 Spyder and a Mercedes SL 63 AMG around a track in this clip from a 2013 episode. Since the cars are as much about looking cool and being fast, though, they decide to run the race with one arm on the door sill.

The race is kind of silly, but it illustrates which is the easiest car to drive quickly. That, as it turns out, is the R8 V10 Spyder.

With a traction control system that Needell calls “well-judged” you can reach for the limit of your skill without having an electronic nanny slap your hand away. The SL65, meanwhile, likes nothing better than to slap your hand away, even if you’re not really reaching.

The result is a faster lap in the R8 Spyder, as well as one that’s more fun.

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