Road Car vs. Rally Car vs. Formula One Car

Scott Benjamin

Ferrari Formula One driver Kimi Raikkonen drives during the first practice session on the Marina Bay City Circuit in Singapore. (AP Photo/ Wong Maye-E)

Are you ready for a real eye-opener? The short video clip that I want to share with you today provides a clear picture of just how fast a rally car is in comparison to a typical road car and how fast a Formula One car is when raced against both.

I've always enjoyed races where they mix the classes on the track at the same time. A perfect example of this is the 24 Hours of Le Mans. I think one of the many reasons endurance racing appeals to me is because of the dramatic differences in speed between the various groups. For instance, it blows my mind to see how quickly a race-prepared Audi R10 TDI can pass a Porsche 911 competing in one of the GT classes. And you and I both know that a street-legal Porsche 911 is fast -- now imagine how fast a Porsche is that's sole purpose is simply to race. Yet the open cockpit Audi passes the Porsche as if it were standing still. Now that's fast!

And maybe that's why this video clip is so interesting. It'll only take five minutes of your time, and besides that, it's from "Top Gear" so you know that it'll be entertaining:

More related stuff: How Formula One Works HowStuffWorks - Porsche Cars HowStuffWorks - Car Models How Diesel Engines Work