Can a Honda Civic Type R Mugen really keep up with an Audi R8 V10?
The Civic Type R Mugen is one of the world's maddest - and certainly its most expensive - hot hatch. The Audi R8 V10 is a classic mid-engined supercar.
The Honda has a transversely mounted four-cylinder engine that powers its front wheels via a six-speed manual gearbox. It's engine has been massaged to produce 239bhp, and red lines just below 9000rpm. It costs £38,599.
The Audi has ten cylinders to the Honda's four, boasts 518bhp and has four-wheel drive and twice the torque of the Civic. The only thing Audi has that it doesn't need is weight - 1625kg to the Honda's 1233kg.
This is a shootout on a public road - and that's very relevant, because opportunities to use even half the Audi's potential in that environment are rare indeed.
The only way to drive in these conditions is well within the car's and your capabilities - and that's much easier to do in the Honda than the Audi.
The contest will run over one of our favourite Welsh mountain roads. Steve Sutcliffe and Jamie Corstorphine are driving - and swapping cars between runs to prove the driver isn't the variable.
Put simply, whoever was following, and whichever car they were in, could keep up.
Why? Because on a public road the leading driver will always be at a disadvantage that not even an extra 279bhp can compensate for.
On a track the Audi would have destroyed the Honda, but track driving and fast, responsible road driving are two entirely different things.
Perhaps the most interesting conclusion after a day's driving was that both drivers agreed the Honda was more enjoyable to drive on the open roads. Simply more fun, more agile, less intimidating and a lot easier to get to the limits in.
The full comparison test is available in this week's Autocar magazine, on sale now.