It's an all-wheel-drive face-off.
The line between what is and what isn't a sports car is blurring. Automakers are taking their most mainstream products – crossovers – and cramming them with horsepower. This is especially true with luxury brands like BMW and Audi – companies that built their reputations on luxury sports cars. It's not impossible to have a large SUV match or outperform a sporty four-door saloon, and a new video from the Track Day YouTube channel exemplifies that.
The channel is testing mid-range sports cars, classifying them as either rear- or all-wheel drive. That leaves the competition open to some odd matches – like the Audi RS3, BMW X6 M50i, and BMW X3 M Competition drag race. The Audi RS3, powered by a 2.5-litre inline-five engine, makes 398 bhp (294 kilowatts). The X6 is this competition's middle child with its twin-turbocharged 4.4-litre V8 producing 523 bhp (390 kW). The X3 M Comp isn't stock, putting 600 bhp (447 kW) to the wheels.
Gallery: 2020 BMW X3 M Competition: First Drive
The X3 sweeps all three races, even with a five-passenger handicap, though it wasn't even supposed to be in the race. The third competitor failed to show. However, it was much closer between the X6 and the RS3. The first race, which featured a rolling start, saw the Audi start a tad behind the others, barely losing to the X6 M50i. The second rolling-start race saw the RS3 best the X6. However, the last race saw the X6 eke out a final win over the Audi.
The X6 and RS3 may be different on power, though the BMW is far heavier, tipping the scale at nearly 2,358 kilograms (5,200 pounds). That's quite a bit more than the Audi's 1,632-kilograms (3,600-pound) curb weight. The X3 crushes them both, though it wasn't exactly a fair fight, either. Stock, it's supposed to make 503 bhp (375 kW), which would have put it much closer in performance to the other two.