The new BMW M3 Competition boasts a twin-turbocharged inline-six engine churning out 503 bhp (375 kilowatts). Connected to a full-blown automatic transmission with eight speeds driving the rear wheels, it can hit 60 mph in just under four seconds. More importantly, the Bimmer's impressive launch control system means it can make that sub-four-second sprint pretty reliably, every time.
That's significant, because this new drag race clip from Carwow pits the big-nose M3 against its mustached father, a previous-generation F80 M3 with a surprise under the bonnet. That car also features a twin-turbocharged I6 that sends its power rearward, but the engine isn't stock. Thanks to some tuning by Evolve Automotive it pumps out 700 bhp (522 kW), and it arguably has the better gearbox with a seven-speed DCT. It's also a bit lighter on its feet at around 1,588 kilograms (3,500 pounds), compared to 1,724 kg (3,800 pounds) in the G80.
Obviously, the F80 holds a significant power advantage, but the G80 still has an ace up its sleeve. It's a purely stock car with a fully functional (and quite effective) launch control system, whereas the engine modifications in the older M3 make its launch control system absolutely useless. As such, corralling all that power comes down to the driver's skill, and as much as we hate to admit it, modern launch systems are superior to pretty much any human driver. Such is motoring life in 2021.
With all this information in mind, how do you think this contest will go? As per usual, several races are held both from a roll and a dig. There's no point in even being coy about the roll races – with such a massive power advantage the F80 gaps the G80 by light-years. From a standstill, however, traction is an issue. They hold contests for both the quarter-mile and the half-mile, and at the end of the day, it's actually quite close.
Power is a wonderful thing, but being able to actually use it? That's another challenge altogether.