The BMW M3 is a potent performance saloon, but it’s not immune from competitors new and old. A new Carwow video has the channel pitting an M3 Competition against a heavily tuned Nissan Silvia S15 – one that makes 600 bhp (447 kilowatts). The video pits the two in a series of drag races, under different parameters, before putting them through a braking test.
Going strictly by the numbers, the Nissan looks ready to sweep the BMW, but they don’t tell the entire story. The M3 Competition has a twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre straight-six making 510 bhp (380 kW) and 479 pound-feet (650 Newton-metres) of torque, which is sent through an eight-speed automatic with launch control to the rear wheels. The Silvia has a bored-out 2.1-litre turbocharged four-cylinder producing 600 bhp and 516 lb-ft (700 Nm) of torque. However, the Silvia has a manual gearbox that lacks BMW’s fancy launch control technology.
Gallery: 2021 BMW M3 Competition: Review
It’s this difference that gives the BMW an advantage in the standing-start races. The M3 won both of them, rocketing through the quarter-mile in 11.8 seconds thanks to its ability to get a better start. It took the Nissan 12.6 seconds. The Nissan shines in the rolling races where it easily buries the BMW in its rear-view mirror. The Silvia S15 makes more power, and the rolling starts allow the Nissan to utilise all of it against the M3.
The final event was a brake test to see which car could stop in the shortest distance. The Nissan is much lighter than the BMW, tipping the scales at around 1,200 kilograms (2,645 pounds) compared to the BMW’s 1,730-kg (3,813-lb) curb weight. However, the Nissan lacks anti-lock brakes, and it flies past the BMW, its rear tyres smoking from the emergency stop. Damp track conditions didn’t help the Nissan either, which struggled for traction throughout the competition, though the BMW struggled, too.