It’s easy to forget sports cars exist in a world where crossovers, SUVs, and trucks seem to dominate the roads today. While companies like Porsche and BMW butter their bread with the fattening profits from SUVs and crossovers, they continue to build the sports cars enthusiasts love, like the 718 Cayman S and the Z4 M40i. A new video pits these two pristine performance machines against each other in a pair of drag races.
The BMW Z4 M40i features the brand’s turbocharged 3.0-litre inline-six engine. It makes 335 bhp and 500 Newton-metres (368 pound-feet) of torque, which routes through a ZF eight-speed gearbox to the rear wheels. It weighs 1,580 kilograms (3,483 pounds).
The Porsche features a smaller turbocharged 2.5-litre flat-four engine. However, don’t let its size fool you; it makes 345 bhp and 420 Nm (309 lb-ft) of torque. It’s also rear-wheel drive but has a seven-speed PDK gearbox between the engine and the wheels. It’s also lighter than the BMW, tipping the scales at 1,385 kg (3,053 lbs).
The Porsche won the first race, crossing the finish line in 12.22 seconds at 184 kilometres per hour (114 miles per hour). It sprinted to 100 kph (62 mph) in 4.09 seconds. The BMW was not far behind it, needing 12.87 seconds to complete the quarter-mile race, hitting 176 kph (109.36 mph). It required 4.61 seconds to run to 100 kph.
The two competed in a second race, but the BMW had a false start, leaving the starting line way too early. The Cayman took off after it but could not catch the Z4, crossing the finish line in second place. However, it completed the race quicker, needing 12.23 seconds. It took the BMW 12.85 seconds even though it had a head start.
Building a performance car takes more than cramming a big engine under the bonnet. Things like curb weight, the gearbox, and the output matter as much as the size of the engine. The BMW has two extra cylinders than the Porsche, but it wasn’t enough to crush the Cayman S completely.