Last year, BMW M celebrated its 50th anniversary. The performance division from Munich currently sells some of the fastest and most powerful mainstream vehicles around the globe and its scope has expanded to include the BMW XM, which is only the second standalone M machine in history. For today’s drag race, however, we have two far more conventional cars on the track – the M3 Competition and M8 Competition.

The video at the top of this page comes courtesy of Edmunds Cars and shows us two of Bavaria’s fastest vehicles in track action. This isn’t just a regular drag race though, as the two competitors meet in what the publication calls U-drag – this is a two-way race with a standing start and a 180-degree in the middle. This way, we can see the cars accelerate, get hard on the brakes, steer, and then accelerate again towards the finish line. Let’s see the two cars and what they are capable of on paper.

Gallery: 2023 BMW M3 Edition 50 Jahre BMW M

The M3 Competition featured in the video is from the 50 Jahre Edition, which was released in May last year as a celebration of the M division’s 50th anniversary. There are no hardware changes under the bonnet compared to a standard M3, which means there’s a 3.0-litre turbocharged mill in the engine bay generating a peak output of 503 bhp and 479 pound-feet of torque. The inline-six unit is mated to an eight-speed automatic gearbox and the speedy saloon weighs 1,805 kilograms (3,979 pounds). The price of the car for the 2023 model year is $101,195 without destination included.

Against it, the M8 Competition offers more power and higher weight. A 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8 produces 617 bhp and 553 lb-ft of torque and, again, an 8-speed automatic channels that power to the wheels. It is heavier than its competitor at 1,948 kg (4,295 lbs) and it’s worth mentioning that both cars have all-wheel-drive layouts.