Aftermarket parts and tuning specialists can take already powerful cars and wring out even more performance from them. The right combination of hardware and software can infuse ho-hum sports cars with supercar levels of horsepower. Two such examples face off in a new Carwow video, which pits a tuned Ford Mustang against a modified BMW M3.
The Mustang uses Ford’s 5.0-litre V8 engine, but it also features a new supercharger that increases the output to 859 bhp and 665 pound-feet (902 Newton-metres) of torque. A six-speed manual sits between the engine and rear tyres, with the coupe tipping the scales at a portly 1,720 kilograms (3,791 pounds). It’s heavier than the BMW saloon, which weighs 1,595 kg (3,516 lbs).
Gallery: 2024 BMW M3 CS
The BMW M3 still has the brand’s 3.0-litre inline-six hiding under the bonnet, but the tuner swapped the twin-turbo setup for a single-turbo one. The car actually makes 950 bhp and 811 lb-ft (1,100 Nm) of torque, but it’s detuned for this battle because it’s not racing on a prepped surface, which shows. However, the BMW still makes an absurd 850 bhp and 700 lb-ft (950 Nm) of torque. A seven-speed automatic transmission sends the power to the rear wheels.
The Mustang won the first two races as the BMW struggled to put its power to the ground. This gave the Ford a significant advantage, one the BMW couldn’t close, but several subsequent races saw that gap narrow, with the BMW beating the Mustang in the very last race. However, the Ford still had the quickest quarter-mile time, completing it in 11.5 seconds. The BMW needed 11.7 seconds.
The battle with the Mustang wasn’t all bad news for the BMW, which excelled in the rolling races. Removing the start, and the BMW’s lack of traction under full throttle, allowed the M3 to walk away from the Mustang in the two bouts. The M3 also won the brake test, stopping at a shorter distance, which would be great for its overall performance on a track, but does little to help it win these drag races.