The BMW M2 and Audi RS3 are small cars with plenty of power and performance. The two offer fun driving experiences wrapped in distinct packages, and a new video captures the pair competing in a drag race to see which is the quicker car.
The Audi RS3 Performance hides a turbocharged 2.5-litre inline-five engine under its blue bonnet. It makes 407 bhp and 369 pound-feet (500 newton-metres) of torque, but the BMW M2 packs a larger twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre inline-six engine that produces 460 bhp and 406 lb-ft (550 Nm) of torque.
Gallery: 2023 BMW M2: Review
The BMW might be more powerful, an excellent advantage, but it’s also heavier and has rear-wheel drive. The RS3 features all-wheel drive. The Audi also tips the scales at 1,614 kilograms (3,558 pounds) compared to the 1,730-kg (3,831-lb) coupe, making for a compelling matchup between the two performance cars.
The Audi capitalised on its advantages right from the start, getting an early lead off the line, but it was short-lived. The BMW’s extra power helped it catch up, taking the lead just before the pair crossed the finish line. The M2 won by about a car length, needing 21.5 seconds to complete the 1,000-metre (3,280-foot, 0.62-mile) race. The Audi wasn’t far behind, completing the course in 21.6 seconds.
The M2 of the future might win by an even wider margin if the rumours are true that BMW will add all-wheel drive to the coupe. The xDrive system would also coincide with a boost in power for the variant, allegedly upping the coupe’s output to 520 bhp, the same amount of horsepower expected in the M2 CS the company is developing. The M2 xDrive model isn’t expected to arrive until 2026, after the M2 CS launches.
The RS3 won’t be the same by the time the all-wheel-drive M2 could arrive. Audi is currently prepping a facelifted version of the performance model. Spy shots from a few months ago showed the hatchback hiding its mid-cycle styling changes under a partial camouflage wrap.
We don’t expect Audi to significantly upgrade the powertrain when it updates the car’s design.
While the Audi lost in this race, the sedan was Motor1.com Star Award’s 2022 Best Performance Vehicle winner. Sadly, the automaker doesn’t offer the five-door Sportback variant in crossover-loving America.