Audi RS3 vs BMW M3 Competition – This Drag Race Had No Business Being So Interesting - story fullscreen Fullscreen

Audi RS3 vs BMW M3 Competition – This Drag Race Had No Business Being So Interesting

The drag races between the Audi RS3 and the BMW M3 Competition went down to the wire

Mat Watson and his team from ‘Carwow’ brought in two hot German cars for a drag race. One’s the Audi RS3, and the other a BMW M3 Competition. The Audi RS3, in its reinvigorated avatar, is an absolute beast and punches well above its weight. It makes a lot less power than the BMW M3 Competition, but managed to keep up well in these races, especially the drag races. Can the Audi RS3 be considered as the hottest entry-level performance car today?

That’s A Difference Of Over 100 Horsepower

Audi RS3 vs BMW M3 Competition – This Drag Race Had No Business Being So Interesting
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The Audi RS3 is powered by a 2.5-liter, turbocharged inline-five engine that makes 401 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque.

It is mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox that powers all four wheels. It weighs 3,461 pounds (1,570 kilos).

Audi RS3 vs BMW M3 Competition – This Drag Race Had No Business Being So Interesting
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The BMW M3 Competition comes with a 3.0-liter, twin-turbo straight-six mill that churns out 510 horses and 479 pound-feet of torque.

Since this isn’t an xDrive version, power is routed to the rear wheels exclusively through an eight-speed automatic gearbox. It tips the scales at 3,814 pounds (1,730 kilos); 353 pounds (160 kilos) more than the Audi RS3.

It’s Closer Than Expected

Audi RS3 vs BMW M3 Competition – This Drag Race Had No Business Being So Interesting
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Although both the cars have launch controls, Mat noted that the one of the BMW is a lot more sophisticated and needs precision to be used successfully. The Audi’s, on the other hand, is much better, and could play a difference in the result. The RS3, as expected, had a much better launch and flew past the M3. The latter started reeling the Audi in, it was a little too late as the RS3 won by a not-so-big margin.

Audi RS3 vs BMW M3 Competition – This Drag Race Had No Business Being So Interesting
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Drag Race 2 of 3:
The second race was better, but still not enough for the BMW to win. It got quite close to the Audi by the end, but the latter beat its German counterpart by the nose

The second race started the same way, but the BMW did better to get closer to it. It looked like the M3 will get past it, but replays showed that the RS3 won just by the nose! This was as close as a race can get. Since the BMW was getting better, they decided to give it another shot.

Audi RS3 vs BMW M3 Competition – This Drag Race Had No Business Being So Interesting
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The BMW’s launch was much better this time, and even though the Audi leaped forward first, the M3 didn’t let it get away too far. Within a few seconds, it edged ahead of the RS3 to score a win and open the scoreboard. The hosts didn’t warm up the tires before the race, but by the third race, they had warmed up enough. That surely played a big role in the result. The BMW M3 Competition took 11.8 seconds to complete the quarter-mile distance in this run, whereas the Audi RS3 took 12 seconds.

Audi RS3 vs BMW M3 Competition – This Drag Race Had No Business Being So Interesting
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They moved on to roll races from here, with the first one from 50 mph. The cars were in their respective comfort settings and automatic mode for the gearbox. The kickdown was much better for the BMW here and it took the lead right away. There was no chance the Audi could catch up with it, thus giving us a verdict of this half-mile race right at the kickdown.

Audi RS3 vs BMW M3 Competition – This Drag Race Had No Business Being So Interesting
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To even-out things a little bit, they decided to race again from 35 mph. The cars were engaged in their sportiest settings with manual mode for the gearbox. But, the BMW was to start from the third gear and the Audi from the second. This gave the RS3 some advantage as it took the lead at kickdown. But, at about 80 mph, the M3 went past it to score yet another win.

Audi RS3 vs BMW M3 Competition – This Drag Race Had No Business Being So Interesting
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Brake Test:
This was the last round and they braked from 100 mph. The BMW stopped in a shorter distance here as well, thus scoring a clean sweep (of sorts) over the Audi RS3

The final round was a brake test from 100 mph. The heavier BMW managed to stop in a shorter distance to win this round as well. Quite an interesting, competitive series of races and tests, considering the Audi RS3 makes over 100 horses less than the M3. Swipe up to watch the video and share your thoughts with us in the comments section.

Sidd Dhimaan
Sidd Dhimaan
Senior Editor, Truck Expert, EV Expert - sidd@topspeed.com
Sidd joined the Topspeed.com team in 2017 as an intern and in less than a year he earned a full-time position as an associate editor and junior automotive expert. Fast forward to today, and he is currently serving as a senior editor, pickup truck expert, and EV expert.  Read full bio
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