2008 BMW M3 Coupe vs. 2008 Audi S5 Coupe

BMW M3 | March 24th, 2008 by 1

A while ago, we have compared the BMW 335i Coupe with the Audi S5. Back then, a lot of people mentioned that it might not …

thumb 08.comparo.m3.vs.s5.group.1.500 2008 BMW M3 Coupe vs. 2008 Audi S5 Coupe

A while ago, we have compared the BMW 335i Coupe with the Audi S5. Back then, a lot of people mentioned that it might not be the best and the most accurate comparison since they two cars are in a totally different class. The general consensus was that the direct competitor for the Audi S5, would be the upcoming(now released) BMW M3 Coupe.

Our friends at Edmunds InsideLine were a step ahead of us and they ran a very interesting comparison between the two cars. As you will see in their article, some people were implying that the M3 and the S5 are a mismatch, a statement that I strongly disagree with.

Here are some fragments from their article:

Our first full test of the $53,000, all-wheel-drive 2008 Audi S5 was a bit of a revelation. With a 354-horsepower version of Audi’s direct-injection 4.2-liter V8 under its hood, the voluptuous Audi S5 ran a 13.3-second quarter-mile at 104 mph, just 0.1 second and 2 mph shy of the 420-hp 2007 Audi RS4 sedan.

What’s more, the S5’s slalom speed is within a couple mph of the harsh-riding RS-spec sedan. “It ran a 13.3? With that kind of speed, who needs a $67,000 RS4?” we asked ourselves. We believe so strongly in the 2008 Audi S5 that it earned our Inside Line’s inaugural Editors’ Choice Award. So we acquired (hastily perhaps) another 2008 Audi S5 and set it against the new 2008 BMW M3 Coupe, a car now fortified with V8 power for the first time. Speed-reading the specifications sheets of these two cars, they seem like natural rivals: the 354-hp, all-wheel-drive 2008 Audi S5 measured against the 414-hp, rear-wheel-drive 2008 BMW M3. But as it turns out, we gave the 2008 Audi S5 a bigger challenge than we had initially intended.

D-Day

Were we foolish to pair these two high-performance coupes? The test numbers recorded by our previous 2008 Audi S5 were no fluke, as this time around we managed to coax another tenth or two from the car from Ingolstadt, validating our instincts. Once you factor in the NHRA-style 1-foot rollout that most magazines use for acceleration testing, the all-wheel-drive 2008 Audi S5 leaps to 60 mph in just 4.7 seconds (4.9 seconds without the rollout), and then crosses the finish line at the quarter-mile in 13.2 seconds at 104 mph. Exploiting its tenacious all-wheel-drive grip, we even slightly improved our previous slalom speed. As our test-driver notes, the Audi S5 is “rock-solid in the slalom, especially during on-throttle transitions.” It’s the kind of thing where AWD pays dividends. So capable is the S5 at distributing power intelligently that it rockets to a 69.0-mph average over the 600-foot course. Lateral acceleration measured on the skid pad remains an impressive 0.91g. Switching cars and techniques, we backed up BMW’s claims of explosive acceleration from the 2008 M3.

Launching the rear-drive coupe requires prudence, but getting it right results in a 4.3-second run to 60 mph as measured with a 1-foot rollout (4.6 seconds from an honest dead stop). Continuing unabated down the drag strip, the Bavarian’s quarter-mile time is 12.7 seconds at 112 mph. Yeah, the 2008 BMW M3 is fast, all right. There was a time when such numbers belonged to muscle-bound hyper-cars like the Chevrolet Corvette Z06, Dodge Viper or Porsche 911 Turbo. Yet the M3’s talents run deeper than drag racing. As our test-driver says, “One of the fastest production cars we’ve tested through the slalom. Very easy to maintain control at the limit. Steering delivers excellent feel and response for the inputs given.” Stitch together a run free of tipped-over cones and the result is a speed of 73 mph, a record for a car that’s in volume production.

Skid pad? The BMW M3 with its weight distribution of 51 percent front/49 percent rear plus a trick electronically controlled rear differential produces levels of grip you expect from a sports car, with a performance of 0.95g in lateral acceleration.

The full article can be found here

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