Canadian magazine Autos.ca test drives and compares the 2015 BMW M235i xDrive and the 2015 Audi S3. The two sporty all-wheel drive cars are put through the snow banks to find out which one handles best in the winter.
BMW M235i Coupe is the pinnacle of the performance models available with the 2 Series Coupe. It features a higher-output M Performance TwinPower Turbo inline six, mated to either an 8-speed sport automatic or six-speed manual transmission. Maximum power of 320 hp is generated between 5,800 and 6,000 rpm, from a displacement of 3.0 liters. The maximum torque of 330 lb-ft is available between 1,400 and 4,500 rpm.
Aerodynamically optimized body features and custom chassis components are matched with typical M precision to the engine performance characteristics, and it sets the stage for the upcoming BMW M2. The M235i can be ordered with a standard rear-wheel drive configuration or an optional xDrive.
The Audi S3 is powered by an EA888 turbocharged four-cylinder engine that has been massaged to produce an even 300 hp. Force-fed by a single turbocharger, the 2.0-liter engine serves up its 280 lb-ft of twist from 1800 to 5500 rpm. Power peaks at 5500 rpm, and the long-stroke four-banger has a 6800-rpm redline. 0 to 62 mph is said to take 5.1 seconds with the optional six-speed dual-clutch box and 5.4 seconds with the six-speed manual.
Clearly the M235i has a higher power output, but is it the better car in winter? Here is an excerpt from their review:
At around $50,000, there aren’t a lot of choices for semi-practical, totally fun cars, but the ones available are all excellent. At the low-end of the price spectrum, Subaru’s WRX STI represents the raw, lowbrow and somewhat childish choice that will cause the neighbours to raise their eyebrows and cluck their tongues at your midlife crisis car.
Mercedes-Benz has the CLA (and GLA) 45 AMG, a four-cylinder turbo hot rod with more power than any of these competitors, yet is lacking some of the manners of the BMW and Audi.
Audi’s corporate cousin, the forthcoming Golf R, shares its mechanicals with its upscale family member and will start about five grand cheaper. Plus the Vee-dub will offer the option of a stick shift, not available on the Audi.
Any of these cars should make contemporary motoring enthusiasts giddy for fun they provide their owners, without giving up the responsible adult role when needed. These cars are the answer for those of us fearing the revolution, and will help us get through it with huge grins on our faces.
But when it comes down to decision time, it’s the car with the liquid-smooth and gloriously melodic inline six that captivates me the most. The fluid delivery of that near-endless well of power is simply too addictive to pass up. In fact, it’s so good; don’t be surprised to find me scouring BMW’s Certified Pre-Owned listings next year for M235is.