Looking at the video below, some may asked themselves: why compare a performance car from the mid 1990s to a 2016 model that holds a Nurburgring record? It’s not all that logical, is it? But then again, if one truly wants to put German engineering to the test, this is one way to do it. Therefore, the guys from Car Throttle put together a little comparison between a BMW E36 M3 and a 2016 Honda Civic Type-R.

The differences between the two car are quite easily noticeable. One of them is a German, 20-year old coupe with the M3 lettering on the boot while the other is a Japanese, brand new record holder. One of them is rear-wheel drive and naturally aspirated while the other is a front-wheel drive hot hatch that simply looks ready to eat the track.


However, we could also look at what might make them rivals. For starters, both have around the same power output, even though the M3 is two decades old. The Honda uses a 2-liter 4-cylinder turbocharged-into-oblivion engine making 310 HP. At the same time, the M3 used to make about 320 HP back in the day, when it was brand new. That’s no longer the case though, as the car we’re looking at is currently putting out close to 300 HP.

Working in favor of the old German car is its lower weight compared to the Honda. Back then, the technology didn’t used to weigh as much as it does today. With all the sensors and automated comfort features we’ve gotten used to, the cars we got over the years started putting on quite a lot of weight. This being a 1990s M3 it was still quite light.

In the end, the race was closer than anyone expected. With the Type-R being the record holder for the fastest front-wheel drive production car around the Nurburgring it’s clear that this wasn’t going to be an easy task for the old timer. And yet, the M3 performed better than expected in the end.