Back in the ‘good old days’ the BMW M3 had nothing to fear from anything Cadillac threw at it. Well, times have changed and so did the car industry, where the ATS-V is being regarded as a better proposition than the M3 by a lot of journalists out there. What led them to that conclusion? A number of factors that somehow forced BMW to tone things down a little.

The first thing that comes to mind is the engine department. Whereas the BMW M3 was forced to drop the old 4-liter naturally aspirated engine in favor of a 3-liter twin turbo mill, the Cadillac uses a 3.6-liter V6 engine with considerably more power. The numbers are pretty much favoring the ATS-V as 470 PS will get you further than 431 PS. In the torque department we have a similar situation, with the Caddy putting out 600 Nm (444 lb-ft) compared to the German’s 550 Nm (406 lb-ft).


However, these are performance sedans and power isn’t everything, right? Well, that may be true if you’re going around a circuit but in the video below we’re witnessing these two rivals going against each other on the drag strip. This is where weight also might make a difference as well as the gearboxes used. And this is where the edge will go to the M3.

The Bavarian tips the scales at a little over 1,500 kg (3,300 lbs) while its American rival does the same at over 1,760 (3,700 lbs). On the other hand, the 7-speed DCT automatic gearbox from Munich might be a bit slower than GM’s 8-speed automatic that is claimed to shift gears even faster than Porsche’s PDK units. Either way, the end result of the race is a lot closer than you may expect. Considering the terrible reaction time of the M3 driver, the fact that the BMW almost catches up by the end of the runway does say a lot about how close these two cars are.