Thanks to its immense hype upon release, the BMW M2 was thrown against nearly every car that even resembled a competitor. Porsche Cayman GT4, Shelby Mustang GT350, Corvette, Jaguar F-Type and the list goes on and on. Basically anything that was fun, fast and even remotely affordable was taken on by the scrappy M2. However, of all the cars on the market, its closest competitor might actually be an all-wheel drive sedan — the Audi RS3.

Okay, so the RS3 Sedan is quite a bit different from the rear-wheel drive coupe that is the BMW M2. The BMW M2 makes 365 hp from its 3.0 liter turbocharged I6 engine, is available with a dual-clutch transmission and powers only its rear wheels. The Audi RS3 makes 400 hp from its 2.5 liter turbocharged I5 engine, uses only a dual-clutch transmission and powers all four wheels. However, these two cars are really the two that compete the most, despite their differences.

They both can hit 60 mph in around 4 seconds flat, with the M2 usually doing it a tick or two over four seconds and the RS3 sometimes doing it a tick or two under. But around 4 seconds seems to be the number for both, consistently. So they’re both very, very quick. They both also cost around the same price. The Audi RS3 Sedan starts life at $54,900 while the BMW M2 (w/ DCT) starts at $55,400. Also, both cars have usable back seats, though the RS3 gets two extra doors, and a big trunk.

But most importantly, they both come from humble roots. Both cars are based on each brand’s small, inexpensive, entry-level cars that both start out with measly diesel engines under hood. So these aren’t thoroughbred performance cars but humble cars that punch above their weight class.

Admittedly, both cars are significantly different to drive. The BMW M2 is a hooligan that likes to wag its tail across the pavement in a heap of tire smoke. The Audi RS3 likes to pummel the tarmac into submission with its tenacious grip and torque. Where as the M2 is elegant and balanced, the RS3 is brutish and violent. But they’re both fast and they’re both fun.

Sure, these cars are mechanically very different. But they’re priced similarly, achieve the same goals and start out as similarly humble cars. So while they can perform higher than their price tags would suggest and many will compare them to more expensive cars, the BMW M2’s main competitor seems to be the Audi RS3 Sedan.

[Source: Gear Patrol]