The recently launched BMW M135i xDrive will have a hard time trying to beat its rivals now that its USP is gone. While in the past we used to say the M Performance models from BMW’s 1 Series range are clearly more dynamic than its rivals, with the move to a FWD setup, that edge is now lost. Thus, the BMW has to do fight the competition on a level playing ground and things are closer than ever.

In the video below we get to see the new BMW M135i xDrive going up against its main rival from Stuttgart, the Mercedes-AMG A35, a car that is so close in terms of specs, it would be hard to separate the two. The BMW uses a 2-liter 4-cylinder turbocharged mill mounted transversely in the engine bay, making 306 HP and 450 Nm (332 lb-ft) of torque. All that power is sent to all four corners of the car via the new xDrive system.

Then there’s the Mercedes. The A35 AMG uses a similar same setup, with the same amount of power but a bit less torque, being rated at 400 Nm (295 lb-ft). On paper though, the Mercedes is claimed to be faster than the Bimmer. While the BMW M135i xDrive has a claimed 0-100 km/h (62 mph) sprint of 4.8 seconds, the Mercedes is said to do the same in 4.7 seconds. According to the video below though, things seem a bit different in real life.

None of the two cars achieved the claimed acceleration numbers but the BMW M135i was closest with 4.84 seconds while the A35 did the sprint in 4.9 seconds. The 1/4 mile was covered in 13.02 seconds by the Merc while the BMW took 12.98 seconds. The numbers are similarly close in the 100 – 200 km/h (62 – 124 mph) sprints as well with the BMW being faster at 14.33 seconds compared to 14.45 seconds for the AMG. However, the differences are so small, it will probably come down to personal preference in the end, both of these cars being fast enough for most people.