The BMW X3 M Competition has finally arrived on the automotive scene, after years of waiting. Enthusiasts have been asking for a high-performance SUV of that size for quite some time and yet BMW seemed to only focus on the X5 M and X6 M until now. The launch of the X3 M and its Competition version also opens up BMW to a new host of rivals, some of them traditional, others brand new.

The Alfa Romeo Stelvio QV is part of that latter category, a new rival for BMW in a new segment. The performance it brings to the table though is undeniable. It is one fast cookie, to put it mildly, and it will definitely give the X3 M a run for its money.

The guys from Coches, in Spain, have put the two together to see which is faster on a drag strip. Seeing the BMW X3 M Competition dominate all the cars it raced against so far gave the BMW the upper hand here, at least until the two lined-up at the starting line.

The two cars are basically identical in terms of specs. The BMW uses a 3-liter straight six twin-turbo engine developing 510 PS and 600 Nm (442 lb-ft) of torque while the Alfa Romeo uses a bi-turbo 2.9-liter V6, developed in part by Ferrari, making the exact same amount of power and torque. Both cars use 8-speed automatic gearboxes and both are all-wheel drive. The biggest difference is the weight factor and that’s where the Alfa wins it.

Is the BMW X3 M Competition a better M car than the M8 Coupe?

The Italian is 140 kilos lighter than the BMW. The 0-62 mph (100 km/h) sprint times also favor the Alfa with a claimed 3.8 seconds compared to BMW’s 4.1. However, even though I don’t speak Spanish all that well, it seems to me that the BMW X3 M Competition didn’t use Launch Control when setting off. Even so, the two are seriously close and, even though I won’t disclose the result, provided a thrilling race.