Now that the BMW M135i migrated to the front-wheel drive segment, it’s time for it to challenge some new rivals. Or are they old rivals? The latter seems more accurate, as the old M135i or M140i  still had to face cars from Mercedes-AMG and Audi’s S and RS lineups, but this time it looks like the playing field has been leveled. Now, everyone has a front-wheel drive platform underneath and the same displacement under the hood.

To be more precise, all the cars lining up at the starting line in the video below are using 2-liter 4-cylinder petrol engines with massive turbochargers attached to them. The BMW M135i has 306 HP and 450 Nm of torque coming out of its ‘beating heart’ and all that gets sent to the four corners of the car via an 8-speed automatic gearbox and all-wheel drive. It is, by all accounts, the one with the most torque.

The Audi S3 has 310 HP and 400 Nm of torque, while its platform brother, lining up at the starting line here, the Volkswagen Golf R uses the same engine but with 320 HP and 420 Nm of torque. Both cars have all-wheel drive (basically the same system at its core) and both come with 7-speed dual-clutch gearboxes. What’s interesting here is that the cheaper model, the Golf R is both lighter and more powerful.

Last, but not least, the Mercedes-AMG A35 is also lining up at the start line here. It also comes with a 2-liter 4-cylinder engine but tuned to make 306 HP and 400 Nm of torque. It too sends its power to all four corners of the car but through a 7-speed dual-clutch gearbox. Which one is going to win it? The guys from CarWow didn’t just do a standing start race but they also performed their usual rolling races and brake tests. So let’s see how the cars compare.