There’s no beating around the bush – the BMW M340i is not a real M car, much like the Mercedes-AMG A35 Sedan is not a full-fat AMG either. These “lite” versions of performance models bridge the gap between a normal trim level and the flagship. Some would argue they offer the best balance between comfort and performance for the right price without prioritizing one of these two attributes to the detriment of the other.

After a drag race between an M4 Competition and a Toyota GR Yaris earlier today, it’s time for another unequal duel. YouTube channel PowerDrift orchestrated the fight between two German sports sedans from different segments. Both have all-wheel drive and automatic transmissions with launch control, but the M340i plays in a superior league and has a bigger engine.

The 3.0-liter inline-six powering the BMW pushes out 369 hp and 500 Nm (369 lb-ft) of torque whereas the 2.0-liter four-pot inside the AMG has 67 fewer ponies and a torque disadvantage of 100 Nm (74 lb-ft). On the other hand, as it’s usually the case when comparing cars from different segments, the compact sedan from Affalterbach is much lighter.

The xDrive and 4Matic system came in handy that day as the drag race took place on a soaking wet surface. It would’ve made more sense to line up the M135i against the A35 to even the odds, but who said drag races always have to be fair?

Even though the M340i had a poor start, it managed to recuperate the lost ground and ultimately was the first to cross the finish line. It completed the quarter-mile run in 5.28 seconds after doing 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) in 5.28 seconds. The sprint was rather disappointing given BMW’s 4.4-second time, albeit the weather was terrible.

The two drivers then swapped cars and the drag race was much closer. The two luxury sedans were neck and neck for a while, and the brightly colored AMG eventually took the win. Not that we’re trying to find the BMW any excuses, but the M Performance 3 Series had two rear passengers, thus further increasing the weight difference between the two.

[Source: PowerDrift / YouTube]