They’re both six-cylinder performance vehicles with rear-wheel drive, but that’s where the similarities end. It’s safe to say the BMW M3 and Porsche 911 Carrera cater to different segments of the market. The former tries to do it all while the latter is a thoroughbred sports car. Carwow’s charismatic presenter Mat Watson decided to compare the two on a circuit to see which is faster.

The British journalist used his BMW M3 long-term press car to pit it against the most affordable 911 money can buy. Painted in Isle of Man Green, the Bavarian sports sedan was pushed hard and completed the lap in 48.1 seconds. Then it was Porsche’s turn, and guess what, it virtually matched its adversary with a nearly identical time of 48.0 seconds.

Power vs Weight

The Carrera lost precious time in the straight line where the M3’s more powerful engine helped it reach higher speeds. However, the Porsche managed to recuperate the gap through faster cornering courtesy of its substantially lower curb weight. The rear-engined machine from Zuffenhausen carried around 225 kg (562 lbs) less than its rival.

It might come as a surprise, but Mat Watson actually prefers the BMW M3 over the Porsche 911 Carrera. He finds it to be more playful than the coupe, which is primarily about doing a good lap. The sedan is also a lot more practical in terms of seating and cargo capacity, with the latter to be expanded furthermore with the M3 Touring.

Which one is faster in a straight line?

To compare the straight-line performance, the M3 and 911 duked it out in an acceleration test. The M3C needed 4.16 seconds to reach 60 mph and 8.47 seconds until 100 mph. While the Carrera only took 3.72 seconds to hit 60 mph, it still ended up slower to 100 mph by needing 8.7 seconds. The Porsche did manage to win the brake test from 100 mph, primarily because of its lower weight.

In an ideal two-car garage, we’d have the M3 Touring for weekdays and the 911 during the weekend.

[Source: carwow / YouTube]