Sport Auto decided to pit the latest German compact performance cars in a track duel at Hockenheim. In one corner, we have the new BMW M240i xDrive while its competitor is the Audi RS3 Sedan. I know what some of you will say – the two are technically not rivals in the truest sense of the word. Indeed, we’re dealing with an M Performance car going up against a full-fat RS model. There’s also the matter of body styles, although it’s less important.
Both have automatic transmissions and all-wheel drive, but that’s where the similarities end. The pocket rocket from Ingolstadt rocks a larger five-cylinder engine pushing out 400 horsepower. The M240i xDrive is down by about 25 hp while packing the same 500 Nm (369 lb-ft) torque as the RS3. It’s worth noting the BMW is substantially heavier, carrying around an extra 115 kg (254 lbs).
With the same driver behind the wheel of both cars, the M240i xDrive and RS3 were evenly matched. Well, almost. The Audi completed the lap in 2:00.3 while the BMW did it in 2:00.4. It’s worth noting the comparison was not fair in terms of tire choice. Why? Because the sedan had Bridgestone Potenza Sport tires while the coupe was fitted with Michelin Pilot Sport 4S rubber.
The M240i xDrive Had The Better Tires
We don’t have to tell you how important tire choice is, especially on a track. The Michelins fitted to the M240i xDrive are known to be among the best in the business. On the other hand, the M2 with its inline-six engine and many other hardware upgrades should have no problems beating the RS3. It’s especially true for subsequent derivatives, including a CS, and potentially, a CSL.
Regardless of which one is faster, these cars are likely the last of the breed. It seems unlikely the next 2 Series will have a non-electrified inline-six, while the days of the RS3’s 2.5 TFSI engine are numbered. Until that happens, BMW has promised to launch a rear-wheel-drive M240i to please enthusiasts. However, the non-xDrive model won’t come along with a manual gearbox.
Source: Sport Auto / YouTube