The BMW M240i and Audi RS3 are not direct rivals, but who said a drag race must feature equally competing cars? In a bid to close the gap between the two, Bavaria’s sports coupe showed up for the duel in the xDrive guise to tackle Ingolstadt’s reputable Quattro. The acceleration test in a straight line took place in South Africa on a runway of the Saldanha airport.

Although the M Performance version of the BMW 2 Series Coupe has a bigger engine, it’s slightly down on power compared to the inline-five Audi RS3 Sedan. With 374 hp on tap, the M240i has a 26-hp handicap compared to the compact sedan carrying the Four Rings. Both have an ample 500 Nm (369 lb-ft) but the peak torque kicks in notably sooner on the BMW (1,900 rpm vs 2,250 rpm).

Another important difference is weight since the M240i is much heavier, tipping the scales at 1,690 kilograms (3,726 pounds) or 115 kg (254 lbs) more than the RS3 Sedan. Both use automatic transmission, but it’s an eight-speed torque converter for the BMW and a seven-speed, dual-clutch for the Audi.

The RS3 launched notably quicker, albeit the M240i driver’s reaction at the start of the drag race could’ve been a lot better since he hesitated to push the car hard. The Audi managed to hold on to its lead, crossing the finish line in 12 seconds or four-tenths of a second sooner than the BMW. We’d reckon the gap would’ve been much smaller (if any) with a better start for the M240i.

Since introducing the M240i, BMW has expanded the 2 Series Coupe lineup with a rear-wheel-drive version of its “M Lite” 2er and the recent launch of the M2 G87. The range-topping car comes solely in RWD flavor, but there are rumors of an xDrive-equipped derivative under consideration. That would give the RS3 a run for its money in a drag race.

Source: CAR / YouTube