Anyone that’s driven the BMW M240i knows that it punches above its weight class. It has good power on paper but the way it performs in the real world suggests that its power figures are drastically underrated. So when it came time to drag race all of its modern German rivals, almost all of whom make more power, it almost seemed outgunned. But was it able to overcome that by being the overachiever that we know it to be?
In this new drag race from Carwow, we get to see the BMW M240i take on the Mercedes-AMG A45S, Audi RS3, and Volkswagen Golf R. But there’s a twist. All of the cars in the race are tuned. Aside from their different states of tune, most of the cars are pretty similar. All four cars come from Germany, all four cars use turbocharged engines, and all four cars have all-wheel drive (the M240i can come with rear-wheel drive, too). However, the BMW is the outlier of the bunch.
The AMG, Audi, and Volkswagen are all front-wheel drive-based, all-wheel drive cars and are all available as hatchbacks (the RS3 can be a sedan as well and it is in this video). The AMG and Volkswagen have 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engines, while the Audi has a 2.5-liter turbocharged five-cylinder engine. That makes the BMW’s 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine the biggest of the bunch. However, all four of the cars were tuned in this race, so the Audi and AMG made 503 horsepower, while the Volkswagen made 530 horsepower. That leaves the BMW M240i, with its 460 horsepower, as the weakling. So which tuned version is fastest?
In the first race, Watson in the M240i launches ahead of everyone, snags an incredible lead that he never relinquishes. It was rather shocking, because of how underpowered the tuned M240i was. However, it seemed as if he jumped the start a bit. Even more surprising, though, was the Golf R. Not only was it the most powerful car in the test but it was being driven by Ben Collins, the former Top Gear Stig, who failed to launch it properly. Obviously, you don’t expect that from a pro racing driver.
However, once they got everything right, Watson didn’t jump and Collins got the launch right, things were very different and the race was quite interesting. What’s also interesting is that the BMW M240i needs to be seriously outgunned, in terms of power, to genuinely lose races to its competitors. It’s so competent from the factory that it almost never loses to its natural competition. BMW gets a lot of flak for many of its modern cars but its B58 engine is a masterpiece.