The BMW M3 Touring and Audi RS6 Avant are not direct rivals, but until the M5 Touring returns in 2025, this duel will have to suffice. Carwow’s Mat Watson lined up two of the most exciting wagons money can buy for a series of drag and rolling races followed by a brake test. The surface was damp that day, but traction wasn’t much of an issue as both cars are sold exclusively with all-wheel drive.
Available only in Competition guise, the long-awaited G81 uses a twin-turbo, 3.0-liter inline-six engine with 510 hp and 650 Nm (479 lb-ft) of torque delivered to the xDrive setup via an eight-speed, torque-converter automatic transmission. The fast estate from Ingolstadt relies on a larger twin-turbo, 4.0-liter V8 with 600 hp and 800 Nm (590 lb-ft) channeled to the Quattro system through an eight-speed, torque-converter auto.
Although the M3 Touring is significantly down on power and torque, it is a substantial 210 kilograms (463 pounds) lighter than the RS6 Avant. That doesn’t make it a light car by any stretch of the imagination since it still weighs a hefty 1,865 kilograms (4,111 pounds). That’s quite a lot for what remains a 3 Series at its core.
With the essential numbers out of the way, the two high-performance German wagons proceed to duke it out in several drag races on a foggy day but not before Carwow’s traditional sound check. We are pleasantly surprised to find out that the BMW doesn’t have a soft limiter despite being a car built for the European market. Mat Watson had no problem revving the engine to over 7,000 rpm. The Audi only revs to a little over 3,000 rpm, but even so, the V8 sounds positively glorious.
The M3 Touring and RS6 Avant dueled in no fewer than six drag races, each more exciting than the other. The BMW won four of them and wasn’t far behind the Audi in the other two. That tells us it will obliterate its direct competitor, the RS4 Avant. It’s especially true considering it was also faster than the RS6 in the subsequent rolling races, winning two out of three duels.
In the brake test from 100 mph (161 km/h) to zero, the lighter car unsurprisingly won, so yet another win for the G81.
Once again, the BMW M3 Touring seems to be the perfect solution for a one-car garage, provided you have to budget for it and can live with its kidney grille and screens…
Source: Carwow / YouTube