In many ways, I’m so frustrated with what BMW has become, focusing so much on speed and performance and forgetting what it’s always been about. However, I’m also incredibly impressed with the tuning capabilities of its engines, as its new twin-turbo inline-sixes are able to put out mind-bending levels of power. So much so that it’s possible to make a BMW M3 sedan with 850 horsepower, as you see in this new video from Carwow.
Let that sink in for a moment. This F80 BMW M3 makes 850 horsepower, which is more than a Ferrari 812 Superfast, McLaren 720S, Dodge Demon, and BMW’s own XM Label Red, which is the most powerful production Bimmer ever. What’s even more shocking is that the tuning shop that built this M3 (Tom Wrigley Performance) actually turned its power down for the test, as they weren’t on a prepped drag surface or slick tires. Its maximum power is actually 950 horsepower, which is just absurd. And in this new video, the M3 takes on a Mustang that’s been tuned to a whopping 860 horsepower from its supercharged 5.0-liter V8.
Both cars in this test are rear-wheel drive, as BMW didn’t introduce all-wheel drive to the M3 until this current G80-generation. With all of that power to the rear wheels, you can imagine that it’s quite difficult to launch both cars. The F80 M3 in this test has a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox but it can’t use launch control because BMW’s launch control program requires stability control to be off and its tuned engine will spin the rear wheels all the way through fourth gear. The Mustang, however, has a manual, so it’s every bit as difficult to launch.
Also, bit of a side note, Tom Wrigley Performance deserves some huge kudos for making what is possibly the best sounding S55 engine I’ve ever heard. During the typical Carwow exhaust test, the F80 actually held its own against the Mustang’s monster American V8 and sounded better than the current S58 engine by far. I don’t know what sort of exhaust this M3 is running, or what was done to the engine, to specifically make that noise but Tom Wrigley should to the BMW world a service and give up the deets.
This video is fun because it isn’t about which car is faster. Instead, it’s about which car can miraculously find continuous enough grip to make it down the drag strip without spinning sideways. Both cars struggle for traction with every gearshift and look like they want to kill their drivers. It’s fantastic. Have a watch.