This new BMW M2 isn’t the pure driver’s car many fans hoped it would be. However, it is shockingly fast. Despite its hefty curb weight and detuned S58 engine, it’s an absolute missile, both in a straight line and on a circuit. It is a bit traction-limited, though, as it makes almost too much power for its rear wheels. So can it keep up with its main rival, the all-wheel drive Audi RS3?

In this video from Throttle House, they put the M2 up against the RS3 in both a drag race and in a timed lap around their usual test track. Both cars are pretty evenly matched, all things considered, so it’s a great comparison test to watch.

The BMW M2 is the newer car and the more powerful one. Its 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged inline-six makes 453 horsepower and 406 lb-ft of torque and, in this video, uses an eight-speed torque-converter auto. The M2 is also only available with rear-wheel drive. While the Audi RS3 uses a 2.5-liter turbocharged inline-five that makes 401 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque. That makes it down on power but the RS3 makes up for it by using a quicker-shifting seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox and all-wheel drive. It’s also about 100 lbs lighter.

First up was a standing drag race, where the Audi RS3’s traction advantage naturally paid off. It fired off the line so much cleaner than the BMW M2, which struggled to put its power down, despite a good launch. The RS3 won the standing drag race easily but the BMW M2 came back in the rolling drag race, where it won pretty easily. However, it got sloppy under braking, due to a dip in the road, which does make it seem a bit sketchy at speed.

However, the real test was the timed lap. The BMW M2 was equipped with Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires, which are just about the most aggressive street tire on the market and the Audi RS3 had Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R tires, which are also excellent. TH host Thomas lapped both cars, under similar conditions, and compared their times not only to each other but the rest of their big board of lap times. While I won’t spoil which car won, I do want to point out something interesting. With the same driver, the new M2 was actually about a second slower than the F87 M2 CS, which makes less power and used a manual transmission. This new M2 is supposed to be an upgrade over the F87 M2 in every single way but it seems that the best version of the old car is still better in some areas.