The second-generation BMW M2 has lost its Nürburgring crown since it’s no longer the fastest production compact car around the Green Hell. That title now goes to the 2025 Audi RS3, which shaved off more than five seconds from the previous record. The sports sedan from Ingolstadt finished the course in only 7:33.12. As a refresher, the G87 piloted by development engineer Jörg Weidinger did it in 7:38.70.

However, it’s worth noting that the M2 had Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires whereas the RS3 had stickier Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R semi-slick rubber. The record-breaking run at the Nordschleife was performed by Frank Stippler, an Audi Sport racing and development driver. The hot lap was completed in the build-up to the new RS3’s world premiere scheduled to take place in the coming weeks.

BMW might have the right tools to regain the title next year. We’re talking about the M2 CS scheduled to land at some point in 2025. While the standard M2 now makes 473 horsepower, the hotter special edition is rumored to pack as much as 518 hp. At the same time, it’s likely going to be a tad lighter by making extensive use of carbon fiber. It’ll be an automatic-only affair, which would make it faster than an equivalent manual gearbox-equipped car.

Of course, Audi could strike back with an RS3 Performance Edition considering the pre-facelifted model spawned a hardcore derivative. It’ll be fun watching these two cars duke it out for the Nürburgring crown. This might be the final duel in the pure combustion engine era. Audi doesn’t see a bright future for its inline-five engine while BMW M can’t make inline-sixes without electrification forever. The XM 50e is already a plug-in hybrid with a 3.0-liter engine. The same goes for the M760e.

Meanwhile, the new auto-only RS3 still has less power than the M2 since the 2.5 TFSI will be rated at 395 horsepower as before. However, this output applies to the European model whereas the US-spec car is likely to continue with 401 hp. In both instances, the torque is 500 Nm (369 lb-ft). With the manual gearbox, the compact BMW M model packs 550 Nm (406 lb-ft). Go for the automatic version and you get 600 Nm (443 lb-ft) for the 2025 model year.

Source: Audi