We just recently saw a drag race between the new Audi RS3 and a much more powerful Audi RS6 Avant, a race in which the RS3 won handily. We suspect something fishy was going on in that race, as the RS6 shouldn’t have lost by so much, if at all. Which is why we’re here to watch this new drag race video from Carwow, in which the Audi RS3 took on the BMW M3 Competition.
The BMW M3 Competition isn’t as powerful as the RS6 Avant but it’s quite a bit lighter, so it’s a better match for the RS3. It’s still considerably more powerful than the Audi RS3, but the M3 lacks grip due to its rear-drive layout, so it will be interesting to see which car won the race.
As always, let’s first check the specs. The Audi RS3 uses a 2.5 liter turbocharged five-cylinder engine to make 401 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque, which is paired to a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox and all-wheel drive. While the BMW M3 Competition uses a 3.0 liter twin-turbocharged inline-six to make 503 horsepower and 479 lb-ft of torque, which is paired to an eight-speed auto and rear-wheel drive. So which was faster in a drag race?
It was the BMW M3. Easily. Admittedly, the RS3 jumped ahead of the Bimmer on every single launch, due to its all-wheel drive grip and the fact that rear-wheel drive M3 Comps launch in second gear, because its two rear tires can’t handle the torque in first. However, once the Bimmer hooked up and was able to put all of its power down, it was pretty easily able to reel the RS3 back in and take the win. It also dominated in the rolling races as well.
All of which makes us think an Audi RS6 Avant would actually beat an RS3 in a proper race. The RS3 is a great car; it’s seriously quick for its size, it has a great new trick rear differential, it’s practical, and it’s cheaper than the M3 Competition. But it’s just not fast enough to keep up with cars that have 100 horsepower advantages, or more.