For decades, if you wanted a fast family car, one that was equally at home on a twisty canyon road as it was on the daily school run, your choices were mostly between the Audi RS4 Avant and BMW M3. However, there was always a distinct difference between the two; you bought the RS4 Avant if you wanted to lean more toward daily comfort and usability and you chose the BMW M3 if you leaned more toward canyon carving. However, this new generation of M3 has grown bigger, heavier, more complex, more comfortable, and more all-weather capable. So is it coming for the Audi RS4 Avant and its customers?
This new G80 BMW M3 is the most powerful M3 of all time but it’s also he heaviest and most complex. Not only does it weight closer to 4,000 lbs than BMW fans would like but it’s also available with all-wheel drive. While there’s a rear-wheel drive car with a manual transmission, let’s take a look at the all-wheel drive, automatic car — the BMW M3 Competition.
Under the hood of the M3 Competition is a 3.0 liter twin-turbocharged inline-six with 503 horsepower and 443 lb-ft of torque. That engine is hooked up to an eight-speed automatic gearbox and, in most cases, all-wheel drive. While you can get the M3 Comp with rear-wheel drive, most customers will opt for BMW M’s xDrive system.
That compares with the Audi RS4 Avant and its 2.9 liter twin-turbo V6 with 444 horsepower and 442 lb-ft of torque. It also gets an eight-speed automatic and all-wheel drive. So the RS4 is quite similar, just with much less horsepower. However, the differences don’t end there.
The new BMW M3 is said to be surprisingly comfortable, with a suspension that really rounds off bumps and makes it a great daily driver. Sound familiar? Its eight-speed auto also replaced the old dual-clutch automatic, trading sportiness for comfort. Throw in all-wheel drive and the BMW M3 is as all-weather capable as the RS4. There’s even going to be a wagon version of the M3 coming next year, for the first time ever, so it’s going to be almost exactly like an RS4.
However, the BMW M3 is said to be the sharper, more dynamic car of the two, even in this more comfortable iteration. So it seems that the new M3 is a better compromise of comfort and performance, which could make it the more desirable overall package than the Audi RS4 Avant. So Audi Sport should be quite nervous about this new M car and look to it for inspiration for its own next rival.