While the rivalry between the Audi RS4 and BMW M3 hasn’t been as prolific as, say, Mustang v Camaro, it’s certainly one that fans enjoy. Plus, it’s always interesting to see two very different ways to make a performance car from small, executive sport sedans/wagons. Now, though, the two cars might not have too many differences.
The biggest difference between the Audi RS4 and the BMW M3 has always been in their drivetrains. While the RS4 is obviously all-wheel drive, the BMW M3 has always been rear-wheel drive. That’s always given the RS4 a bit of a traction advantage for straight-line performance and bad weather handling. While the M3 has always been the sharper car on track due to its rear-drive nature. Now, though, the bridge between the two cars might be closing.
It’s said that the upcoming BMW M3 will actually come in two flavors: rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive. Though it’s not quite clear if the latter car will have the same “2WD” drift mode like the new all-wheel drive BMW M5 and AMG E63. Either way, customers will be able to spec their BMW M3 with all-wheel drive for the very first time, which should drastically increase sales in markets with rough winters.
With all-wheel drive, the BMW M3 won’t have as much of a disadvantage to the Audi RS4 in bad weather, nor in a straight line. So the folks at Audi Sport might need to start getting worried about the upcoming M3. Even more reason for concern, the next BMW M3 is said to be getting over 500 hp in its ‘Competition’ spec. That’s a lot more than the 450 hp from the Audi.
A smart move to counter this would be for Audi to release some sort of RS4 “Plus” with around 500 hp and even sharper handling. That would give it the necessary firepower to contend with this next-generation of M3. Though, we’re not sure that’s going to happen. What we do know is that this next-gen battle between Audi RS4 and BMW M3 is going to be bigger than ever.