2022 Audi RS3 Beats 2022 BMW M240i in Drag Race, Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 S Too

Serious question: Is the new Audi RS3 faster than a BMW M240i? These two have been competing for about a decade, since the days of the M235i, or even longer if you count the 1 Series Coupe. It’s a battle between the smallest inline-6 turbo coupe and the famous 2.5 TFSI 5-cylinder turbo. Power, weight, and traction all play their part.

There have been multiple previews of this race in the past few months. We’ve seen what the new M240i can do against an Audi S3 and saw it go up against even the Toyota Supra to see if the xDrive is necessary.

Before the race, let’s also look at the specs from the US market perspective. The 2022 Audi RS3, that’s the green car, features a revised turbo 2.5-liter inline-6 making 401 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque, a slight increase over the old sedan. Audi says it will do 62 mph in 3.8 seconds, which is a low estimate.

Meanwhile, the M240i features the latest 3.0-liter inline-6, the B58, the same as a Supra. Because of the longitudinal setup, the xDrive AWD works differently than on the other two. Despite being the biggest engine, it makes the least power, 382 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. BMW claims she’ll do 62 mph in 4 seconds.

And finally, we have the Mercedes-AMG CLA 45, the sports sedan everybody forgets about. Technically, this isn’t available in America, at least not in this “S” configuration. The smallest engine in the race, a 2.0-liter, makes the most power, about 415 hp.

However, the outcome of the drag race suggests the AMG struggles for power. And that’s sad news considering the next-gen C63 will likely feature the exact same kind of 2.0-liter turbo.

So which is the fastest, the RS3 or the M240i?

Well, Carwow had to do three races with Mat Watson behind the wheel of the M240i. In the first one, the RS3 gets a bat launch and catches up. The second one brings claims of “cheating” when the Audi pulls ahead, and the third is the convincing one. The RS3 finishes the quarter-mile in 11.9 seconds compared to 12.2 for the BMW M240i.

The rolling race actually helps explain this whole situation more clearly. There, we see the CLA 45 S, which lost every other race, pulling ahead. So it really does have all the power, but probably fails to deliver off the line, like an old Evo with a giant turbo.

So we’d say the RS3 really is quicker than an M240i, but not by much.



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