A moment of bliss to get away from the debate about the massive kidney grilles on the current G80 M3, this is what the (drag) race we have here provides. And that’s because it pits the ex-gen F80 M3 against the Dodge Challenger Hellcat in what is a “period-accurate” velocity battle.
Given that the Hellcat twins are still alive and kicking-the Challenger even spanked the Mustang’ and the Camaro’s posteriors in the 2021 sales race-people naturally compare this to the in-showrooms-since-2020 G80 M3 and M4. However, if we are to build on the time detail delivered in the intro, we’ll remind you that both the Hellcats and the retired F80 M3 entered production in 2014.
And while many enthusiasts like to compare the Hellcat, albeit in Charger trim, to the M5, if you’re looking for a balanced-pricing battle, the M3 is the German to measure up against the Dodge brothers (pun intended), since we’re looking at mid-$60,000 starting prices.
Having established that this speed brawl is more than a production made for our pure enjoyment, we’ll move on to the details of the fight.
There’s no prepped surface in this race
As YouTuber Sam CarLegion aptly mentions in the clip at the bottom of the story, these two battle an average tarmac arena, as a prepped surface would’ve had the potential to give the American a hefty advantage.
Note that this is the Hellcat as we used to know it back when it debuted: no 800 hp extra topping and no Widebody-introduced fatter rear tires to help with getting off the line. Oh, and it’s the eight-speed auto, which, by the way, is currently the only version you can buy, as the six-speed manual has been temporarily withdrawn.
Then again, the Bimmer has an ace up its sleeve, as its twin-turbo 3.0-liter straight-six has been pushed around 60 hp further for a total of 490 hp. And this is what you call a Stage 1 tune for the F80 M3, a car, that, by the way, can be seen here in its seven-speed, dual-clutch form.
The Dodge and the BMW kick things off with a pair of standing starts, after which they engage in two rolling-start brawls. The first on-the-move race involves using the paddles to shift, while the second lets the vehicles go about their business in fully automatic mode. And all we can say is that the victory wasn’t flawless.