Have you seen the exterior mirrors of the new BMW M240i? They have a unique two-leg-only-one-car attachment design like modern Division vehicles. Why? Simple. BMW says the M240i is as fast as it deserves.
With standard four-wheel drive, eight gears and an output of 374 hp, the new coupé takes only 4.3 seconds to accelerate from 0 to 100 km / h. That’s as fast as the original M2, and faster than the old M3 GTS with the V8. That’s why we’ve bent the double-checking rules a bit here.
Strictly speaking, the hierarchy works like this: the standard A3 against the standard 2 Series, the S3 against the M240i and the full-fledged M2 competing against the RS 3. But the M240i is now very powerful, very fast and therefore four-wheel that this is really the most interesting fight. In addition, the new generation BMW M2 will be available only in a few months. And the RS 3 has recently learned how ‘entertainment care’ works…
Audi RS 3 Limousine and BMW M240i xDrive prices
Compared to Audi’s entry-level price, 95 mille (65 miles in Belgium), the M240i is a bargain: it costs 77,500 euros in the Netherlands and less than 59,000 euros in Belgium. Although the RS 3 sedan does not bring 400 hp to play. Both cars have 500 Nm of torque, and Audi’s S-tronic dual-clutch transmission has one gear down. But there are two additional doors on the board.
Looks good, that RS 3 sedan, or Audi RS 3 Limousine/Berline as they officially call it. You see the four-door lower more often than the hatchback; that makes it more interesting for us. It looks dense, well-organized and solid eyes on its wheels. It’s heavily sprinkled with lazy plastic ‘vents’ for the fake air intakes, but the M240i, with all its curves and corners, looks confused when you put it next to it.
BMW BMW M240i xDrive must go on a diet
And he also manages to look serious. It is: it saves an amazing 115 kg. The hotter 2-series coupe (which is now based on a shorter 4-series platform so they can stuff it with a six-cylinder and four-wheel drive in favor of rear-wheel drive) is heavier than a four-door Audi with quattro drive that you can almost use as a car of the family. How did we get here, BMW?
The weight explains why the torquey BMW feels fast, but the Audi is surprisingly, very fast. Both cars start well, but as soon as the Audi’s turbos kick in, it immediately throws itself forward, snorting and honking to 100 mph in just over three and a half seconds.
Audi RS 3 Limousine and BMW M240i xDrive engines
If the government had enough wisdom TopGear and he knew how this small family sedan could get, it would be banned. When it comes to ‘point and fire’, the RS 3 is undoubtedly the fastest car money can buy. Its five-cylinder is a more crude device than the honeyed inline six that stretches out in front of the BMW driver.
With that engine, you zip around at high speeds, and somehow it’s always in the right gear. Audi can end up close to its promotion and leave you in a hole. And when he wakes up again, he goes into shock with the steering wheel shaking.
Interior of both cars
The maturity of BMW continues in the interior: it is decorated with tasteful pieces of real metal and nice touch buttons. The RS 3 has the interior of the A3, not enough has changed. The seats don’t offer the same lumbar support as the BMW’s, the steering wheel is on the outside of the Q7 and sits upright like a pawing dog, while the BMW keeps you on the ground with your legs out. in front of you
It’s as if Audi spent months polishing the wheel arches, bumpers and wheel hubs, only to realize at 4:55 a.m. Friday that the thing has to feel like a sports car inside, too. In fact, the more time we spend with these two cars, the more we get the sense that BMW has now also learned how to ‘Listen’.
If you were to write down what you think Audi should meet, ‘chic interior, advanced technology, refinement’ would be high on the list. The M240i Coupé gives the RS 3 a makeover in all these areas. Audi is hitting back with a new way to corner it.
Driving Audi RS 3 Limousine and BMW M240i xDrive
Indeed, it was once the domain of perfectly tuned BMWs. We can’t pay Audi a higher compliment than this: when the photographer tells us to pick a car for cornering for a photo, we get into the RS 3. It’s fun, in a very predictable way: you step on the throttle, the torque-distributing differential tests the rear axle with an action of aside, you feel like a hero and that’s it.
Run to the next bend, repeat. But here come more points for BMW. The M240i’s eight-speed automatic transmission and 48-volt semi-hybrid boost ensure it’s impressively economical on the highway, where we got a consumption of better than 1 in 14. The overall average came in at 9.7 l/100 km – under a thirsty Audi, which does not go far on a full tank.
The final judgment
What? do you live in or often visit a busy city? Then you want BMW’s automatic transmission, which is smoother than the RS 3’s dual-clutch gearbox. The M240i is a complete package, but it doesn’t have a character of its own. It feels like a 4 Series, which feels like an 8 Series, which doesn’t differ enough from the old 6 Series.
It’s all confusing. But it also gives you a professional, refined and German way to drive. And it’s a small deal for the performance and handling you get. We’d pick the RS 3 because it’s been one of the biggest surprises of the past year. But if you’re out for a ride in your M240i and you see Audi’s sharp nose reflected in your new M mirrors, don’t let it scare you. His gas runs out before yours.
Winner: Audi RS 3 Limousine (16/20)
One of the surprises of the year for us and therefore beats BMW narrowly. Driving pleasure is guaranteed.
Second place: BMW BMW M240i xDrive (14/20)
All round good and better interior than Audi. It’s not very exciting, but you don’t have to fear the RS 3 in a race.
Specifications Audi RS3 Limousine
400 hp @ 5,600 rpm
500 Nm @ 2,250 rpm
0-100 km/h in 3.8 s
up to 250 km/h
8.9 l/100 km
202 g/km CO2 F label
4,542 x 1,851 x
1,412 mm (lxwxh)
55 l (petrol)
321 l (luggage)
Specifications BMW M240i xDrive
374 hp @ 5,500 rpm
500 Nm @ 1,900 rpm
0-100 km/h in 4.3 s
up to 250 km/h
8.1 l/100 km
185 g/km CO2 label E
4,548 x 1,838 x
1,404 mm (lxwxh)
52 liters (petrol)
390 l (luggage)