The BMW M3 remains a performance benchmark, but it’s not invincible. Plenty of high-powered competitors can shame the sedan, but it’s still a formidable opponent regardless of the horsepower figure, as a new video demonstrates. A stock BMW M3 Competition drag races a tuned 1997 Toyota Supra Mk4 with nearly 200 more horsepower than the BMW.
The BMW M3 Competition packs a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six engine. It makes 510 horsepower and 479 pound-feet (650 Newton-meters) of torque, which is much less than the tuned Supra. It’s also at a weight disadvantage, tipping the scales at 3,813 pounds (1,730 kilograms).
Gallery: 2024 BMW M3 CS
The tuned Mk4 Supra also packs a 3.0-liter inline-six 2JZ engine, but its extensive modifications feature a large, single turbo and other tweaks. The result is 708 hp and 522 lb-ft (709 Nm) of torque that routes to the rear wheels through an eight-speed automatic gearbox. The Supra is also lighter than the M3, weighing 3,284 lbs (1,490 kgs).
The first drag race had the M3 getting the better start, but it did not hold onto the lead, with the Supra flying past it long before the pair crossed the finish line. The second drag race went sideways, literally, with the Supra struggling for traction at the start. It spun the tires, creating a cloud of smoke that allowed the M3 to get a massive lead, one so large the Toyota failed to close it before finishing second.
The two faced off in a third battle to break the tie. However, it went much like the first race, with the Supra crossing the finish line first, but not by a wide margin. It completed the quarter-mile drag race in 11.6 seconds. It took the heavier, less powerful M3 11.7 seconds.
The two then competed in a half-mile rolling drag race. The Supra’s transmission was slow to shift down, but once it did, it took off, effortlessly passing the M3 for the lead and another win. The second rolling race, with the gearboxes in manual mode, was much closer, but the Toyota still won.
The final brake test was the BMW’s other win in the battle, with the M3’s modern braking system stopping the car at a shorter distance than the Toyota. The Supra didn’t lose by a lot, though, performing better than expected for being a quarter-century old.
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