recently conducted another track comparison review involving the BMW 1-series M Coupe. Stepping into the ring this time were the Audi RS 3
and the Ford Focus RS 500
. This follows their previous review
pitting the 1M against the Cayman R.
The results? The BMW 1M wins, with the Audi finishing second and the Ford last
. As seen in the test data below, the Audi with its AWD Quattro is the quickest in a straight line. The Audi also offers the most compliant ride according to Autobild. However, once the cars hit the track, the tide quickly turned. The 1M was already roughly 4 tenths faster than the RS 3 after the first lap. The gap opened further in subsequent laps due to the Audi's front weight, AWD bias, and tire/brake fade. The Ford Focus RS 500 did surprisingly well, but couldn't overcome its FWD configuration.
Below is a video from the comparison test (in German). The performance test results and select translated text is also below for your reference.
| ||BMW 1M||Audi RS3||Ford Focus RS500|
|0 - 50 kph||2.0 s||1.5 s||2.5 s|
|0 - 100 kph||4.8 s||4.2 s||5.8 s|
|0 - 200 kph||17.8 s||17.0 s||19.9 s|
|60 - 100 kph||2.3 s||2.2 s||2.7 s|
|80 - 120 kph||2.9 s||2.9 s||3.3 s|
|Weight||1536 kg - 3386 lb||1668 kg - 3677 lb||1502 kg - 3311 lb|
|Weight Distribution F/R||52/48 %||60/40 %||63/37 %|
|Braking Distance 100 kph||36.8/34.6 m||33.5/33.0 m||36.9/35.6 m|
|Fuel Consumption||10.9 l / 21.6 mpg||10.6 l / 22.2 mpg||11.8 l / 20 mpg|
|Conclusion||250 points||248 points ||246 points|
BMW shows in an impressive way that they're still able to build true sports cars. The RS3 however is too much like a regular A3 - and not a sports car. The Focus RS 500 almost seems like a street-legal rallye car.
On the BMW 1M
Munich does more than just fitting a big engine as they've built a dedicated sports car. The 1M is quick, sharp, and our winner.
On the Audi RS 3
If you're looking far a very fast small car for every day use or to show off the Audi is for you. The RS3 shows an amazing grip level, but the tires can't keep up long enough on a track.
On the Focus RS 500
The Focus RS500 is better than 'also ran' - it's just the best FWD sports car currently on offer. The layout doesn't allow more than third place though.
On Audi RS3's brakes and tires wear
The Audi's tires show heavy wear and the initially good brakes begin to fade after just one lap on the track [Contidrom Germany]. The culprit is found easily: Its front-biased AWD, the e-diff using the front brakes to simulate a limited slip differential and the car's weight [200kg more over the front axle compared to 1M]. The RS3 isn't a car for the race track.