There are 12 cylinders, four turbos, and 1,020 horsepower between the two.

Whenever BMW releases a new version of the M3, it’s always best to compare it to the competition. Often, it’s compared against the Mercedes-AMG C63. However, the new M3 Competition sits squarely against the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio. Both the BMW and Alfa produce 510 horsepower (380 kilowatts)

This isn’t a hardcore, data-driven comparison. The M3 Competition doesn’t go on sale until next summer, but we can compare the two on paper. The BMW has incredible performance, but the aging Alfa still brings plenty to the table while packing a sizable punch.

The Competition Aims At The Biscione

It’s no coincidence that the new BMW M3 produces 510 hp in its top Competition form. That’s the same output as the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio. Another similarity between the two is their green paint. The M3 features a metallic Isle of Man Green that looks nearly identical to the Montreal Green Alfa offers on the Quadrifoglio.

Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio MY 2020, la prova
Nuova BMW M3

Where those two differ is in their style. Both are extreme four-door sedans that offer a high level of performance. The BMW pushes the car’s design with the large kidney grille and aggressive, angular styling. The Alfa sports its iconic triangular grille and badge..

Tipping The Scales

The German sedan is the larger offering of the two. It measures 16 centimeters (6.3 inches) longer and 3 cm (1.18 in) wider. However, even though both are slightly different sizes, the trunks both swallow 480 liters (16.9 cubic feet) of cargo.

  Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio BMW M3 Competition
Doors / Seats 4/5 4/5
Length

4.63 (182.3 in)

4.79 m (188.6 in)

Width

1.87 m (73.6 in)

1.90 m (74.8 in)

Height

1.43 m (56.3 in)

1.43 m (56.3 in)

Wheelbase

2.82 m (111 in)

2.85 m (112.5 in)

Cargo

480 liters (16.9 cubic feet)

480 liters (16.9 cubic feet)
Curb Weight 1,620 kg (3,571 lbs) 1,730 kg (3,813 lbs)

Put the two super saloons on a scale, and you’ll see a 110-kilogram (242-pound) weight difference. The Giulia wins at a hefty 1,620 kg (3,571 lbs) with the M3 Competition not doing any better at 1,730 kg (3,813 lbs).

Six Cylinders, Two Turbos, A Winning Recipe

Given the incredible performance achieved by Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio and the promise of the new BMW M3, it is necessary to take a closer look at the technique and mechanics of these top sports sedans.

  Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio BMW M3 Competition
Engine 2.9-liter, Twin-Turbo V6

3.0-liter, Twin-Turbo Inline-6

Horsepower

510 HP @ 6,500 rpm (380 kW)

510 HP @ 6,250 rpm (380 kW)

Torque

600 Nm @ 2,500-5,500 rpm (442 lb-ft)

650 Nm @ 2,750-5,500 rpm (479 lb-ft)

Drive

Rear-Wheel Drive

All-Wheel Drive

Transmission 

8-Speed Automatic

8-Speed Automatic

What they have in common is a six-cylinder, twin-turbo engine – in-line on the German and V on the Italian. Both have a displacement close to 3.0 liters and identical power – 510 hp. In terms of maximum torque, the BMW prevails slightly, but the Alfa Romeo develops it at a slightly lower speed. Both are equipped with an eight-speed automatic transmission.

Rear vs. (Almost) All-Wheel Drive

A fundamental difference between the two challengers is traction. The M3 Competition powers all four wheels even though the BMW allows you to choose rear-wheel bias through the M xDrive system. The Alfa is only available with rear-wheel drive.

Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio m.y. 2020
Nuova BMW M3

The non-Competition BMW M3 is available with rear-wheel drive, but power is down to 480 hp (357 kW) with a manual gearbox, which is not comparable to the Quadrifoglio.

Speed Matters

Today’s sports sedans offer incredible performance, and that’s no difference between the Alfa and the BMW. Both claim a 3.9-second time to run from zero to 100 kilometer per hour (62 miles per hour). However, compare their top speeds, and the Giulia wins at 307 kph (190 mph). The M3 Comp requires the optional M Driver’s package to unlock the model’s top speed, and even then, it only reaches 290 kph (180 mph).

  Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio BMW M3 Competition
Top Speed 307 kph (190 mph)

250 kph
(290 kph w/ M Diver's Package) (180 mph)

0-100 kph (0-62 mph)

3.9 seconds

3.9 seconds

Fuel Consumption (NEDC)

9.1 l/100 km

10.2 l/100 km

Emissions (NEDC)

206 g/km

234 g/km

Fuel consumption may not matter to these cars’ owners, but the Giulia again comes out on top, according to WLTP homologation data.

Accounting For Price

last aspect to consider is the price. Again, the Alfa has the upper hand with a base price of €90,500 ($105,477 at current exchange rates). The M3 Competition is nearly €10,000 more expensive at €100,400 ($117,016).