The tiny Arosa hatch packs 550 horsepower.
This is a race you never thought you’d see. Then again, this isn’t your typical drag race. There are a host of BMW M5 drag race videos where it competes against one of its main rivals, the Mercedes-AMG E63 S – you can watch a few here, here, and here. While the engineers at BMW had their sights set on beating AMG at all cost, they should have been watching out for this spritely SEAT Arosa diesel.
Now, this isn’t your normal Arosa by any stretch of the imagination. This diesel-power hatchback has a few modifications, allowing it to producing 550 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque. All that power goes through a six-speed manual gearbox to the beefy front tires. It has a curb weight of just 1,763 pounds. That weight-to-power ratio is super beneficial to the SEAT.
Comparatively, the BMW M5 produces 591 horsepower and 554 pound-feet of torque, sending power to all four wheels through an eight-speed automatic gearbox. It tips the scales at 4,089 pounds. The BMW weighs more than double the SEAT.
When the drag race starts, the BMW M5 does get a clear lead ahead of the Arosa. It takes the SEAT five seconds to hit 60 miles per hour and 8.2 seconds to hit 100 mph. However, it only takes the BMW 3.5 seconds to hit 60 mph and 7.6 seconds to reach 100 mph. You can see the SEAT struggle to gain traction off the line, with the horsepower and torque overpowering the front wheels.
However, the BMW’s lead doesn’t last long. Just after the 100-mph mark, the SEAT not only catches up but gains a sizable lead ahead of the M5. The standing quarter-mile time for the M5 was 11.6 seconds while its half-mile time came in at 18.0 seconds. The SEAT barely beat the M5 in the quarter-mile race at 11.5 seconds. The Arosa earned a 17.65-half-mile time.
No, this race isn’t fair. The SEAT has the clear advantage with its lower curb weight and higher output. It is handicapped by being front-wheel drive, but it wasn’t enough of a disadvantage for BMW to exploit.
Source: Autocar via YouTube