Power, performance, and price are independent factors when cooking up a car. There is a correlation, yes, but the Chevy Corvette also exists. These discrepancies are everywhere, and a new Carwow video puts them on full display by pitting a base Porsche 911 Carrera against a BMW M3 Competition. The two are close in price, but there is a noticeable gap in power that might not reflect itself in the performance data.
The M3 Competition is a beast with its twin-turbo 3.0-liter straight-six engine. It produces 510 horsepower (380 kilowatts) and 479 pound-feet (650 Newton-meters) of torque. It sends all that power to the rear wheels through an eight-speed automatic gearbox. It’s also a beast on the scales, weighing in at 3,813pounds (1,730 kilograms).
Gallery: 2021 BMW M3 Competition: First Drive
The Porsche is down on power, making 385 hp (287 kW) and 331 lb-ft (450 Nm) of torque from its twin-turbo 3.0-liter flat-six engine. Power routes to the rear through Porsche’s eight-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox. The Porsche is lighter, too, at 3,317 lbs (1,505 kg).
The Porsche’s rear-mounted engine gives it an advantage in the first two races. It launches off the line, putting several car lengths between it and the BMW before crossing the finish line. The second race is a bit closer, though the Porsche’s superior start keeps the M3 at bay, crossing the quarter-mile finish line in 11.7 seconds. It took the BMW 11.8.
The next two races were rolling starts, negating the Porsche’s advantage. In these two races, the BMW’s extra power allows it to leave the 911 in the dust. The BMW has a lot of power on tap once it gets going. The final challenge to break the tie is a brake test. The Porsche’s shorter nose – or BMW’s long hood that houses the straight-six engine – give the 911 its third win. The two might have a similar price tag, but they have different performance traits. The video highlights that cars are about more than numbers.