Inline-six, all-wheel drive, just how the driving gods intended it to be.
While everyone is raving about the new five-cylinder turbocharged Audi RS3, the rest of the human population (actually, only Europeans) seems to have forgotten about BMW’s alternative, the M140i. Given the fact it’s not a full blown M model, it may get overlooked by badge snobs who know that Audi means nothing but business when it prefixes its model numbers with the letters “RS.” However, the specs sheet tells another story that’s not exactly indicative of the badge.
Even though the M140i is a hot hatch with a kiss from the good old M Division, it gets BMW’s built-in driver-oriented DNA that makes it a natural athlete. With a turbocharged 3.0-liter straight-six kicking 335 horsepower to the rear wheels, the M140i is more than enough of a playful heathen to put a smile on its driver's face.
On the other hand, the RS3 is no laughing matter. Audi’s quattro all-wheel drive system and a stonking 394 horsepower output means it’s sure to be the winner in a straight line, but as we’ve learned many times, straight line performance doesn't always make a car the most fun in its group. As the tail-happy car of the two, of course the BMW is the one that the mischievous among us really want to drive. However sometimes being the adult in the group is a virtue. Of course, that’s assuming you have a stitch of maturity inside.