Can the BMW M4 Competition Beat a Shelby GT500 in a Drag Race?

The BMW M4 Competition is a quick car, of that there’s no doubt. It’s certainly quicker than BMW claims it is — official figures claim a 0-60 mph time of 3.8 seconds. But it can’t be Shelby GT500 quick, right? The M4 Comp can punch above its weight class but the GT500 is, like, way, way above its weight class. So can the M4 really hang with the Big Snake?

In this video from Edmunds, they put both cars side-by-side for a quarter-mile drag race to find out which is fastest. Typically, you wouldn’t see these cars go head-to-head because the Shelby is a very special edition, ultra-high powered car designed almost purely for demolishing other cars in drag races. While the BMW M4 Competition is the sort of car that the average middle-class buyer can afford and live with daily. However, the M4 Comp in this test wore a sticker price of $102,000(!), which means that it better win this damn drag race.

On paper, the M4 Comp stands no chance. Its 3.0 liter twin-turbo inline-six makes 503 horsepower and 479 lb-ft of torque. It’s shocking when that much power is almost embarrassingly out-gunned in a drag race. But the Shelby GT500’s 5.2 liter supercharged V8 makes an astonishing 760 horsepower and 625 lb-ft of torque. Both cars use automatic gearboxes and both were just rear-wheel drive in this test (an all-wheel drive M4 is in the works). Though, the M4’s defense, its Bavarian horses seem to be stronger than most others, as it usually far outperforms its spec sheet. Can it do so one more time?

2022 bmw m3 m4 competition 36 830x553

Actually, sort of, yeah. From a standstill, the M4’s better launch control and more modest power allowed it to fire off the line and get a lead it never lost. In three races, the Shelby had no chance off the line, despite having almost 260 more horsepower. The GT500’s problem was the fact that it couldn’t stop spinning its tires into third gear. Which means, in the real world, all that power means nothing from a stop light.

Admittedly things changed a bit in the rolling drag races. Still, the numbers were very surprising and it’s worth checking this video out to see just how close the two are, in terms of performance, despite having a massive power differential.

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