• Evo does a track comparison with the F20 M135i and Audi S3 hatchback

      Here is a track comparison done by the UK Magazine EVO that pits two hatchbacks we do not get in the USA against each other. One from BMW, the F20 M135i, and the other the S3 from Audi. The Audi is outgunned on paper with its 2.0 liter turbocharged four-cylinder providing 300 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque fed to all four wheels. The M135i has the N55 turbocharged inline-6 sporting 320 horsepower and 331 pound-feet of torque.


      The major difference is in the transmissions and traction offered between the two. The M135i in the comparison has the 8-speed automatic whereas the Audi S3 has an S-Tronic dual clutch gearbox. A manual transmission is available as an option for both. The Audi of course has Quattro traction but the M135i sends power to the rear wheels and does not have a limited slip differential (although an option for one through the BMW M Performance Parts catalog is coming).

      The reviewer states the M135i gets a bit squirrely due to this and just somewhat struggles to put the power down especially in comparison to the S3. He says the car is crying for the limited slip differential and he will get no argument here as he is completely correct. The laptime? 1:26.6.

      The S3 is slightly lighter weighing in at a svelte 3,186 pounds (the two door hatch version which should have been used is about 100 pounds lighter). Do not expect the US Audi S3 sedan to get close to this weight as the 2.0T A3 sedan comes in at 3630 pounds. Understeer is a problem with the S3 along with having less power sent to all four wheels which means greater drivetrain losses. Its laptimes is over a full second slower at 1:27.7.

      3.0 liter six cylinder turbo versus 2.0 liter four-cylinder turbo is not exactly fair you might say. However, Audi is planning to up the output significantly to the 375+ horsepower range. If an S3+ model is produced, it should turn the tables fairly easily. As of right now though the M135i is the faster car and would have lapped even quicker with a limited slip differential. This gives us a nice preview of the S3 sedan versus the M235i in the USA though and it looks like the M235i will come out on top fairly easily if equipped with an LSD.

      This article was originally published in forum thread: Evo does a track comparison of the F20 M135i and Audi S3 hatchback started by Sticky View original post
      Comments 12 Comments
      1. BlackJetE90OC's Avatar
        BlackJetE90OC -
        Sounds like the Audis are getting a little more tail happy. Nice to hear.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by BlackJetE90OC Click here to enlarge
        Sounds like the Audis are getting a little more tail happy. Nice to hear.
        He says it is more fun than before but it still understeers like crazy and the weight distribution still stinks. Its better but it can't beat a BMW without an LSD...
      1. Nugs's Avatar
        Nugs -
        I had a 2008 3 door S3 hatch with Stage 2+ APR bolt ons, bigger rear sway bar and Whiteline Anti lift kit.
        Was a fun little car and it actually handled pretty nicely with those two simple suspension mods.
      1. Nugs's Avatar
        Nugs -
        Still have some pics online
        Click here to enlarge

        Had great seats
        Click here to enlarge
      1. BlackJetE90OC's Avatar
        BlackJetE90OC -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        He says it is more fun than before but it still understeers like crazy and the weight distribution still stinks. Its better but it can't beat a BMW without an LSD...
        He didn't mention understeer.

        Quote: "An Audi with a sense of humor, which is a rare thing." "It does like to get sideways into corners." "Quite fun when you are trying to hoon it around."

        He just says it is down on power and little less composed. Not surprising it felt under powered considering it is a 4 vs 6 cylinder.
      1. maxnix's Avatar
        maxnix -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        He says it is more fun than before but it still understeers like crazy and the weight distribution still stinks. Its better but it can't beat a BMW without an LSD...
        FWD of the chassis is the flaw. If the engine is hung over the front axle or even in front of it, polar moment of inertia is screwed.

        The M235i is a F22, I believe.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by BlackJetE90OC Click here to enlarge
        He didn't mention understeer.

        Quote: "An Audi with a sense of humor, which is a rare thing." "It does like to get sideways into corners." "Quite fun when you are trying to hoon it around."

        He just says it is down on power and little less composed. Not surprising it felt under powered considering it is a 4 vs 6 cylinder.
        He did at 7:17 with the word 'push' implying understeer. He also mentions you get the front to bite which is a problem in Audi's (understeer) he has to push the rear out. So, it does understeer.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by maxnix Click here to enlarge
        The M235i is a F22, I believe.
        Yes, it is. Why are you mentioning this?
      1. BlackJetE90OC's Avatar
        BlackJetE90OC -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        He did at 7:17 with the word 'push' implying understeer. He also mentions you get the front to bite which is a problem in Audi's (understeer) he has to push the rear out. So, it does understeer.
        You had mentioned it understeered like crazy. I just didn't get that feeling from what he was trying to get across to viewers.

        When was the last time you saw an Audi review where the reviewer was talking about getting the rear end out and the car having adjustable? Maybe the old R8 reviews.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by BlackJetE90OC Click here to enlarge
        I just didn't get that feeling from what he was trying to get across to viewers.
        Really? That's the feeling I got when he said the slower corners affected the Audi as it couldn't put the power down. So, tight turns = understeer.

        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by BlackJetE90OC Click here to enlarge
        When was the last time you saw an Audi review where the reviewer was talking about getting the rear end out and the car having adjustable? Maybe the old R8 reviews.
        Yep, just the R8. Obviously this S3 is a step forward from the last one but it still has some of the characteristic Audi traits like plowing when it gets tight.
      1. Brey335i's Avatar
        Brey335i -
        I'm pretty sure I saw a drunk girl downtown last night with the exact same cross-eyed face as the F20...
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Brey335i Click here to enlarge
        I'm pretty sure I saw a drunk girl downtown last night with the exact same cross-eyed face as the F20...
        Hah!