Once upon a time, not too long ago, buyers rarely cross shopped between Subarus and BMWs, but now, with the way that the Bavarian brand has expanded its range into most segments of the market, many of its cars directly challenge the Japanese brand's models in terms of specs and surprisingly, pricing as well.
A prime example is the newly launched in Europe BMW M135i hatchback, which with 316bhp (320PS) and 450Nm (332 lb-ft) from its turbocharged 3.0-liter straight, the option of either RWD or AWD configurations, and a UK starting price of £30,555 for the six-speed manual 3d and £31,970 for the 8-speed auto 3d model, matches the Subaru WRX STi.
The latter sports a 2.5-liter turbocharged flat-four delivering 296bhp and 407Nm (300 lb-ft) in standard guise carrying an OTR price of £32,995, and 316bhp (320PS) and 450Nm 450Nm (332 lb-ft) in 320R trim, which costs an extra £1,599.
So, which one is the better car on the track? Well, that's the question British car magazine Auto Express set to find out in its latest video review pitting the two models against each other on the Blyton Park circuit.
Before you watch the clip, allows us to note that journalist Owen Mildenhall is wrong about the BMW featuring a dual-clutch semi-automatic transmission, as the M135i is offered exclusively with a 6-speed manual or a conventional 8-speed automatic.