We’ve seen our fair share of lopsided drag racing, but this one takes the proverbial cake. A crummy scooter is surely no match for an M car, is it? We’d normally agree, but this isn’t your ordinary Vespa. Come to think of it, the E92 BMW M3 isn’t exactly standard either, so the result might make your Sunday a little more fun.

In one corner we have a rare UK spec M3 E92 Coupe Limited Edition 500 finished in Santorini Blue. Its naturally aspirated V8 produced 420 horsepower a decade ago when the car was released. However, the 4.0-liter S65 now produces 430 hp thanks to a custom exhaust, cold air intake and software remapping.

The M3 E92 rolls on Michelin Pilot Sport 4 road tires and tips the scales at around 1,600 kilograms (3,527 pounds). Doing the math, it has a power-to-weight ratio of around 268 hp/metric ton. It comes from a time when M3s were strictly RWD, and this example has seven-speed DCT as an option. In 2012, BMW UK also offered the Edition 500 with a six-speed manual gearbox.

BMW M3 Limited Edition 500 1 830x525

The Bavarian machine takes on a two-wheeled contender, a Vespa 50 Special with a swapped 150cc air-cooled engine. It originally produced a huge four horsepower and now it pushes out a mighty 43 hp. Yes, the M3 E92 has ten times the power, but the little scooter weighs only 85 kg (187 pounds). Coincidentally, this gives it the same power-to-weight ratio as the BMW.

The M3 E92’s S65 V8 can spin at 8,300 rpm, but the scooter’s small but mighty monopot screams at 14,500 rpm. The Vespa is much faster in both drag races, but the M3 catches up and ultimately takes the win. The car and scooter were neck and neck in the early part of the roll races before the V8 proved its worth.

We know which of the two we would have and it is not the scooter. Riding in this two-wheeled madness takes a lot of courage, to say the least. We prefer to be surrounded by airbags and protected by a seat belt in the event of an accident.


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