Burnout Super Test, Part Four: 1 Series M Coupe vs. Challenger SRT8 vs. Mustang GT

Burnout Super Test, Part Four: 1 Series M Coupe vs. Challenger SRT8 vs. Mustang GT

Something Old, Something New, Something M and...Something Blue


Some people drink. Some BASE jump. Some gamble. Some cheat on their wives.

We do burnouts. Glorious, gratuitous, rubber-melting, ninny-enraging burnouts. Lots of burnouts.

Here's round four in the series.

We'll admit it: The last Burnout Super Test — the front-drive edition — was weak. So weak, in fact, that the stench of burning rubber dismissed itself before we even left the track. You see, physics preclude front hookers from producing anything remotely fulfilling in the tire-smoke department. Not to mention that front-drive bologna boiling just looks plain stupid. That, we promise, will never happen again. But we stand by the timeless value of Part One and Part Two in this sport of senselessness.

If you want to lay stripe, you do it with the rear tires. So for this battle we're bringing back a classic, welcoming a sure thing and ushering in a new contender from...wait for it...Germany.

Let the Games Begin
The "rules" remain the same this time around. Each car is given three chances to dance stripe down the tarmac and each attempt is measured independently. Where the stripe ends is left entirely to the subjective evaluation of the guy holding the tape measure. Fortunately, for this test, the black lines all had obvious stopping points.

And just like in the Wal-Mart parking lot on a Friday night, little thought is given to technique. But burnout contests are no place for subtlety. There's a simple three-step process:

  • Clutch in, select first gear.
  • Throttle down until the tachometer stops moving.
  • Sidestep clutch.

Longest stripe wins.

And that's pretty much how it goes. No point in getting technical. Burnouts exist more for emotional fulfillment than for science anyway. We won't burden you with all the emotional fulfillment we've found in Wal-Mart parking lots. Pointless as it may be, this is fun stuff. Even the ninnies don't deny that.

Here's how it went down.

Third Place: 2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0
First run: 83 feet, 5 inches
Second run: 79 feet, 1 inch
Third run: 89 feet, 1 inch

The 5.0-liter Mustang is the paradigm by which most burnout cars are assessed. As the only pony car still utilizing a solid rear axle, it's as if Ford knew this machine — even in 2011 — was destined to roast rubber.

Its 5.0-liter V8 is rated at 412 horsepower and 390 pound-feet of torque, yet it isn't the most powerful in the class. But thanks to overhead cams, it provides a satisfying high-end punch which others lack. Its transmission is strong and its clutch is indifferent to this test. But it is saddled with relatively sticky 255/40ZR19 Pirelli P Zero rubber which isn't the easiest to keep spinning.

As a result, the 'Stang refused to grab rubber in second gear which limited its runs to the numbers you see above. Sticky tires and overhead cams might not be the classic formula for boiling the hides, but the Mustang GT nonetheless provides a solid platform for satisfying the John Force in all of us.

Make no mistake; the Mustang will still get the job done.

Second Place: 2011 BMW 1 Series M Coupe
First run: 97 feet, 3 inches
Second run: 97 feet, 5 inches
Third run: 94 feet, 0 inches

It's a sad day when a road-course car from Bavaria lays a longer stripe than classic American muscle. But that's exactly what the littlest M car did. Despite having the least torque and the stickiest rubber in this contest, the M Coupe easily put the Mustang in its place.

Impressively, the M Coupe does so with only 3.0 liters of turbocharged displacement. Its inline-6 churns out 335 hp and 332 lb-ft of torque which, apparently, is enough to beat America's original pony car.

There's not enough twist on hand to keep the meats boiling into second gear, however. This isn't surprising given the level of stick provided by the 265/35ZR19 Michelin Pilot Sport PS2 rubber and the M Coupe's relatively modest 3,362-pound as-tested weight. At some point physics catch up with even the most highly motivated Baron of Burnouts.

Still, when it comes to a fulfilling burnout, the M Coupe satisfies in ways a pony car can't. It vaporizes its tires while laying down the darkest, thickest stripes of the three cars here. And it does it 8 feet, 4 inches farther than the Mustang.

First Place: 2011 Dodge Challenger SRT8
First run: 149 feet, 2 inches*
Second run: 123 feet, 0 inches*
Third run: 140 feet, 0 inches*

*Indicates runs accompanied by an additional second-gear stripe of no less than 23 feet.

Dodge introduced the Challenger SRT8 late last year to a shower of praise for its new 392 Hemi V8. That engine, of course, is part of the motivation for this contest because it produces 470 hp and 470 lb-ft of torque. Call it a sure thing.

Perhaps we shouldn't be surprised that the most powerful car in this contest (and the only one equipped with actual pushrods) is the hands-down winner. Pushrods and burnouts go together like mullets and Marlboros, after all.

And they combine here for a burnout experience better than any other. The SRT8's 255/45ZR20 Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar rubber didn't stand a chance against the 392's massive grunt. In fact, the Challenger's 149-foot pass was 35 percent better than the best the M Coupe could manage. The Challenger added insult to injury by laying down 27 feet of second-gear rubber on its best pass as well.

In the end, the Challenger annihilated its competition as easily as it turned rubber to smoke. If we're honest, it wasn't even fair. But last time we checked, there's no referee in the Wal-Mart lot on Friday nights, either.

The manufacturer provided Edmunds this vehicle for the purposes of evaluation.

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