What you say is only close to being true in this latest generation, not historically. What 3 series compares to a 2005 S4? 340bhp, 4.2l V8? Nothing. Back then, the 3.2 Quattro was the direct comparison to the top end 6 pots of the 3 series. In the same generation, the RS4 had 420bhp and a blown 4.2l V8. The S6 from the same generation had a 5.2l V8 with 435bhp and the RS6 that followed had a 5.0l V10 with 580bhp. The top end 5 series from the same generation had a 5.0l V8 with 360bhp and the M5 came out with the 5.0l V10 and 510bhp. Again, the RS versions and M cars compare and compete but the S cars never had a direct competitor.
Traditionally, the S cars from Audi have sat between the top end standard BMWs and the M cars and BMW have not had a direct competitor. This is still the case today except BMW have bridged the gap a little a the top end of their standard cars. The 335i is closer to the S4 than any previous 3 series has ever been in the same way that the 550i is closer to the S6 than any previous generation but this has only just become the case.
"Sleeper 335D xDrive M Sport" Glacier Silver / Black
ZMS | ZNP | ZVI | 2VF | 2VL | 3AG | 494 | 6NS | 8TH