Drag Race: 367 HP Audi RS3 vs 381 HP Mercedes A45 AMG Facelift

Drag Race: 367 HP Audi RS3 vs 381 HP Mercedes A45 AMG Facelift 1 photo
Photo: Screenshot from YouTube
Some people want to know if humans descended from apes and if the universe was made by God or regular cosmic forces. However, for the past half year, only one question has been on my mind: which one is faster between the updated A45 AMG and the brand new Audi RS3.
In October, I caught a glimpse of the action when an RS Q3 raced the GLA 45 AMG. But pocket SUVs aren't my thing, so I kept searching for a drag race video until I found this one. It comes from MOTOR, a 60-year-old Australian magazine. Right around Chrismas, they raced the two kings of the hot hatch world and came back with surprising results.

The RS3 was quicker to 100 km/h and kept its lead until crossing the finish line at 400 meters. Now, I know 400 meters is not the same thing as a quarter of a mile, but 2.3 meters of extra runway wouldn't have made a difference.

Considering some people will base their buying decision on the outcome of a drag race, we feel obliged to explain what's happening here.

Starting off with the specs, the new version of the A45 AMG uses a 381 PS 2-liter turbo engine, while the RS3 packs a 2.5-liter turbo with only 367 PS. And yes, we did check if this was the A-Class' facelift. It's hard to tell, but the Australians assure us that it is.

Audi has done wonders with the 7-speed transmission and launch control system. Some people say it's about as instantaneous as an older rally car. While the RS3 is a killer package, the Mercedes can still hold its head up high thanks to the sexier body, power-dense engine, and prestigious badge.

I said that because the A45 fans are going to call me an idiot and I want to say preemptively nice things.

Unlike with a GT-R or supercharged Corvette, tuning won't help either of these cars that much. For example, the most powerful RS3 project right now has 450 PS to offer. Still, some people will do anything to avoid losing.

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About the author: Mihnea Radu
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Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.
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