Mercedes-AMG A 45 S Drag Races Audi RS3 and old A 45

Mercedes-AMG A45 S Drag Races Audi RS3 and old A45 3 photos
Photo: YouTube screenshot/Archie Hamilton Racing
Mercedes-AMG A45 S Drag Races Audi RS3 and old A45Mercedes-AMG A45 S Drag Races Audi RS3 and old A45
The Mercedes-AMG A 45 S is the new king of hot hatchbacks, offering more power than ever from a setup that's been proven to work. However, the Audi RS3 has been around for longer and always wants to get its hands on the crown.
It wouldn't be fair for the RS3 not to mention its age. The Mk2 version came out in 2015 with 367 horsepower and a mid-life update increased that to 400 hp back in 2018. Audi is about to launch a new A3 soon, which means you won't be able to buy another RS3 until at least 2021.

On the other hand, the A 45 S is the super-fresh, offering even more power despite being down one cylinder. Only the S version makes 421 hp, though most buyers will get that anyway. The on-paper numbers clearly state that AMG's rocket is the fastest here.

The trick is not only how much power its engine makes, but how quickly the AWD system is engaged. The AMG gearbox also seems to be quicker. But the race is way closer than we expected. Everything from the condition of the tires to the driver and the turbo boost can swing this in either direction. Archie Hamilton is in his own A 45 S here, so there's no way he messes anything up.

As for the old A 45, he owned one of those as well, but admits it was slower than the 400 horsepower Audi RS3. The 381 horsepower version of the A 45 from the last decade is way down on everything, plus its AWD system reacts slower.

Interior design and quality have gone up, but because of the gas particulate filters AMG added, this 2020 exhaust system is actually a downgrade regarding sound. Also, we're not going to talk about how the A 45 S is now as expensive as soem established sports cars. Between the Supra and the Tesla Model 3, it feels like the hyper hatch market is shrinking.

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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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