Why Is the Audi S3 Sedan Faster Than the Mercedes-AMG CLA 35?

Why Is the Audi S3 Sedan Faster than the Mercedes-AMG CLA 35? 2 photos
Photo: YouTube screenshot/Carwow
Why Is the Audi S3 Sedan Faster than the Mercedes-AMG CLA 35?
Audi is about one month or two away from revealing the all-new A3. But that will be just a hatchback at first, and the S3 won't be added until at least the end of 2020. So it's probably worth it to compare the old S3 sedan against the new Mercedes-AMG CLA 35.
Both of these cars fall under the "hasn't existed before" category. Yes, we're talking about the second generation of the CLA, but the 35 AMG model has just been built as a response to the Golf R and the Audi S3. On the other hand, the Audi S3 has always been a hatchback from a maker of hatchbacks that, in 2014, decided to take on the American market.

With big hips and a compact footprint, these four-door cars are undoubtedly very sexy. But it's obvious that the CLA has many advantages. This fresh generation has better proportions combined with one of the most interesting interiors ever and frameless doors, as a coupe should have.

But how angry a car looks has nothing to do with the way it handles or accelerates. Even though the development of these two cars was done years apart, they have nearly identical powertrains, consisting of 2-liter turbo engines sending about 300 hp and 400 Nm of torque to all four wheels.

But Carwow got a few surprises when racing the cars. Not only are they a little bit faster than officially claimed, but the S3 is a little quicker, even though it's so old that it will soon go out of production. More specifically, the CLA 35 was measured at 0 to 60 in 4.7 seconds and the S3 in just 4.3 seconds. So do you really need an RS3? Yeah, of course, you do; it sounds way better.

Yet acceleration is only part of the experience, with the review saying that the CLA 35 is more interesting, better value and more engaging to drive.

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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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