The Audi RS3 Sportback has one major competitor — the Mercedes-AMG A45 S. Prior to the new RS3 hitting the market, it was the A45 S that stole headlines across the automotive world. Its combination of blistering pace, raucous exhaust note, and brutally effective handling made it the clear hot-hatch king. Now, though, the new Audi RS3 Sportback is here and packs a wallop as well. So which is faster?
In this new drag race comparison from Top Gear, we get to see which is fastest to 30 mph, 60 mph, and 100 mph. Both cars wore winter tires and both cars were tested on the same day, on the same track, with the same cold, damp surface. So neither car had any sort of outside advantage.
However, the AMG has an inherent advantage. Thanks to its 2.0 liter turbocharged four-cylinder, making 415 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque, and lower curb weight, the AMG has a better power-to-weight ratio than the Audi RS3. The RS3 uses a 2.5 liter turbocharged five-cylinder to make 410 horsepower and 369 lb-ft. So it’s a bit less powerful and a bit heavier.
So what are the results? Surprisingly, the Audi RS3 Sportback was the faster car. Not by much, admittedly, but the RS3 was quicker than the AMG through every speed measurement. How did the car with a worse power-to-weight ratio win in each and every test?
As it turns out, the Audi RS3 makes its peak torque figure at 2,250 rpm, whereas the AMG does make its peak torque until 5,000 rpm. Since both cars launch at around 4,000 rpm, with launch control, the Audi RS3 is in its peak powerband immediately, while the AMG needs another thousand revs to reach its own peak. That helps the RS3 jump off the line just that little bit quicker.
There’s more to it than just that, though. Audi seems to have been quite clever with how its set up and calibrated the RS3 for launch. Check out Top Gear’s comparison to learn more about it.
[Source: Top Gear]