We’ve already seen the new Audi RS3 Sportback take on the Mercedes-AMG A45 S in a drag race. From a standstill, the less powerful RS3 is actually faster than the AMG. But straight-line speed is honestly irrelevant in hot-hatches. What’s more important is driving fun. On a twisty road, the AMG A45 S is among the best front-drive-based cars on the market. Can the new Audi RS3 take it down? Top Gear recently had the chance to find out. Bastards.
Both cars look pretty similar on paper. They both have small displacement engines; a 2.0 liter turbo-four for the AMG and a 2.5 liter turbo-five for the Audi. They both make around 400 horsepower; 416 horsepower for the AMG and 401 horses for the Audi. And they’re both front-wheel drive-based cars with clever all-wheel drive systems that allow for drift modes. Not to mention the fact that they’re both five-door German hatchbacks.
However, on the road, they’re two completely different animals. The AMG, as always, is an unhinged lunatic. Its engine is violent and aggressive, its steering is hyper responsive filled with feel, and its suspension is brutally stiff. It makes up for a lot of that violence and discomfort with outstanding handling and fun, though. It’s a raucous, exciting little hot-hatch.
On the flip-side, the Audi RS3 Sportback is far more comfortable, easier to drive in normal situations, and even more practical. It’s not as exciting as the AMG but it’s not too far off. The RS3 is actually the faster car in almost all conditions but especially so in the wet. While its interior isn’t as nice as the AMG’s, it’s still not a bad place. However, TG claims that the new RS3 is the most fun Audi ever made, even more so than the Ur Quattro and R8. That’s a helluva claim.
I won’t spoil the TG review for you, as you should go and read it, but I can say that it’s a very interesting look at two cars that seem so similar on paper but couldn’t be more different in reality.
[Source: Top Gear]