You’d think a drag race between the Audi RS4 Avant and Mercedes-AMG A45 S wouldn’t be a fair fight because they’re playing in different leagues. One has a twin-turbo 2.9-liter V6 engine while the other has to make do with a single-turbo 2.0-liter four-cylinder unit. The Audi Sport wagon pumps out a healthy 444 horsepower (331 kilowatts) and 443 pound-feet (600 Newton-meters) of torque whereas the hot hatch “only” has 416 hp (310 kW) and 369 lb-ft (500 Nm).
What happens when you pit the world’s most powerful four-cylinder car against Audi’s desirable wagon in a drag race? Well, YouTuber Archie Hamilton Racing asked himself the same question and organized a duel between the two. He took a pre-facelift variant of the RS4 Avant and Affalterbach’s latest variant of its high-powered hatchback.
It should be noted that while the A45 S is considerably down on power, it’s much lighter than its wagon opponent. We’re looking at an extra 240 kilograms (529 pounds) the RS4 has to carry around, which obviously impacts performance in a drag race. Both have all-wheel drive, but while the AMG has a dual-clutch eight-speed automatic transmission, the Audi Sport model uses an eight-speed Tiptronic with a single clutch.
While the first drag race was not conclusive due to the poor launch of the RS4, the second duel had a similar outcome. Even though the Avant pulled ahead at first, the A45 S managed to catch up and take the lead. With AMG stating a 3.9-second time for the 0-62 mph (0-100 km/h) sprint while Audi says its car needs 4.1 seconds, perhaps we should’ve seen this one coming. However, it’s still rather surprising to see the A45 S punch above its class.
Perhaps more surprising is that the RS4 lost in the rolling race from 30 mph when theoretically the bigger and more powerful engine should’ve given it an advantage. That wasn’t the case as the AMG took the win with ease to the disappointment of Archie Hamilton.
At the end of the day, most people aren’t buying the RS4 Avant to drag race it. They like it for being an all-in-one car with loads of practicality, performance, tech, and luxury. That being said, hardcore Audi fans certainly have a hard time getting used to the idea a car from a class below can beat it in a drag race.