Audi S5 Duels Mercedes-AMG C43 In Not-So-Close Drag Race

The rivalry between Mercedes and Audi is as old as time, with the two German marques currently fighting across virtually all segments of the luxury market. The same holds true for their performance divisions, AMG and Audi Sport, and this drag race courtesy of Autocar India pits two of their key models – the C43 Coupe and the S5 Sportback.

Although not as exciting as the full-fat C63 and RS5, these two cars do a good job of bridging the gap between the regular versions of the C-Class and A5 and their range-topping siblings. It should be noted that while these two vehicles chosen by Autocar India compete in the same segment, the AMG has a clear advantage in terms of power. It packs 390 hp and 520 Nm (384 lb-ft) whereas the Audi Sport car has to make do with only 354 hp and 500 Nm (369 lb-ft).

They both weigh just about the same (C43 is a tad heavier) and have automatic transmissions sending power to the front and rear wheels. The two met at a drag strip in Aamby Valley City in India to settle the “dispute,” which had a somewhat predictable outcome given the AMG’s horsepower and torque advantage. The real coupe of the two cars crossed the finish line in 12.66 seconds whereas the more practical car needed 13.46 seconds.

The gap probably isn’t that big to make someone get the C43 over the S5 judging solely by the performance delivered in a drag race, but it reinforces the general belief that AMGs are hard to beat. On the other hand, we’d argue the Audi is the winner in the looks department, although it’s a matter of taste at the end of the day.

While the S5 is a much different car now in Europe due to its switch to a diesel engine, the C43 is expected to be replaced in the next generation by an electrified C53 with more power.


Adrian Padeanu

Long-time fan of the fabled Four Rings.