For awhile, the Audi RS3 Sportback was the fastest hot hatch on the market. Thanks to its punchy 2.5 liter turbocharged five-cylinder engine, it makes 400 hp and 354 lb-ft of torque. That healthy power output helps the RS3 get from 0-60 mph in less than four seconds. In fact, it’s about as fast as a much more expensive Audi RS5. However, a new hot hatch has hit the scene and it packs even more power and performance — the Mercedes-AMG A45 S.
Rather than messing around with 300-350 hp, like its competitors, the new Mercedes-AMG A45 S makes a seriously impressive 416 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque from its 2.0 liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. That’s more power and torque than the RS3 from a smaller engine with fewer cylinders.
For the record, that’s about as much horsepower as a first-gen Audi R8 (420 hp) and more torque than the V8-powered supercar (318 lb-ft). The best part (or worst, if you’re Audi)? The Mercedes-AMG A45 S can get from 0-60 mph in a claimed 3.9 seconds (though we expect the real time to be a few ticks quicker than that). So not only is it about as fast as the RS3 but it’s faster than the aforementioned R8. With a turbo-four.
We obviously haven’t driven the new Mercedes-AMG A45 S just yet, as it’s brand-spanking new. However, it’s not hard to see that it’s going to be a monster. The last-gen car was a hilarious riot of a car and, judging by the power and looks of it, this new one will be even more so.
What will be interesting to see is not if the AMG will be faster than the RS3, because it likely will be, but whether or not it handles better. While the Audi RS3 is fast, it’s not the last word in driving engagement or excitement. It’s more of a smooth, stable speed machine that’s also a practical everyday car. The Mercedes-AMG A45 S seems more like car that’s designed to be a proper lunatic but can also double as a family car if it has to. However it ends up being, it will be very fun to see how they compete.