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Power Wars: Audi RS3 vs Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG

With Mercedes recently infusing more oomph into its A45 AMG pocket rocket, the Audi RS3 has lost the compact power crown. The German premium marques keep telling us that power wars are over, but you and I know that’s not true and chances are the engineers working in the engine department will always try to find out ways to squeeze even more power even from small engines such as the A45 AMG’s 2.0-liter turbo.

As a matter of fact, the latest iteration of Affalterbach’s unit has been massaged to deliver 381 PS and 475 Nm, up from the previous 360 PS and 450 Nm. This means the Audi RS3 Sportback is no longer the most powerful compact hatch in the world as despite having a larger 5-cylinder 2.5-liter turbo engine, it “only” delivers 367 PS and 465 Nm. The officials from Ingolstadt said earlier this year there won’t be an RS3 Plus to up the power ante, but now with the A45 AMG on top of the rankings, we won’t be too surprised if the top brass at Audi will change their minds.

2016 Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG
2016 Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG

One more reason to doubt statements regarding the end of power wars has to do with Mercedes-Benz’s announcement to make the A45 AMG even beefier. The Daimler-owned marque has already said an all-new four-cylinder turbocharged gasoline engine is being prepared for the next-gen A45 where it will provide more than 400 PS. Mercedes-AMG CEO Tobias Moers mentioned that it’s important for the brand to have the most powerful car in its segment to attract more buyers. In other words, it’s not like the car actually needs extra power as it’s more about bragging rights.

We focused on Audi and Mercedes-Benz, but let’s not forget Volkswagen is cooking up a production version of the Golf R400 concept which is believed to have more than 400 PS from a relatively small 2.0-liter turbo, so it’s safe to say that power wars are far from being over.

Adrian Padeanu

Long-time fan of the fabled Four Rings.