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HOW DOES AUDI’S NEW RS3 COMPARE TO MERCEDES-AMG A45?

Can the stronger 295-kW Audi RS3 outperform the 280-kW Mercedes-AMG A45? Let us read on and find out more about these hot and powerful hatchbacks.

WHAT ARE THEIR POWERTRAINS LIKE?

According to its specifications, the Audi S3 has a 2.5-litre, 5-cylinder, 295-kW, turbo engine, providing 480 Nm of torque. It can accelerate to 100 km/h in 4.1 seconds. The RS3 is also connected to a Quattro 4-wheel powertrain, and this could give it the edge over the Mercedes-AMG A45 on the race track, or on winding uphill roads.

In comparison, the Mercedes-AMG A45 is not as powerful. It has a 2-litre, turbocharged, 4-cylinder engine with power output of 280 kW. Both cars use 7-speed dual clutch transmissions.

Even though the AMG is easier to control on the track and quicker in the corners, will it be able to keep up with the more powerful RS3? According to TopGear, the RS3 is the most powerful and the fastest hatchback on the market, and is also more expensive than the AMG.

THE INTERIOR AND EXTERIOR

The AMG feels great inside, despite the cabin not having much space. The RS3’s interior is also amazing. Although having an ancient-looking console, the AMG boasts of metal paddles, as well as a new mode switch that has four settings, namely, Comfort, Sport, Sport Plus, and Individual. It also has an AMG Dynamic Plus package. The RS3 had better front and rear seats, made of excellent leather, and providing great back and bottom support. The back seats were definitely more comfortable around town compared to the AMG. The AMG’s drive-mode selector, a knob near the gear lever, was quicker and easier to use than the equivalent button in the RS3. In the case of the RS3, it has plastic paddles, and its gear lever is the A3 type.

The outside look of the RS3 looks considerably more powerful compared to the AMG, which has a body shell looking atypical of what Mercedes can usually provide.

WHAT ABOUT THEIR GENERAL PERFORMANCE?

When starting the RS3, you hear a smooth response from the 2.5-litre engine. The AMG on the other hand sounds a lot rougher when starting its 2-litre engine. The AMG goes fast, and just wants you to reach the 7000 rpm limiter as soon as possible. But the RS3 is definitely faster, in fact, strikingly faster. This outstandingly fast car is quick off the mark, but also with its gear changes. Although the RS3 can change down faster compared to the AMG, its brakes are not as powerful compared to the huge discs of the AMG.

Regarding fuel economy, the AMG does 7.3 litres/100 km, compared to the RS3’s 8.3 litres/100 km. However, on a test drive, the AMG performed on average at 10.1 litres/100 km, but consumption rose to 12.3 litres/100 km when driven fast. The RS3’s fuel economy was 8.8 litres/100 km on the freeway, but achieved an overall 10.1 litres/100 km.

PERFORMANCE TESTING – WHICH ONE FEATURED THE BEST?

In a test comparison, the Audi RS3 engine did not appear to be stressed, whereas the smaller AMG 2-litre engine seemed to be maximizing its power output. The AMG accelerated to 100 km/h in 4.2 seconds, whereas the RS3 reached the same speed in 4.3 seconds. The AMG took 2.9 seconds to come to a dead stop, covering a distance of 37.8 m, whilst the RS3 also required 2.9 seconds, for a distance of 37.6 m. Using their launch control feature, both the AMG and the RS3 did equally well, but the AMG had to stop and cool down after 2 races, whereas the RS3 happily completed 4 runs with no problems.

TESTING BOTH HATCHBACKS ON THE ROAD

Compared to the AMG, the Audi RS3 came into its own in traffic, because of its excellent dual-clutch transmission. The RS3 is a car that can easily be driven in traffic every day of the week.

As part of the road test, a 1-hour drive was planned through Brisbane’s CBD and Fortitude Valley. Both cars were in their Comfort mode, with air-conditioners working at maximum. It wasn’t long before the AMG was having temperature issues even though it was basically still in second gear. The RS3 had no temperature problems. Some time later, the AMG showed tyre pressure errors, and the adaptive headlights failed. Fuel consumption of both cars in thick traffic was identical at 3.9 litres for the distance covered.

HOW DO BOTH FEATURE ON THE TRACK?

The AMG managed a best lap time of 1:04.92, and second best being 1:05.04. The RS3 on the other hand, had a best lap time of 1:04.60, with the second best being 1:04.92. A second track test was suggested, because the lap times achieved by both cars were so close. This time, the AMG did a best lap time of 1:04.76, with the RS3 with a best time identical to the previous one – 1:04.60. Again, both cars proved to be almost equal on the track. After the track tests, the test driver shared some interesting observations. The AMG tended to understeer to the point that the only way to regain traction was to reduce speed. On the other hand, although the RS3 had more body roll, it was definitely the best hatch that could be driven fast. The test driver preferred the RS3, which to him behaved more like a rally car, especially in the corners. He found the AMG so rigid that the understeer could only be controlled through slowing the car down.

SOME CONCLUSIONS

It is obvious that it cannot be conclusively stated that the RS3 beat the AMG, seeing the time difference of the best laps of both cars was only 16 milliseconds. Just to put this time difference into the correct perspective, it takes 100 – 150 milliseconds to blink one’s eyes.

GET A CAR INSURANCE QUOTE THAT’S WORTH COMPARING

By comparing these two hot hatchbacks, we have seen that they are indeed marvels of engineering. Don’t stop there when it comes to comparing things. It is worth your while to compare your insurance quotes to make sure you get yourself the best deal that you feel suits your needs. You can get a quick, affordable quote via PMD’s online car insurance platform.

Sources:

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