Three of the fastest compact cars in the market, the BMW M2 CS, Mercedes-AMG A45 S and Audi RS3 Sportback, met on an empty airfield to settle their differences once and for all in a series of challenges.
Despite offering similar straight-line performance, they’re actually very different, with the M2 CS being rear-wheel drive and the other two being built on front-biased all-wheel drive platforms, with the A45 S featuring a Drift mode.
The Bimmer’s 3.0-liter inline-six has two more cylinders than the Merc’s and one more compared to the Audi, and it produces 444 HP (450 PS / 331 kW) and 406 lb-ft (550 Nm) of torque. The A45’s 2.0-liter turbo-four delivers 415 HP (421 PS / 310 kW) and 369 lb-ft (500 Nm), whereas the pre-facelifted RS3’s 2.5-liter five-banger used to make 362 HP (367 PS / 270 kW) and 343 lb-ft (465 Nm). However, this is a privately-owned car that has been tuned to 444 HP (450 PS / 331 kW) and 553 lb-ft (750 Nm).
For the nought to 60 mph (0-96 km/h) sprint, you are looking at 4.0 seconds in the manual and 3.8 seconds in the DCT M2 CS, 3.8 seconds in the A45 S and 4.3 seconds in the stock RS3 Sportback. Flat-out, they will do 174, 168 and 174 mph (280 / 270 / 280 km/h) respectively.
The first test was a standing quarter-mile drag race and the second a rolling start race, at 50 mph (80 km/h), in Comfort and Sport driving modes, with a brake test from 70 mph (113 km/h) wrapping things up. Think you can guess the winner? Then check out the video to find out if you’re right.