Back in the day, hatchbacks weren't seen as quick runabouts. A five-door model doing 8 seconds in a 0-60 sprint was already laudable. But these days, you can easily see hot hatches going the same sprint in under 4 seconds, which is crazy if you think about it.
The cream among the hot hatch crop is this German pair: the Mercedes-AMG A45 S and the Audi RS3. These cars are almost head-to-head in more ways than one, which makes them perfect rivals of each other. And what better way to judge which one's quicker – at least on a straight line – than in a drag race.
Gallery: 2022 Audi RS3 Debut
YouTuber Joe Achilles put both cars at the line for a quick matchup to settle the score. But before you watch the video, let's go through the numbers first.
The Mercedes-AMG A45 S is of course powered by a turbocharged inline-four that puts out a whopping 416 bhp (310 kilowatts) and 369 pound-feet (500 Newton-metres). That power plant is the world's most powerful factory-offered four-cylinder engine ever available in a production vehicle. Sending power to all four corners, the AMG A45 S can sprint to 62 miles per hour (100 kilometres per hour) in 3.9 seconds.
The Audi RS3 isn't a slouch, though. With a turbocharged 2.5-litre 5-cylinder engine within its bonnet, it makes up to 395 bhp (294 kilowatts) and the same amount of torque, making it less powerful than the A45 S. The Audi is also 10 kilograms (22 pounds) heavier than the Mercedes.
The Audi RS3 has the numbers going against it but can it still beat the Mercedes-AMG A45 S? There were three rounds of drag races in the video atop this page; the third one shows the more accurate comparison.