The Mercedes-AMG A45 S boasts the world’s most powerful turbocharged four-cylinder engine. It delivers 421 bhp (313 kilowatts), allowing the car to hit 62 miles per hour (100 kilometres per hour) in a claimed 3.9 seconds. But the Audi RS5 Sportback claims the same 0-60 time with its 450-bhp (335-kW) twin-turbocharged V6. A new Autocar India video pits the two in a trio of drag races to see how they compare in the real world.
The AMG’s 2.0-litre four-cylinder makes a stout 368 pound-feet (500 Newton-metrers) of torque, though it’s less than the Audi 2.9-litre's 442 lb-ft (600 Nm). However, the Mercedes has a weight advantage, tipping the scales at 1,550 kilograms (3,417 pounds) to the Audi’s 1,785 kg (3,875 lb). Both have all-wheel drive, though Mercedes routes the AMG’s power through an eight-speed dual-clutch gearbox while the RS5 Sportback uses an eight-speed auto to power its Quattro all-wheel-drive system.
Gallery: 2020 Audi RS5 Coupe, RS5 Sportback facelift
The first race shows the Audi getting a massive lead off the starting line, putting considerable distance between it and the Mercedes. The Audi finished first with a 12.246-second time, with the Mercedes right behind it at 12.363 seconds. The second race saw the Audi struggle to recreate its spectacular first-race launch, giving the Mercedes enough ground to grab and maintain a lead through the finish, completing the race in 12.345 seconds. The Audi did it in 12.403.
The final race was the pair’s best, with the two getting equal starts. However, the Audi was able to eke ahead of the Mercedes just before the finish line, crossing it with a 12.116-second time. The Mercedes did it in 12.190 seconds. The AMG A45 S and RS5 Sportback show how performance cars can take on different shapes with different powertrains under the bonnet while delivering similar performance – at least at the drag strip. Things would be different on a curvy race track.