What are three of Germany's most powerful compact performance cars doing on a runway? A drag race, of course. Motor1.com's Italian team was able to get ahold of an Audi RS3, BMW M2 Competition, and Mercedes-AMG A45 S, and the natural thing to was to unleash them over 400 metres (1,312 feet or 0.2485 miles).

On paper, the one to beat here is the A45 S with 416 bhp and 369 pound-feet running to both axles through a dual-clutch eight-speed gearbox. According to the factory, it hits 62 miles per hour in 3.9 seconds.

At the other end of the power spectrum, there is the Audi RS3 with a 2.5-litre turbocharged five-cylinder carrying a factory rating of 394 bhp and 354 pound-feet. Although, the Four Rings recently had to stop production temporarily to make tweaks due to the new Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicles Test Procedure. The output runs through a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox to an all-wheel-drive system. The automaker says the run to 62 mph requires 4.1 seconds.

Sitting in the middle in terms of power, there's the BMW M2 Competition with 404 bhp and 406 lb-ft. It uses a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox, but, unlike the other two, this one is rear-wheel drive.

Vehicle Engine Horsepower Weight (In Europe) 0-62 MPH
Mercedes-AMG A45 S 2.0 Turbo I4 416 bhp 1,560 kg 3.9 seconds
BMW M2 Competition 3.0 Turbo I6 404 bhp 1,625 kg 4.4 seconds
Audi RS3 2.5 Turbo I5 394 bhp 1,510 kg 4.1 seconds

The Motor1.com team Italy was also able to put these three models on a dyno to see where each engine makes peak power and torque.

Want to see what happens when they race? Click on the video above!

Gallery: Mercedes-AMG A45 drag races BMW M2 Competition and Audi RS3