by Mihnea Radu, 16th October 2015
I honestly really want to know what will happen in a drag race between the new 381 PS version of the A45 AMG and the Audi RS3. So far, nobody has been able to organize this epic hyper hatch race, but I've found something that's almost as good.
The drag race between the GLA 45 AMG and the Audi RS Q3 you can see in the video below was organized this summer by a South African car magazine. The outcome had us on the edge of our seats, as he quattro car had the lead in the beginning and eventually lost by a whisker.
There aren't that many small performance SUVs on the market. We'd like to compare the GLA 45 AMG against a cheap and cheerful Tiguan GTI or Ford Kuga ST, but there's no such thing. Instead, we have to make due with Audi's tuned box that's derived from the previous A3. It's hardly the stuff of legends, but that 2.5-liter turbo packs a punch.
Mercedes started offering AMG versions of its SUVs in 1999, but this is the first one with a four-cylinder engine. On the other hand, the GLA looks more like a tall hatchback, and in 45 AMG form, it sits even lower to the ground.
The Benz's roofline peaks at 1.49 meters, 8.6cm lower than that of the RS Q3. There’s just 7mm splitting their lengths, and it's mostly due to the big chin spoiler of the GLA. Let's take a look under the hood as well. With the Audi, it's a five-cylinder engine that now produces 250 kW (340 hp) and 450 Nm (331.9 lb-ft) of torque. As a result of this boost in output, 0 to 100 km/h takes only 4.8 seconds, the exact same time as the GLA 45 AMG.
Of course, there's now a 381 PS version of the hot GLA on the market against which the RS Q3 doesn't stand a chance.
Everything we've read so far suggests the GLA 45 AMG is also superior when it encounters some curves, as its weight transitions better and the chassis comes alive. So the only really good thing about the RS Q3 is the engine, and that's not really enough to sell a car.
Drag Race: Mercedes GLA 45 AMG vs. Audi RS Q3 - Video - autoevolution