The new Audi S3, BMW M135i and Mercedes-AMG A35 mean you’re spoilt for choice if you’re looking for a rapid hot hatch with a premium badge. But, which is best?
Well, tap the video to watch the race.
First up is the brand-new Audi S3. It might look dramatically different from the old car, but its 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine is very similar and produces no extra power. Not only will you have to make do with ‘just’ 310hp, but its 400Nm torque figure is the same as in the old car’s, too.
Its seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox is also pretty much unchanged, as is its quattro four-wheel-drive system. The price for all this familiarity? Almost £39,000.
Nothing about the BMW M135i will be familiar, though. Unlike the 3.0-litre, straight-six, rear-wheel-drive M140i it replaces, the new M135i gets a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder, four-wheel-drive setup that it shares with the Mini Clubman JCW. It produces 4hp less than the Audi, but a sizeable 50Nm more torque.
The BMW’s eight-speed automatic gearbox uses a conventional torque-converter rather than some fancy dual-clutches like the Audi’s, but the its launch control should prove to be seriously effective. All-in, the M135i will set you back from around £38,000.
That’s about the same price as the last car in our lineup – the Mercedes-AMG A35. Like the Audi S3, this car gets four-wheel drive and a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox. Its 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine produces the same 400Nm as the Audi and matches the BMW’s 306hp figure. So could that prove to be the winning combo?
Which of these posh hot hatches will cross the line first? Watch the video to find out.
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