There have always been a few hot hatches to choose from, if you’re the sort of person who enjoys torque steer, hatchbacks and small, turbocharged engines. The Opel Astra OPC, The VW Golf GTi, and more recently cars like the Audi S3 and BMW M135i.
But at some point the game changed. Manufacturers had worked out how to extract extraordinary levels of power from these small engines (without them exploding too often) and the result of this was that front wheel drive seemed a bit silly.
And so the hot-hatch-smiths took to all wheel drive and now we have a whole new generation of small, fast, relatively affordable sports cars, offering 200kW+. And the unlikely king of all of them is a Mercedes Benz.
Yes, for their first ever hot hatch, Mercedes Benz told their AMG engineers to conceptualise the car while drunk. Because that is the only way to explain an engine which produces 265kW from just 2.0 litres of displacement.
But they were very sober when they designed the epic interior, and the computer system which launches the A 45 AMG 4Matic off the line. Named “Race Start”, it is the nemesis of traffic light racers around the world.
However, the Mercedes comes in at an eye-watering R659 717, compared to the Golf 7R’s price tag of R525 900.
The Golf R doesn’t have launch control and so would immediately be at a disadvantage here, let alone the 59kW power difference. But it is lighter and is known as a bit of giant slayer, and earlier in the day we had seen it destroy the Subaru WRX STI: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X-PLpLhfJmA
And so we lined up these two hot hatch warriors on the start line of a standard quarter-mile drag strip and dropped the flag. Can the Mercedes justify that massive price tag? Or will the Golf 7 R embarrass its German counterpart?
For a full comparison, spec by spec, click here: http://www.cars.co.za/compare-cars/Volkswagen-Golf-R-auto-vs-Mercedes-Benz-A-Class-A45-AMG-4Matic/64045941/44002950/
— Thank You —
Huge thank you to “Georgie” and Justin Stewart for helping make this video. You gents are certified legends!