Here’s a question: if you wanted a premium hot hatch but don’t want to spend a small fortune on something like a Mercedes-AMG A45/A45 S, what should you get?
This series of challenges tries to give an answer by putting three of premium hot hatchbacks against each other. The models are the Mercedes-AMG A35, the Audi S3 Sportback and the BMW M135i xDrive, all of which cost around £38,000 (~$50,500) in the UK, where the video was shot, and are very similar.
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In terms of straight line performance, Mercedes-AMG claims that the A35 can hit 100 km/h (62 mph) in 4.7 seconds from a standstill. The S3 Sportback and M135i are one tenth of a second slower, and flat out, all three will hit 250 km/h (155 mph).
Their 2.0-liter turbo-four engines pump out 306 PS (301 HP / 225 kW) and 450 Nm (332 lb-ft) of torque in the BMW, 306 PS (301 HP / 225 kW) and 400 Nm (295 lb-ft) in the Merc and 310 PS (306 HP / 228 kW) and 400 Nm (295 lb-ft) in the Audi. All three feature all-wheel drive systems, with seven-speed DCTs in the A35 and the S3, and an eight-speed automatic transmission in the M135i.
Since the numbers are so close, it’s impossible to guess which one is faster. Thus they were subjected in a quarter-mile sprint, from a standing and a rolling start, and a braking test, all in the wet.